Knowledge Base: Farm to School Tools, resources and thought leadership in regional food

Farm to School

Access a vast library of guidance on getting started, finding funding, developing menus, executing RFPs, starting school gardens, learning about legislation and policy and much more.

Video
Featured Video

Listen in as Lisa Vincent and Susan Barker from Beaverton Public Schools talk about how easy it is to use FoodHub to find local farmers, secure contracts and bring more regionally grown products into their cafeterias.

(2:35)

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Getting Started

  • Needs Assessment Tool
    4.5 / 5  (4 votes)

    Those getting started with farm to school can use this Needs Assessment Tool produced by Vermont FEED’s farm to school program to take an inventory of your entire school community and provide a snapshot of your resources, needs, and opportunities. (94.3 KB PDF)

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  • Five Easy Steps to Get Started
    3.3 / 5  (3 votes)

    Five easy steps from the National Farm to School Network to start your program. Applicable to food service directors, educators, parents, and others in the school community.

  • Farm to School Field Guide for Food Service
    4.0 / 5  (6 votes)

    This field guide produced by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers Farm to School Program is an excellent resource for food service directors who want to start purchasing more local foods. It includes tips on how to set goals and overcome barriers, and build a team to support your efforts. (401.6 KB PDF)

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  • Eat Smart – Farm Fresh Guide for Food Service
    2.0 / 5  (1 vote)

    The Eat Smart – Farm Fresh guide can help Food Service Directors outline strategies for success and learn about a variety of models for local purchasing. It also includes tips for finding local foods, purchasing and preparing fruits and vegetables, building support for your program, fitting farm to school programs to the School Meals Initiative, and complying with national procurement guidelines. (1.3 MB PDF)

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  • Getting Started: Farm to Cafeteria Connections
    0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

    A useful marketing guide for getting started with Farm to Cafeteria programs, Getting Started: Farm to Cafeteria Connections gives examples of the four main types of farm to cafeteria program models with tips on finding local food, negotiating prices, legal requirements for purchasing, and strategies for implementation and success. (2.9 MB PDF)

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  • Fresh From the Farm: Using Local Foods in the Afterschool and Summer Nutrition Programs
    0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

    This guide can help incorporate the principles of farm to school programming into after school or summer programming. It includes tips on connecting with local farmers, creating purchasing systems, handling operational logistics, and planning menus. (3 MB PDF)

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  • Food Service Director & Farmer Conversation Guide
    5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

    Food Service Directors can use this one-page guide to begin conversations about purchasing locally. Help farmers understand your needs and use the question guide to help you understand what they have to offer and how they operate. (72.2 KB PDF)

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  • Vermont FEED's Guide for Connecting Farms to Schools and Communities
    0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

    This 114-page guide is written for farmers who wish to open their farms to educational programming and school field trips, and/or develop supplier relationships with schools. Though its intended audience are farmers, it can be a helpful guide for teachers, food service directors, or active participants in the school community who wish to know more about elements to consider and plan for connecting farms to schools. (2.4 MB PDF)

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  • Rethinking School Lunch Guide from the Center for Ecoliteracy, Second Edition
    0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

    This 72-page publication offers a farm to school planning framework for school administrators, food service providers, educators, and community members. It presents data from national studies on public health and the effectiveness of school food programs. It offers guidance on crafting wellness policies and including nutrition and health in the curriculum. It also provides guidance for procurement, budget planning, composting, marketing and communications. (2.5 MB PDF)

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  • WSDA Farm to School Toolkit
    0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

    This comprehensive online toolkit is designed for farms, schools, families, and communities in Washington that wish to get involved with farm to school and school gardens. The toolkit includes examples of successful programs and information on how to get started, how to expand, and how to engage the broader community. It also explains the school food regulatory environment, provides ideas for school garden activities and education, and links to grant opportunities as well as institutions and organizations that schools can partner with to promote their farm to school initiatives.

