Farm to School History
- A Growing Movement: A Decade of Farm to School in California – A comprehensive and yet easy to read history of Farm to School in our state – an excellent context-setting piece for those curious about how far we’ve come.
Farm to School Benefits and First Steps
- Benefits of Farm to School Fact Sheet (a great starting point!) – A quick, helpful overview of how Farm to School can make a difference in your school and district.
- Getting Started with Farm to School – A short fact sheet to help you get started with Farm to School!
- Making the Case for Healthy, Freshly-Prepared School Lunch – This guide contains solid research and powerful arguments to back up claims and demonstrate to decision makers and parents that Farm to School is worth the investment. Center for Ecoliteracy produced this report so that you can make the case for healthy, fresh school meals within your own community.
- Parent Advocacy Toolkit – This Chef Ann Foundation toolkit is designed to to inspire, educate, and activate parents to advocate for better school food in their communities.
- Let’s Move Simple Steps for Schools – Principals, teachers and parents can help make schools healthier places to learn by providing quality nutrition, integrating physical activity during the day and teaching children about the importance of embracing a healthy, active lifestyle.
- Procuring Local Foods – USDA’s resources on this page will help ensure child nutrition program operators have the tools and knowledge necessary to incorporate local foods into their day to day operations. This hub of procurement-related resources is a must-read for all Farm to School practitioners.
- USDA Farm to School webinar series – Watch recorded webinars about USDA rules and tips for procuring local food correctly. Intended for foodservice directors and those that want to provide support and training to school foodservice.
- California Thursdays – Join the CA Thursdays movement! 58 districts across the state are serving all-CA grown meals on select Thursdays throughout the school year.
Visit the California School Garden Network for one of the most comprehensive school garden resources on the web.
- CFSN partner Life Lab provides both in-person workshops and on-going webinars for educators seeking to start or enhance garden-based learning at their school and/or district.
- Edible Schoolyard has lessons and resources for nutrition, science, and culinary applications, appropriate for all ages.
- For school garden evaluation resources, see this great discussion thread from the National School Garden Network and consider joining the Google Group.
- To understand the why behind school gardens, visit Life Lab‘s summary of documents supporting garden-based learning.
- Add your program to Edible Schoolyard’s network of edible education programs!
- California School Garden Network curriculum resources – A searchable curriculum database that tackles a variety of Farm to School topics.
- IATP – Farm to School Youth Leadership Curriculum – This tool from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) contains a fully-downloadable curriculum geared towards high school students.
- Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Curricular Resources – This resource guide contains links to educational resources and lessons. Resources are categorized by age group and focus.
- Eat Move Win – This online lesson program was created by the Dairy Council of California to help students develop healthier eating habits.
- Celebrating the Harvest – This resource was created by CAFF to compliment HOTM tastings in the K-5 classroom, with standards-aligned lesson plans and activities.
Wellness Policies that Support Farm to School
- For sourcing garden produce to school cafeterias and the policies behind it, visit Life Lab’s Policy and Protocols for School Gardens and Garden to Cafeteria page.
- School Breakfast Analysis by California Food Policy Advocates provides some background on the importance of school breakfast for reducing student hunger and increasing student meal participation.
- Smarter Lunchrooms Movement – is built on the idea that smarter lunchrooms encourage smarter choices. Their goal is to equip school lunchrooms with evidence-based tools that improve child eating behaviors and thus improve the health of children.
- Legal Resources for Farm to School – contains a variety of legal resources and legislative rules that pertain to Farm to School.
- School Wellness…by Design! – The California Department of Education produced this guide as a good starting point for interested parents, educators, and others who want to be involved in creating or improving school wellness policies.
- Model Wellness Policy Guide – This resource, by the Center for Ecoliteracy, expands on the CDE guide above by providing some more context for wellness policy requirements and even more examples of sample language that is ready-to-use.
- WellSAT:2.0 is an assessment tool to help school districts evaluate the quality of their wellness policies.
- Check out the USDA Team Nutrition Implementation Tools and Resources for more wellness policy resources.
Farm to School Policy
For local policies and wellness policies, look at the section above.
- Stay up to date with the policy changes, calls to action and policy data with the National Farm to School Network.
- Eating our Peas and Carrots: Strategies for Expanding K-12 Access to Fruits and Vegetables through Supply Chain Innovation and Investment (2013) – National Good Food Network’s recommendations for big-picture goals and policies for increasing fruit and vegetable procurement. Perfect for non-profits, policymakers, and other governmental folks seeking to make an impact in Farm to School.
