Benefits of Farm to School
What is Farm to School?
Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by enhancing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites. Farm to school, inclusive of farm to early care and education, empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. Farm to school implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following three core elements:
- Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or at meal times, as a snack or in classroom taste-tests.
- Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health and nutrition.
- School gardens: Students engage in hands-on, experiential learning through gardening.
Why Farm to School?
Farm to school provides all kids access to nutritious, high-quality, local food so
they are ready to learn and grow. Farm to school activities enhance classroom education through hands-on learning
related to food, health, agriculture and nutrition.
Farm to school can serve as a significant financial opportunity for farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors and food manufacturers by opening doors to an institutional market worth billions of dollars.
Farm to school benefits everyone from students, teachers and administrators to parents and farmers, providing opportunities to build family and community engagement. Buying from local producers and processors creates new jobs and strengthens the local economy.