  • Farm to School Start-Up Kit
    0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

    WSDA created this Farm to School Start-Up Kit in partnership with Kent School District to assist schools as they consider their options and begin farm to school efforts. In 2010, Kent School District’s commitment to providing tasty, affordable, healthy meal programs was recognized and they were selected to participate in Public Health-Seattle & King County Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant. The Start-Up Kit provides step-by-step guidance, with links to open the individual tools and resources along the way. Whether you're new to farm to school, or are interested in resources to support specific aspects of your existing program, it's worth taking a look. The kit is organized by topic for ease of use. (0 B PDF)

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  • Farm to School Showcase Toolkit
    0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

    A Farm to School Showcase is designed to highlight producers, processors, and distributors of local foods by creating a designated “Showcase” space for these vendors within a larger school nutrition trade show. (0 B PDF)

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For Food Service Directors

    Menu Planning

    • Chef Ann’s Lunchbox: Menus and Recipes
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      Chef Ann Cooper’s Lunchbox is a comprehensive website for school food service. Look through hundreds of kid-tested recipes designed specifically for school lunch programs that are nutritionally analyzed, priced and scalable. The site also includes technical tools to help maintain compliance with the National School Lunch Program and to manage the financial aspects of your program, as well as time-saving templates like a menu calendar that can easily be filled in with your school district’s specific information and sent directly to the printers.

    • Massachusetts farm to school Cookbook
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This cookbook includes numerous recipes listed by type of vegetable and seasonal availability, accompanied by nutritional analysis per serving. It also includes food safety tips and tips for purchasing local. While some material is specific to Massachusetts, the recipes can be used by any farm to school program. (1.1 MB PDF)

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    • Oregon Grown Fresh Produce Calendar
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      A beautiful full-color poster of produce available seasonally in Oregon. You can download this PDF of the poster here or use this link: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/docs/pdf/form_calendar.pdf to access a request form and instructions for how to purchase one from ODA for $5.00. (239.3 KB PDF)

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    • Oregon Seasonal Vegetable Chart
      4.7 / 5  (3 votes)

      This chart outlines when Oregon vegetables are seasonally available in fresh, stored, and processed forms. (135.8 KB PDF)

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    • Oregon Seasonal Fruit Chart
      4.0 / 5  (2 votes)

      This chart outlines when Oregon fruits are seasonally available in fresh, stored, and processed forms. (83.6 KB PDF)

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    • Seasonal Produce Availability by State
      4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      The Eat Well Guide contains seasonal produce guides for all of the states in the U.S., as well as its territories and the Canadian provinces. A clickable map links to outside websites with seasonal produce information.

    • Full-Color Locally Grown Foods Sign Template for the Lunch Line
      4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      Use this full-color "We're eating local today" lunch line sign template created by Ecotrust's farm to school program to highlight the local foods you serve. (3 MB PDF)

      Download
    • USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this link to access the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs. The guide assists school food purchasing agents in planning and purchasing the right amount of food for school meal programs as well as meeting meal pattern and reimbursement requirements.

    • Seasonal and Simple: A guide for enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables:
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Seasonal and simple is a guide to help you select, store and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables. The recipes use simple preparations and seasonings, so you can taste the goodness of a fruit or vegetable at the peak of its flavor. The fruits and vegetables are listed in the guide by their growing season — spring, summer and fall. Nutrients and associated health benefits are listed with each fruit or vegetable. (0 B EDU/P/MP909)

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    • Seasonal and Simple for Food Service: A guide for quantity preparation and service of fresh fruits and vegetables
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Seasonal and Simple for Food Service is a guide for quantity preparation and service of fresh fruits and vegetables. The recipes in the guide are listed by the fruit or vegetable growing season and were tested by food service professionals. (0 B EDU/P/MP918)

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    Procurement

    • Request for Proposal (RFP) to procure Locally Grown Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - example from St. Paul Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This Request for Proposal was created by the Saint Paul (Minnesota) Public School District’s Purchasing Department in 2009 to help guide their procurement of fresh, local produce for the lunch line. This is an excellent model to draw from. It includes an overview written by School Food FOCUS about the creation of the RFP, as well as outcomes and lessons learned from the process, followed by a copy of the RFP itself. (185.2 KB PDF)