- California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) – CFPA consistently produces excellent policy research, with much of their work touching on school meals and child nutrition in school environments. Two recent releases include Feeding Students, not Trash Cans, a fact sheet on maximizing student consumption of foods while minimizing waste, and a Policy Development Survey that includes some very powerful insight into the perceptions of barriers and opportunities for school food and other food policy avenues.
- Looking to support or create statewide policy to support farm to school? Check out The State Farm to School Legislative Survey which provides summaries of every enacted, defeated or pending farm to school-related bill from 2002-2014. It also includes case studies on successful farm to school advocacy efforts and additional resources to help advocates learn about farm to school policies.
- For a comprehensive list of Garden to Cafeteria policies, models, and resources, please visit Life Lab’s Garden to Cafeteria resource page. (See also: School Garden Management Bulletin from CA Dept of Education)
- Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization fact sheet from the National Farm to School Network and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
- Learn about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Farm to School
Preparing and Serving Farm to School Foods
Cookbooks and Recipes
- CAFF’s Harvest of the Month Produce Handling and Serving Guide for School Food Service Staff – This excellent guide features common Harvest of the Month items along with delicious, seasonal recipes contributed by experienced Farm to School chefs. Each recipe is scaled to 100 servings and provides USDA buying information.
- Vermont School Food Cookbook (2014)
- Let’s Cook Healthy School Meals Cookbook (2013)
- Healthy Recipes for Network for a Healthy California
- The Lunch Box maintains a database of recipes and menu cycles developed for and used in the Boulder Valley School District. The recipes are tested, USDA compliant and scalable.
- Cooking With Kids free tasting lessons
- Rate the Taste
- Vegetable Judging Form
- Comparative Tasting Form
- Food Preparation Methodology and Hints – Helpful tips and methods for tasting and cooking demonstrations.
- Cooking Activity Methods – Hayward Unified School District’s one pager of helpful tips for running a cooking demonstration activity.
- Classroom Cooking Box Supply List – A Santa Cruz school’s recommended list of must-have equipment for a complete set of cooking demo tools.
- Crockpot Cooking Tips – Suggestions from Life Lab on successfully utilizing the mighty, convenient crockpot in classroom cooking demos.
- Guide to Starting and Running a Salad Bar – Excellent guide by Riverside Unified School District that shares how RUSD started its first Farm to School salad bar in 2005.
- Serving Healthy School Meals – This report, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts, explores cooking equipment and infrastructure as a primary barrier and opportunity in serving healthy, fresh school meals.
- Smarter Lunchrooms and Lunch Line Redesign – What if increasing fruit and vegetable consumption was a matter of reorganizing the school lunch line? A new website and resource hub, including a landmark New York Times article breaks down the idea with helpful diagrams.
- CAFF’s Farm to School Guide for Food Service Staff – Shares tips for working with food service staff.
Farm to School Assessments and Evaluations
- Rethinking School Lunch Oakland – This feasibility study, created by the Center for Ecoliteracy, was the launching point for many more interventions that transformed how Oakland serves farm-fresh, healthy food in the cafeteria.
- NEW! National Farm to School Network – Evaluation Framework and Toolkit – This toolkit, based on an earlier version prepared by the Colorado Farm to School Taskforce and Spark Policy Institute, provides detailed instructions for conducting an evaluation of your school or district or region’s Farm to School efforts.
- Visit the Colorado Farm to School website to watch webinars related to this tool.
- The San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative has released three annual “State of Farm to School in San Diego County” reports. This comprehensive assessment leads the nation in assessing farm to school programs.
- Farm to Cafeteria Canada demonstrates visual data collection, by creating a map of Farm to School programs around the country.
State and National Surveys and Data
- USDA Farm to School Census – Look up your local school district to see how they reported, and track these numbers over time to assess improvements.
- Life Lab’s 2014 School Garden Survey – This comprehensive survey of school gardens in California also includes some specific data on Farm to School in the state.
Looking for more school garden grants? Check here: Funding School Gardens
USDA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) Program, Rolling Applications
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that their Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program can now help finance portable storage structures, portable equipment, and storage and handling trucks in addition to continuing its longstanding capacity to finance stationary crop and cold storage on-farm facilities. This expansion of the low-interest loan program will help FSA better serve fruit and vegetable farmers and others who need to get crops safely and efficiently to local farmers’ markets, schools, restaurants, food hubs, and retail stores.
