In late January, we hosted a popular webinar that celebrated the innovations of three California school foodservice directors. These directors showed great leadership in enhancing their Farm to School programs through innovations in marketing. School foodservice directors navigate a complex web of challenges when it comes to getting food on the tray – and even more so when they try to bring in more fresh, healthy, and local foods. Smart marketing helps schools gain and sustain buy-in from students, staff, and the community by communicating the benefits and the appeal of Farm to School.
We’re pleased to announce that this webinar is now posted up on Vimeo, along with our previous webinar on Oakland Unified. Click here to view California Food for California Kids: Innovations from the Classroom to the Community, Part 1.
Bonus: Farm to Preschool grant opportunity inside!
Today’s guest post is our first about the growing world of Farm to Preschool (F2P). While F2P is certainly under the umbrella of Farm to School, it’s important to tailor programming, curriculum, and meals and snacks to preschoolers in specific ways in order to get young children used to fresh foods and healthy food environments. Misty Spicer of Antioch University’s Urban Sustainability Program shares a story about introducing Los Angeles preschoolers to farmers markets. Read on to learn more!
Fresh food got a little sweeter for preschoolers and their families this past summer, thanks to the Pacific Asian Consortium for Employment (PACE) and the Farm to Preschool program at Occidental College. A group of preschoolers chaperoned by parents and teachers left PACE’s Magnolia Place and Christian Fellowship preschool sites, located in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles, for and exciting adventure at Exposition Park before heading to the local farmers’ market.
Today’s blogpost is another great one from Kristy Levings, Project Director with Harvest Hub Yolo (our Sacramento Valley regional lead!). Read on to learn about their recent Marketplace Exchange event, another example of the matching/”dating” model that’s so effective at bringing buyers and sellers of local food together. Here, it’s applied to Farm to School – Enjoy!
In our Farm to School world, we inevitably hear from school food service that they don’t know where to find farmers. While at the same time we also hear from farmers that they don’t know how to connect with School Food Service buyers. Oy Vey! What are we to do with two groups who seem to want to find each other but can’t?
To us, that sounds like the perfect setup – a setup for a “date!”
This week’s guest post is by Aimee Retzler of Sierra Harvest (formerly Live Healthy Nevada County), a community organization in the Sierras that supports family farmers, child health, and other food systems programs in Nevada County. The organization also received a coveted USDA Farm to School Grant in 2014 to expand their farm to school program from 11 to 15 schools and establish a 2-acre educational farm, as well as ramp up nutrition education and connections with local farmers and chefs in the community. The story below is one example of that growing, inspiring work empowered by these grants.
Tasting Week is a special time here in Nevada County. The weeklong event combines the creativity of chefs with the natural curiosity of children. Children are able to expand their experience of different foods and flavors with a focus on fresh, locally-grown food. Chefs from all over the county introduced students from twenty elementary schools to delicious, fresh preparations of local ingredients. Many of these local items came from a farmer the students know through Sierra Harvest’s Farm to School program.
As many of us know, October is National Farm to School Month — a time for lifting up Farm to School stories from around the nation, celebrating how far we’ve come over the past decade in linking family farms and school gardens to school classrooms and cafeterias, and looking to the future for how we’ll continue to grow this movement.
We’ve got some great things to share from around the state and on the national level to highlight the success of Farm to School Month 2014. Check them out below!
In 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 firstname.lastname@example.org!