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    • Request for Proposal (RFP) from Portland Public Schools for their farm to school/Harvest of the Month Program
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This Request for Proposal for Portland Public School’s Harvest of the Month program is an excellent model to draw from for schools that want to create their own RFPs. (272.8 KB PDF)

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    • Sample Contract from Portland Public Schools
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This is an example of a standard nutrition services food contract used by Portland Public Schools agreed upon and signed by the school district and the farmer or food service contractor. (235.6 KB PDF)

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    • Proposer Information Sheet from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a short contract used by Portland Public Schools that is reviewed and signed by proposers responding to a nutrition services RFP. (129.7 KB PDF)

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    • Reference Sheet from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a reference sheet used by Portland Public Schools to be filled out by proposers responding to an invitation to bid on RFPs. (80.8 KB PDF)

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    • Cost Proposal Spreadsheet for Produce Purchasing from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a spreadsheet for produce purchasing created by Portland Public School's food service and submitted to farmers to ensure mutual understanding of an institution’s needs and of farmers procedures and costs. (36 KB XLS)

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    • Safe Food Handling Practices Questionnaire for Farmers from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a safe food handling practices form used by Portland Public Schools that can be filled out by farmers or other food producers wishing to work with schools. (144.1 KB PDF)

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    • USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s farm to school Procurement Policy Guidelines
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this link to learn about USDA procurement regulations, FNS policies related to procurement and farm to school efforts, as well as the Administrative Requirements for State, local, and non-profit organizations to assist you in making sound purchasing decisions for farm to school programs.

    • Vermont FEED's Guide for Using Local Food in Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This 116-page guide is geared mainly toward food service providers, managers, and staff. It includes information on farm to school policy, food safety issues, purchasing local food, marketing, and numerous case studies. (3.3 MB PDF)

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    • Cost Template and Produce Calculator from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program
      4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This section from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program manual includes a farm to school distribution cost template as well as a produce calculator and links to an interactive worksheet. (6.3 MB PDF)

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    • Steps to Developing a Vendor Strategy
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This 2-page document provides general guidelines and specific questions for food service directors to ask vendors to determine of they will be able to meet the needs of the school district. Developed by School Food Learning Lab and FOCUS, these guidelines can help in forming relationships with new suppliers and community partners. (500.2 KB PDF)

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    • WSDA Farm to School Toolkit
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This comprehensive online toolkit is designed for farms, schools, families, and communities in Washington that wish to get involved with farm to school and school gardens. The toolkit includes examples of successful programs and information on how to get started, how to expand, and how to engage the broader community. It also explains the school food regulatory environment, provides ideas for school garden activities and education, and links to grant opportunities as well as institutions and organizations that schools can partner with to promote their farm to school initiatives.

    • A School's Guide to Purchasing Washington-Grown Food
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Still confused by geographic preference? Looking for bid templates? The Washington State Department of Agriculture recently published A School’s Guide to Purchasing Washington-Grown Food: Using Geographic Preference to Strengthen Farm to School, which provides three different models for applying geographic preference including worksheets with specification examples and sample geographic preference language. While written specifically for Washington state schools, this guide also provides generalized information that has broad relevance. (0 B ORG/PAGE/74/PROCUREMENT-GUIDE)

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    Marketing Your Program

    • Vermont FEED's Guide to Taste Testing Local Foods in Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This document discusses the importance of hosting taste tests in cafeterias and classrooms and afterschool settings in order to familiarize children with new foods and get them excited about healthy, local produce. The guide offers planning tips, case studies, and sample materials for food service providers, teachers, parents and volunteers. (1.6 MB PDF)

      Download
    • Vermont FEED's Marketing & Press Release Guide
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This tip sheet from Vermont FEED provides guidance for marketing your Farm to School program through word-of-mouth, staff engagement, and local media and press. Includes templates for press and news releases. (200.9 KB PDF)

      Download
    • Full-Color Locally Grown Foods Sign Template for the Lunch Line
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this full-color "We're eating local today" lunch line sign template created by Ecotrust's farm to school program to highlight the local foods you serve. (3 MB PDF)

      Download
    • Oregon Harvest for Schools Program, Oregon Department of Education
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This comprehensive website provides a guide for seasonal vegetables to promote by month in Oregon schools. Download sample menus with kid-friendly activities and fact sheets, parent newletters with recipes for families, and posters with vegetable trivia and activities for elementary, middle, and high schools.

