Farm to school programs connect farmers with schools to bring healthy, farm fresh foods to the growing minds who need it most and to revolutionize their learning environment with innovative curricula and educational opportunities. Farm to school is expanding across the country in a movement celebrated by teachers, farmers, parents, students, school food service directors and more. These programs, of all shapes and sizes, are producing tangible benefits for kids, farmers and communities.
October is National Farm to School Month and at Farm Aid we’re right there with them celebrating. But we still have a long way to go – only 42% of U.S. schools are participating in these programs. We need to keep moving in a positive direction so that every child in America, and every farmer looking to tap into school markets, can benefit.
At a time when family farmers are seeing their profit margins squeezed down to pennies on the dollar in the conventional marketplace that is dominated by just a few corporations, we take notice when we see the opportunities that farm to school programs represent for farmers. When farmers participate in these programs, they make an average of 5% more in income and are able to set fair prices and reach new customers.
That’s why we created Farm to School Rocks, a guide designed to inspire all of us engaged in the farm to school movement.
Everyone has a part to play. Whether you’re a farmer, student, parent, school food administrator, teacher or activist – there’s a way for you to get involved. Read the stories of our Farm to School Rockstars: Betti Wiggins – Detroit’s Rebel Lunch Lady, farmer Jason Grimm – Iowa’s Tireless Farm to School Architect, Jane Hirschi – Boston’s School Garden Crusader, and Alexandra Willcox – Collegiate Champion of Real Food.
You can also check out our new infographic showing the benefits of farm to school, which you can use to help make the case for new farm to school programs in your neck of the woods.
You’ll also find our handpicked resources to get you started on the farm to school journey, an opportunity to take action to boost federal support for farm to school programs, and learn more about the state of farm to school in your state!