San Diego Region

San Diego

Regional Lead:

Elizabeth Vaughan, San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative, Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP),

About the Food Systems Department at CHIP

CHIP’s Food Systems Department works to grow the good food movement in San Diego County through three main strategies: 1) Farm-to-Institution, 2) Food Justice, and 3) Data, Research, and Evaluation. CHIP’s work as the SoCal Regional Lead for CFSN falls squarely within its farm-to-institution work in the region. CHIP convenes the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce, which is a dynamic group of school districts, produce distributors, local farms, and community partners who have grown the farm-to-school movement in San Diego County since its inception in 2010. CHIP leverages its strong relationships with school districts and actors along the supply chain to conduct market research on the demand for local food by institutions, the availability of local food from local growers, and to foster the market in which these buyers and sellers interact. The organization’s biggest annual event is the Let’s Go Local! Produce Showcase, which brings together institutional food buyers, growers and sellers of local food, and good food advocates to develop face-to-face business relationships and community partnerships.

Upcoming events

Stay up to date on CHIP’s recent activities and upcoming events by visiting the CHIP Food Systems Blog at

Former San Diego Regional Lead coordinated a local produce showcase in October 2014 that featured many farm to school stakeholders. Coverage of this event can be found in a recent CFSN blogpost as well as Civil Eats.

Key publications and resources published

State of Farm to School in San Diego – a baseline report on a survey of Farm to School growers and buyers in the region, and an excellent model for other regions to follow.

Overview of the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce

2-page Farm to School Profiles for all 42 San Diego County School Districts 2014 State of Farm to School in San Diego County report

CHIP’s 2015 Grower Engagement Research Brief & San Diego County Crop Availability Chart

2015-2016 Harvest of the Month Calendar for San Diego County

CHIP Food Systems Blog

How to get involved

Visit the SD Farm to School Taskforce website to sign up for the newsletter and contact list for the Taskforce. Also, contact Colin Cureton at or (858) 609-7962. 

Farm to School resources in the region

Local food initiatives in the region

San Diego

North San Diego Food Policy Council:!__food-policy-council

  • Member agency program: High School culinary students process food for pre-school lunches using produce from the pre-school garden. Anything not used for lunches goes to the food back. Recently featured on KPBS.
  • Another garden is being built.

Orange County Food Access Coalition:

  • Started F2S Taskforce. First meeting Nov. 2013. Districts are testing the waters with more local procurement and food literacy. Those are the 2 areas the work will focus on.

San Diego Food System Alliance:

  • COI- Leads the San Diego County F2S Taskforce, a consortium of school food services, growers, and distributors. Working with upwards of 24 school districts on F2S. Recently released the State of F2S Report. (18 districts are participating in F2S; 15 sourcing local and regional product.) Local produce showcase, meet and greet for growers, food services, and district. Work on wellness policy development and implementation: make sure health is in there and actively supported. Partnered on replicable SD Unified Garden to Cafeteria program.
  • SDHC- Working to increase participation in federal meal programs (breakfast, lunch, summer meal program, etc.) Operate a Summer Meals Taskforce.
  • IRC- Working with local districts on developing individual procurement plans.
  • CPPW conducted pilot project w/ SD Unified for school/community garden model under District’s existing joint use policies.
  • Harvest of the Month: taskforce adopted calendar. Using for multiple purposes: leverage purchasing power, encouraging countywide messaging including through preschools and healthcare.