    • Parent newsletter text: Introducing parents to monthly Oregon Harvest for Schools products
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Build community support and awareness about the local fruits and vegetables that are being served in school lunch. These short, fact-filled paragraphs highlight Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables, and are easy to insert into your school’s newsletter or on your school webpage. (0 B DOC)

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    • Template e-mail: Introducing school staff to Oregon Harvest for Schools campaign
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Planning to start a Harvest of the Month program using the Oregon Department of Education’s Oregon Harvest for Schools materials? Adapt and send this email to school or district staff, so that everyone is informed and on the same page. (0 B DOCX)

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    • Checklist for implementing Oregon Harvest for Schools campaign
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this checklist, in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Education’s Harvest for Schools materials, as a step-by-step guide to implementing a complete harvest of the month program at your school. (0 B PDF)

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    Food Safety

    • Food Safety Guidelines from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This section from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program manual addresses food safety and handling. It includes steps for creating a school food safety plan, food safety worksheet templates and logs, fresh produce handling tips, and best practices for school gardens. (5.8 MB PDF)

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    • Iowa State University's Food Safety Checklist for Purchasers
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This site provides a checklist for ensuring that food has been safely grown, harvested and handled. Provides a list of specific questions for foodservice buyers to ask growers of fresh produce. Developed by food safety specialists at Iowa State University. (74.8 KB PDF)

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    For Educators

      Preschool and Kindergarten

      • Kindergarten Initiative's Toolkit for Healthy Eating
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        The Kindergarten Initiative, a program of The Food Trust in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, promotes healthy communities by teaching young children and their parents about food, farms and nutrition. The Toolkit describes how the program was implemented, includes a variety of activities, and demonstrates options for implementing a similar program in your area. (2.1 MB PDF)

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      • Growing Minds farm to school Program Lesson Plans
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        A program of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, the Growing Minds lesson plan webpage has FREE materials for educators including activities listed by grade level, season, and topic, as well as teacher planning resources.

      • Early Sprouts: Gardening and Nutrition for Young Children
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This program features a 24-week gardening and nutrition curriculum that addresses young children's inherent fear of new foods through multiple exposures to target fruits and vegetables.Available for purchase ($24.95) on the website or through Amazon, provides directions for designing and caring for gardens, recipes children can help prepare, and ways to involve the whole family in making healthy food choices.

      • Food from the Farm Kindergarten Lesson Guide
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Food From the Farm is a kindergarten farm to school program that encourages eating local fruits and vegetables, and helps kids understand where their food comes from. This holistic program includes classroom education, experiential learning through farm trips, multiple exposures to local fruits and vegetables through classroom tastings and parent engagement. (0 B EDU/P/N760)

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      • From the Farm to You Children’s Reading Book
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Do you ever think about where your food comes from? How did it get to your grocery store, school or farmers market? Travel with Tomás the Tomato on this journey from the farm to your table. (0 B EDU/P/N761)

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      • From the Farm to You Coloring Book
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        From the Farm to You Coloring Book is intended for preschool through early elementary school age children. Created for the kindergarten farm to school program Food From the Farm, this coloring book can be used to supplement farm to school and school garden programs, or can form the basis of a classroom farm to table unit. (0 B EDU/P/N764)

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      • From the Farm to You DVD
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        From the Farm to You DVD is intended for preschool through early elementary school age children. Created for the kindergarten farm to school program Food From the Farm, this 2012 Telly Award winning video can be used to supplement farm to school and school garden programs, or can form the basis of a classroom farm to table unit. (0 B EDU/P/N762)

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      Elementary and Middle School

      • Growing Minds farm to school Program
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        A program of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, the Growing Minds lesson plan webpage has materials for educators including activities listed by grade level, season, and topic, as well as teacher planning resources. There is also a great list of children’s literature relevant to garden and farm-based activities.

      • Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE)
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Linking Food and the Environment is an inquiry-based science and nutrition program that was created as a collaborative effort between the Science Education and Nutrition Education programs at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Three teacher manuals (grades 4-6, 5-6, and 6-8) are available for purchase individually or as a series, each with a free lesson available for preview online. Manuals include lesson plans, teaching tips, and student activity sheets.

      • Oregon State University Deschutes County Extension Service Healthy Harvest Curriculum for 4th grade students
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        The Enjoying our Healthy Harvest curriculum includes standards-based lesson plans for 9 different Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables. Designed for educators, the materials include learning objectives, directions, discussion questions, list of materials and suggestions for parent handouts.

      • Oregon State University's Growing Healthy Kids: Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        An 11-lesson curriculum developed and written by the Oregon State University Nutrition and Horticulture Faculty. This website includes lesson plans and materials designed for children aged 6-8 for school as well as non-school settings.

      • Eat.Think.Grow’s Seasonal Lessons for School Gardens, K-5
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        EAT THINK GROW provides support for school garden education and farm to school programs in the Pacific Northwest. Designed for educators, their curriculum is free to download, aligns with Oregon Department of Education Key Standards, and contains lessons for each of the school seasons (fall, winter, spring) for grades K-5.

      High School

      • Toward a Sustainable Agriculture, grades 9-12
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This FREE sustainable agriculture curriculum was developed for high school students by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems from the University of Wisconsin. All modules include projected outcomes, background lessons, activities, homework assignments, and evaluation materials. A CD of this curriculum can be ordered via the website for $5.

      • Food for Thought, grades 9-12
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        The Food for Thought FREE curriculum for high school students incorporates reading comprehension and hands-on activities for science, social studies, and language arts, linked to Oregon's educational benchmarks. Most of the activities can be completed during one class period.

      K-12

      • French Fries and the Food System: Connecting Youth with Farming
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This year-round agricultural curriculum available for $24.95 features original lessons written and developed by growers and educators from The Food Project, based in Massachusetts. Organized by season, the material teaches youth how to develop a deep understanding of the land and local food systems.

      • How to Make a Farm a Classroom for a Day - Field Trip Fact Sheet
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This fact sheet provides information for teachers, farmers, parents, and community members interested in organizing an educational field trip to a local farm. Includes considerations such as timing your farm visit, meeting school requirements, and understanding farm etiquette. (76.8 KB PDF)

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      • Agriculture in the Classroom
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Use this link to find your state’s Agriculture in the Classroom website. Websites are generally aimed at teachers and students and include links to state agricultural information, lessons, and activities.

      • Oregon State University Deschutes County Extension Service Healthy Harvest Curriculum for 4th grade students
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        The Enjoying our Healthy Harvest curriculum includes standards-based lesson plans for 9 different Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables. Designed for educators, the materials include learning objectives, directions, discussion questions, list of materials and suggestions for parent handouts.

      • California Harvest of the Month Fruit and Vegetable Educator Newsletters
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Produced by the Network for a Healthy California, the California Harvest of the Month program includes FREE educator newsletters, family newsletters, and menu slicks for more than 30 different fruits and vegetables. Materials are available in English and Spanish.

      • Rethinking School Lunch: A Visual Guide Linking Food, Culture, Health & the Environment
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This visual guide for educators shows how an enriched school environment can enhance student understanding of personal well-being and the natural world. Includes chapters on connecting school lunch to the curriculum, aligning with state standards, and integrating topics across disciplines. (2.5 MB PDF)

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      • Vermont FEED's Guide to Taste Testing Local Foods in Schools
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This document discusses the importance of hosting taste tests in cafeterias and classrooms and afterschool settings in order to familiarize children with new foods and get them excited about healthy, local produce. The guide offers planning tips, case studies, and sample materials for food service providers, teachers, parents and volunteers. (1.6 MB PDF)

        Download
      • Healthy Schools Campaign - a blog for educators on nutrition in the classroom
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This website features blog-postings from educators who are implementing nutrition initiatives in their schools and provides links to other resources and organizations

      • Oregon Harvest for Schools Program, Oregon Department of Education
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This comprehensive website provides a guide for seasonal vegetables to promote by month in Oregon schools. Download sample menus with kid-friendly activities and fact sheets, parent newletters with recipes for families, and posters with vegetable trivia and activities for elementary, middle, and high schools.