Slow Food: Chipotle Resources for School Garden Programs, Rolling
Slow Food USA’s National School Garden program has partnered with Chipotle to bring more resources to school gardens. Resources include food donations, educational materials and fundraisers.
Project Learning Tree, Due September 30
Project Learning Tree offers grants up to $1,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world. Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment. The projects partner students with their whole school, local businesses and/or community organizations, and provide opportunities for student leadership. The funds can be used by students to implement recycling programs at their school, conserve water and energy, establish school gardens and outdoor classrooms, improve a forest, or restore a natural habitat, for example.
NEA Foundation, Rolling Applications, Applications due June 1 and October 15
The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation supports new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. Their goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures.
Chef Ann Foundation Grants, Varies
The mission of the Chef Ann Foundation is to provide tools that help schools serve children healthy and delicious scratch-cooked meals made with fresh, whole food. Through our grants, we are able to award equipment funding to schools that are committed to making real, positive changes to their food programs.
Community Grants Program by United Fresh Start Foundation, Due April 20
The United Fresh Start Foundation is now accepting applications for their Community Grants Program. The program extends the foundation’s work beyond the school day, with the goal to provide children in communities across the country with access to fresh fruit and vegetables afterschool, on weekends, during summer breaks and more. Visit the United Fresh Start Foundation’s website to find out more details and apply.
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens Program, Rolling Applications
If you represent a school that would like to apply for funding, a Tool Kit (including a school garden manual, lesson plans, activation ideas and resources), soil, raised bed, plants, guidance, and more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karma for Cara Foundation Microgrant, Rolling Applications
Kids 18 and under are encouraged to apply for funds between $250 and $1,000 to complete service projects in their communities.
The Kresge Foundation, Rolling Applications
Has a variety of funding opportunities, ranging from education, to environment, to health. Visit their site for more information!
Salad Bars to Schools, Rolling Applications
Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is a comprehensive grassroots public health effort to mobilize and engage stakeholders at the local, state and national level to support salad bars in schools. Our vision is to significantly increase salad bars in schools across the country until every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is an initiative of the Food Family Farming Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Produce Association Foundation, andWhole Foods Market to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The goal of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program is to fund and award 6000 salad bars over the next three years.
Project Localize – The Lexicon of Sustainability, Rolling Applications
The Lexicon of Sustainability is now looking for exemplary teachers and schools to participate in PROJECT LOCALIZE. Selected schools will receive a Lexicon of Sustainability curriculum, taxonomy, video tutorials for creating information artworks, a regional food mapping system blueprint, a public event planner and the chance to win the Lexicon of Sustainability Excellence in Education prize.
Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Rolling Applications
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s “Fruit Tree 101” program creates outdoor edible orchard classrooms at public schools of all levels, across the country, to provide generations of students with environmental education opportunities and a source of organic fruit for improved school lunch nutrition. Please contact The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation for more information and to apply for this funding.
Voices for Healthy Kids, Deadlines Vary
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Heart Association have partnered on a new initiative to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S.—Voices for Healthy Kids. As part of that initiative, the Voices Strategic Campaign Fund, Rapid Response Fund and Incubator Opportunity Fund are awarding grants to state and local organizations and coalitions to support advocacy campaigns aligned with Voices policy priorities, including reducing unhealthy food marketing in schools, improving the nutritional quality of restaurant children’s meals, providing healthy snacks in schools, and taxes on soda and other sugary drinks.
The Pollination Project Grants, Rolling Applications
The Pollination Project is a nonprofit organization that provides $1,000 seed grants to individual change makers. The Project has granted numerous awards to various small agriculture related operations who want to bring change into a community. The Project has received repeated media reports on how the organization is impacting small agricultural practices. New grants are awarded daily and there is no deadline for when to apply.
Home Depot Foundation – Community Impact Grants, Rolling Applications
Grants, up to $5,000, are available to IRS-registered 501c designated organizations and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services.
Bank of the West’s Charitable Investments Program, Rolling Applications
Bank of the West’s charitable investments are limited to public, nonprofit charitable organizations and agencies that are exempt from federal taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. High priority is placed on grants that benefit low- to moderate-income individuals and communities. Some examples of the work that they support:
- Financing services and technical assistance programs for small businesses and farms
- Asset creation and preservation programs for low- to moderate-income individuals
Walmart Foundation: Community Grant Program, Rolling begins Feb. 1, 2017 and closes Dec. 31, 2017
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have identified four core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Opportunity.
Grants for Teachers, Varies
Grantsforteachers.net is an online resource where you can search grants for K-12 teachers by category, location or grade.