Feature Series: Farm to School and Local Food Procurement


This content series highlights the goals, challenges and successes of procuring and serving local foods in school meal programs. 

Getting Started

zucchiniPart I: Food Safety Considerations when Procuring Local Foods for Your Cafeteria

Food remains an important topic with health implications tied to chronic diseases, policy, and ethics.  Over time, this focus has evolved into farm-to-fork, eating local, and supporting one’s agricultural community. READ MORE


meat clip artPart Two: Procurement Regulations Surrounding Local Meat, Poultry, Eggs, and Dairy Products for Your Cafeter

Currently, there is increasing interest from school districts to source local foods such as, meat, poultry, egg and dairy products. READ MORE

onionBuy Local for Your School: Getting Started 

Interested in buying local products for your cafeterias but unsure where to start? Try a few of these tips so get the ball rolling for a Farm to School program in your district. READ MORE

saladFrom Plant to Plate: Benefits of Farm to School Programs

There are many farm-to-school programs, at the national, state, and regional level. The overarching objectives of these programs are uniform… READ MORE

pepperExploring the Movement to Healthy School Meals through Farm to School (VIDEO)

In addition to describing the movement to include local and regional foods in school meal programs, cultivate school gardens, and provide students with agricultural and food related experiential learning … READ MORE

eggplantMake the “Best of Fresh” with Farm to School (VIDEO)

Almost anything can be purchased locally in different parts of the country. Local purchasing is not just about fresh fruits and vegetables, and it is not just about farmers… READ MORE

grapefruit clipartFarm to School Bottom Line

Farm to School is an important and exciting program that supports local economies and promotes student interest in foods that are grown near their school or on site… READ MORE

beetLocal Food in Schools: How to Overcome the Barriers

If you’ve worked in school food service for any length of time you’ve probably been approached about incorporating locally grown foods into your menus… READ MORE

watermellonHow to Support Farm-to-School Initiatives in Your Community

We’ve all probably heard that nutrition is very important for children’s health and ability to succeed in the classroom.  School lunchrooms nationwide have been improving… READ MORE

harvestMonthly Harvest Toolkits Provide Support for Farm to School

Research shows that the most effective way to get kids excited about eating more fruits and vegetables is to engage them in the growing, cooking, and tasting of delicious, fresh, produce…READ MORE

zucchiniFarm to School Resources- Colorado Department of Education

The Colorado Department of Education Office of School Nutrition (CDE OSN), has compiled some resources to assist districts in implementing a successful Farm to School program…READ MORE

Success Stories


Foodtastic 4-H Field Trips Packed into The Tiny Market

 What can you do when you can’t bring the kids to the farmers market for a field trip?  You bring the field trip to the kids! ….READ MORE


From Farm to School: Increasing Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Intake through School Food Co-ops

 In Houston, Texas researchers applied a new model to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables among low-income families: a school food cooperative called Brighter Bites….READ MORE

potatosIncreasing Local Produce in School Lunch

Sarasota County Florida has a thriving Farm to School program. In the 2014-2015 school year each month during the growing season, 30-67% of all produce served came from Florida…READ MORE

orangeBuilding Synergies between Farm to School and Smarter Lunchrooms

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS) Extension’s Family Nutrition Program has an innovative training program that links Farm to School and Smarter Lunchrooms elements. … READ MORE

apple coreHarvest of the Month

Florida’s Farm-to- School Harvest of the Month program provides educational materials that highlight a different Florida-grown food item each month…READ MORE

basket of veggiesSchool-Based Farmers’ Market Brings Fresh Produce to Kids

Growing up in an inner city, children of the Syracuse City School District don’t necessarily get the chance to visit farms, farms stands, and even large grocery stores… READ MORE

veggiesFood Hub Supplies School Kitchens with Local Produce

Despite increasing demand, finding and buying local food can still be a hassle. When feeding hundreds or thousands of school children, convenience is key… READ MORE

cornObtaining and Processing Local Foods: A Food Service Director Perspective

While evidence about the benefits of eating local food continues to build, farm-to-school endeavors present challenges when considering unique needs of school foodservice operations… READ MORE

sliced appleServing Up Sliced Apples: Wayne County, NY Schools, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Regional Food Bank Make It Happen

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County (CCE) began working with school district food service directors (FSDs) several years ago to pursue ways to increase… READ MORE