      For Parents and the Community

      • California Harvest of the Month Family and Community Newsletters
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Produced by the California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California, the FREE Harvest of the Month program provides family and community newsletters in English and Spanish featuring nutritional information, recipes, and activities for more than 30 different fruits and vegetables.

      • Vermont FEED's Guide to Taste Testing Local Foods in Schools
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This document discusses the importance of hosting taste tests in cafeterias and classrooms and afterschool settings in order to familiarize children with new foods and get them excited about healthy, local produce. The guide offers planning tips, case studies, and sample materials for food service providers, teachers, parents and volunteers. (1.6 MB PDF)

        Download
      • Vermont FEED's Guide to Community Action Planning
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This guide provides planning tools and facilitation techniques for school committees engaged in the Farm to School planning process. It includes tips for how to convene and run meetings to enhance community involvement in Farm to School programs and provides checklists and case studies. (4.5 MB PDF)

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      School Gardens

      • Fresh, Healthy and Safe Food: Best Practices for Using Produce from School Gardens
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Created as a collaborative effort from school garden practitioners across the country and supported by the National farm to school Network, this guide to best practices for being safe and healthy when serving produce from school gardens includes tips for growing, harvesting, handling, and other important considerations. (652.5 KB PDF)

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      • School Garden Wizard Website
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This comprehensive website was created for K-12 schools through a partnership between the United States Botanic Garden and Chicago Botanic Garden. Website includes resources to take you through starting the entire farm to school process from visioning and gathering support, to designing and building the gardens, conducting student activities, and sustaining and evaluating your program.

      • California School Garden Network’s Gardens for Learning Guidebook
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Gardens for Learning is a comprehensive guidebook that provides a strong foundation to support the growing school garden movement. Developed by a team of experienced garden educators, nutritionists, state officials, and others. A great resource for anyone looking to enhance learning through the use of gardens in schools and other community settings. (9.1 MB PDF)

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      • California School Garden Network Curriculum Resource Page
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        This curriculum resource page compiled by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Garden-Based Learning workgroup provides over one hundred garden-based lessons divided into 12 theme areas for grades K-12. It offers practical ideas and resources for every level of garden-based learning from sprouting seeds to understanding the food system.

      • Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        The Life Lab Science Program distilled years of world-wide school garden experience into a concise 50-page guide that asks and answers most questions you need to consider for creating an outdoor classroom garden. (1.7 MB PDF)

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      • LifeLab: Garden Based Learning Curriculum and Activity Guide
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Created by the Life Lab Science Program in California, the webpage includes links to a number of teacher guides, activities, books, curricula, and lesson plans available for purchase.

      • School Garden Q&A Memo from the USDA, July 29, 2009
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        A memo published by the USDA’s Director of Child Nutrition Programs and directed at school food authorities in response to questions about the operation, logistics, and funding of school gardens. (24.2 KB PDF)

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      • Get Free Plant Starts in Oregon from the Plant Project!
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        A project of the American Center for Sustainability, the Plant Project provides free plant starts to non profits garden projects across Oregon, including schools. The plants are usually veggies, although there are also some natives, herbs, and medicinal flowers available.

      • Sodexo's Food Safety Guidelines for School Gardens and Weekly Checklist
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Provides steps for ensuring that school gardens are properly authorized by relevant school and government entities as well as guidelines for preventing food contamination from soils, fertilizers, and water supplies. Offers helpful tips for overall school garden care. Also includes a weekly checklist that can be used by educators and students to ensure that the guidelines are being followed. (68.4 KB PDF)

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      • Vegetable signs translated into six langauges
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Solid Ground, a Seattle-based nonprofit, has created high-quality signs for labeling garden rows that include pictures and suggestions on how to prepare each vegetable. To find the signs, scroll down to the bottom of the webpage where they can be downloaded as pdfs for six different vegetables in Chinese, Khmer, Lao, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

