5 Farm to School resources you haven’t heard of

Daniele and Host Site supervisor Heather reviewing the HOTM kitsIn the Farm to School field, it seems like new resources are constantly whizzing by.

A new report here, a resource guide there, sample policy language abounds–it can be hard to keep up with the constant flow of information!

Today, we’re highlighting 5 useful resources you may not have seen and that we think you’ll enjoy. Have any others to add? Submit a comment below or send an email to us at farmtoschool@caff.org!

Why Local Matters: A Primer for Schools

San Diego Farm to School Taskforce

SDF2S Why Local Matters

Everyone who’s working hard on Farm to School had to start at the beginning. While the ultimate goal (the what) of Farm to School is to increase the amount of fresh, local foods purchased for and eaten in school cafeterias, a lot of the initial work involves getting buy-in from school administrators, staff, educators, and parents by exploring the why of Farm to School.

San Diego’s Childhood Obesity Initiative (one of our ten wonderful regional leads!) produced this handout for San Diego County that explains the problems that Farm to School can help solve as well as the opportunities for supporting the health of youth and the local economy alike.

Starting a Farm to School program at your school will certainly involve a lot of face-to-face meetings and conversations. Preparing a fact sheet like this one can help set the context for those conversations and also help you understand the farming and public health landscape of your region as well. Use this resource as a template for your own primer!

Lunch Line Redesign

The New York Times


This article from an Op-Ed in the New York Times several years ago is short, but powerful. The article poses the question: can we get kids to eat better food if we change how it’s presented in the lunch line?

In short: yes! Read on to learn more about the concept.

BONUS: Channel One News tried out this idea in a New York Middle School. Watch the videos to see for yourself how successful it was!

Policy and Protocols for School Gardens and Garden to Cafeteria

Life Lab

life lab garden to caf screenshotOne of the most commonly-asked questions we get on a weekly basis is how to figure out the complexities of getting produce from a school garden to the school cafeteria.

This can get pretty complicated–between school food procurement rules, food safety concerns, financial questions (does the cafeteria pay the garden? what if the school already paid for the garden’s installation and upkeep?), and other puzzling questions, garden-to-cafeteria programs can be tough to figure out.

Fortunately, Life Lab has compiled policies and sample language from all over the state to help you put together a garden-to-cafeteria policy of your own for your school or district. Take a look, and let us know if you’re successful!

Guide to Starting and Running a Farmers’ Market Salad Bar Program

Riverside Unified School District, Nutrition Services

RUSD guide to starting salad bar

One of the most common ways to get started with sourcing local foods is to set up a salad bar where farm-fresh foods can be easily served. This easy-to-follow guide from Riverside Unified School District was written by foodservice, for foodservice–though even for non-foodservice folks, it’s a great insight into the steps a school district can take before they make the Farm to School leap into more intensive procurement programs.

Farm to (High) School Youth Leadership Curriculum

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

IATP F2S youth leadership


Much of the Farm to School movement has centered on powerful interventions in the school food environment and nutrition education outcomes for younger, K-5 children. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reminds us not to forget about high school-aged youth, who are preparing to enter the world of adults and make their own independent food choices. This fully-downloadable curriculum includes 6 lessons, each containing a summary, list of activities, facilitator notes, materials and equipment list, additional resources, and worksheets and handouts for students.

For more resources, be sure to check out our Resources page–and send us any that we’ve missed!

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