Farm to school enriches communities’ connection with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites.
Students gain access to healthy, local foods and education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons, and farm field trips. Farm to school 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:
● Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted, and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
● School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening and
● Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health, or nutrition.
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 be a significant financial opportunity for farmers, fisheries, food processors, and food manufacturers by opening the 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.
According to the farm to school survey conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2019, Delaware schools spent $2,423,040 on local foods, and the top 3 most purchased items were apples, strawberries, and asparagus.
● 86% of Delaware school food authorities (SFA) are serving local foods in school meals
● 57% of Delaware SFA are providing food, nutrition and agricultural education
● 42% of Delaware SFA have edible gardens
● 33 SFAs
● 217 schools
● 131,153 students