      • Atkinson Elementary's School Garden Guide, Portland, OR
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        A comprehensive guide of the five learning gardens at Atkinson Elementary in Portland, OR. The website lists seasonal activities by month, and provides guides for composting, garden bed layout, and organizational models

      • Grow Eat Grow: A Seasonal and Simple Guide for Gardening and Cooking with Kids
        0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

        Grow Eat Grow is filled with a variety of ideas for growing fruits and vegetables and simple steps for preparing and enjoying them with kids. Start with the first Grow section for inspiration to begin or transform a garden. Or, go straight to the Eat section and find new ideas for preparing the fruits and vegetables you grow, buy at a farmers market or roadside farm stand, through community supported agriculture (CSA) or at your local grocery store. (0 B EDU/P/MP922)

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      School Wellness Policies

      • Model Wellness Policy Guide
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        Compiled and produced by the Center for Ecoliteracy in collaboration with Slow Food USA and Chez Panisse Foundation, the Model Wellness Policy Guide provides recommendations and model language for development of a comprehensive school Wellness Policy by educators and administrators. (193.3 KB PDF)

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      • Model School Food: A Policy Guide
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        Mapping School Food addresses problems and issues faced by school decision-makers who draft and enforce school food policies. This guide is a good first step in learning to implement changes in school foods. (597.2 KB PDF)

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      • Guide to Developing a Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy
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        The Sustainable Food Policy Project was initiated in 2006 to support efforts by educational, health care, and other institutions to have a positive impact on the food system through purchasing. This is the latest copy of the guide from 2007. Learn more here: http://www.sustainablefoodpolicy.org/ (941.2 KB PDF)

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      Success Stories

        Case Studies

        • Going Local: Paths to Success for farm to school Programs
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          This publication details eight successful farm to school programs from across the nation. (5.7 MB PDF)

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        • A Salad Bar Featuring Organic Choices: Revitalizing the School Lunch Program
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          This report, describes the Olympia (WA) School District’s Organic Choices program and the specific changes to food options, and implementation of environmental and nutrition education, financial impacts, and key to success. (290.8 KB PDF)

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        • New on the Menu: Districtwide Changes to School Food Start in the Kitchen at Portland’s Abernethy Elementary
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          This report from Abernethy Elementary in Portland, Oregon took a whole systems approach to school food. The report includes a description of the program and the results of the pilot in terms of financial impact, nutrition, lunch participation rates, and child food preferences. (2.1 MB PDF)

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        Documentaries and Films

        • Nourish: Food + Community Documentary
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          Available for purchase on this site, this DVD includes 11 short films centered around the question, “What’s the story of your food?” and features Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Jamie Oliver, Anna Lappé, Bryant Terry, and Dr. Nadine Burk. A FREE curriculum guide is also available on the site.

        • What’s On Your Plate?
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          A documentary about two 11-year-olds discovering their place in the New York City food system.

        • Grown in Detroit
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          Grown in Detroit focuses on the urban gardening efforts undertaken by african-american, pregnant and parenting teenagers as part of their school's "Back to the roots" curriculum. Use the 'Watch' link to make a donation and gain online access to the documentary for one day.

        Evaluating Your Program

        • Bearing Fruit: Farm to School Program Evaluation
          5.0 / 5  (2 votes)

          Bearing Fruit is the National Farm to School program's comprehensive guide to program evaluation. Order hard copies for the cost of shipping by contacting Anupama Joshi (ajoshi@oxy.edu). (13.6 MB PDF)

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        • Impact Evaluation Handbook (surveys to assess fruit and vegetable consumption)
          4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          The California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California produced a compendium of validated surveys to assess fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. The Handbook contains the survey instruments along with data collection instructions and guidance. (3.9 MB PDF)

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        • Compendium of Surveys (to assess fruit and vegetable consumption)
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          The California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California produced this compendium of validated surveys to assess fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. (0 B PDF )

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        • Impact of Garden-Based Youth Nutrition Intervention Programs: A Review
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          Published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2009 by Robinson-O’Brien et al., this article reviews the impacts of gardens on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to fruits and vegetables. (111.4 KB PDF)

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        • The Child in the Garden: An Evaluative Review of the Benefits of School Gardening
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          Published in the Journal of Environmental Education in 2009, Blair reviews the U.S. literature on children’s gardening. (329.8 KB PDF)

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        • Food Systems and Public Health: Linkages to Achieve Healthier Diets and Healthier Communities
          4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          Use this link to access a FREE double issue of the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition that identifies research opportunities to develop successful interventions within agriculture, food, and health systems.

        • Do Farm to School Programs Make a Difference? Findings and Future Research Needs
          4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          Joshi et al. authored this 2008 article in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition – the first comprehensive literature review on the overall impacts of farm to school programs. (70 KB PDF)

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        • Impact Assessment of Vermont Farm to School Program
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          A report from Vermont FEED's 2006 Farm to School Program impact assessment that analyzed the likely impacts of efforts to increase the level of Vermont farm involvement in the school food system. (211.9 KB PDF)

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        Finding Funding

        • The National Farm to School Network’s Funding Opportunities Webpage
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          This webpage lists descriptions and links for national as well as several state-specific funding opportunities for Farm to School and school garden projects and programs.

        • Farm Aid’s Guide to Funding Opportunities for Family Farmers
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          Farm Aid has a webpage listing funding opportunities for family farmers. The guide also includes grants for rural development, public health and nutrition, community food security, agriculture and the green economy, and research.

        • Tips for Writing Grant Proposals
          3.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          This online resource describes each component of a grant proposal in detail and provides writing tips and examples.

        • The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s Fruit Tree 101 Program
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          The “Fruit Tree 101” program helps qualifying schools create outdoor edible orchard classrooms to provide students with environmental education opportunities and a source of organic fruit for improved school lunch nutrition.

        • Get Free Plant Starts in Oregon from the Plant Project!
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          A project of the American Center for Sustainability, the Plant Project provides free plant starts to non profits garden projects across Oregon, including schools.

        Legislation and Policy

        • Farm to School Legislation: State Legislation Presentation (January 2011)
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          This presentation explores state legislation that has been passed regarding farm to school programs. For more information contact Megan Lott (megan@foodsecurity.org). (2.9 MB PPTX)

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        • National Farm to School Network’s Policy Resource Page
          4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          The National Farm to School Network’s policy page provides detailed information and fact sheets for Farm to School and child nutrition legislation, links to text for national and state bills, and provides resources and guidance on what you can do to support Farm to School programs.

        • Child Nutrition Legislation
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          The Community Food Security Coalition maintains a detailed list of bills in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization that contain Farm to School provisions as well as other child nutrition legislation, including bill name, number, sponsors, and description.

        • Nourishing the Nation One Tray at a Time: Farm to School Initiatives in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization
          3.0 / 5  (1 vote)

          A full-color publication, produced by the One Tray Campaign, describes Farm to School initiatives in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. It provides a timeline with historical highlights and describes the benefits of Farm to School programs and includes case studies from across the country. (802.4 KB PDF)

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        National and State Resources

        • Farm to School News Updates
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

          The National farm to school Network maintains a comprehensive listing of local and national news media related to farm to school, as well as press releases, and upcoming events.

        • National Farm to School Network website
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        • United States Department of Agriculture farm to school website
          2.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        • Oregon Department of Education’s farm to school and School Garden Program website
          1.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        • Oregon State University Extension’s Nutrition Education Program website
          3.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        • Washington State Department of Agriculture’s farm to school Program website
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        • Idaho Department of Education’s farm to school Program website
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)
        • Montana Office of Public Instruction and Montana Team Nutrition's farm to school website
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)
        • California’s farm to school Program website
          0.0 / 5  (0 votes)
        • Ecotrust’s Farm to School Program website (lead agency for the western region of the National Farm to School Network)
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        • Chef Ann Cooper’s Lunch Lessons website
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        • The Lunchbox website
          5.0 / 5  (1 vote)
        Kaiser Permanente

        Kaiser Permanente Northwest's Community Benefit program supports Ecotrust's Farm to School program with a Healthy Food Access grant that facilitates the purchase of more healthy, regionally produced food by school districts in the region and connects them with small, medium-sized, and minority-owned food producers in their communities.

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