FARM TO SCHOOL
THE LUNCH BOX
FROM IOWA: HOW TO START A FARM TO SCHOOL CHAPTER
FARM TO SCHOOL
Farm to School connects schools (K‐12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers.
THE LUNCH BOX
The Lunch Box is a web‐based portal that enables all schools and school districts to make a healthy difference for all children in America by providing relevant information and the pragmatic tools necessary to make good food available for all kids.
FROM IOWA: HOW TO START A FARM TO SCHOOL CHAPTER
We believe that the success of this program depends on strong local networks of individuals and organizations familiar with their community’s resources and needs. Consequently, we are inviting you to consider initiating a Farm to School Chapter in your community. A chapter can encompass an entire school district or simply be built around one school and a single project.
This packet will assist you in establishing a Farm to School Chapter in your area. Please review the resource materials in this packet. The “Steps for Starting a Chapter” page provides you with step‐by‐step instructions for initiating your chapter. If you are currently involved in another group working on local food systems initiative, your group may consider also becoming a Farm to School Chapter. It is not necessary to recreate the wheel.
FARM TO SCHOOL TIPS, TOOLS & GUIDELINES FOR FOOD DISTRIBUTION & FOOD SAFETY
Since Farm to School is not a “one size fits all” program, this manual was developed from surveys, research and experience to include tools for successful Farm to School Distribution and simple food safety protocol to follow for farms, schools and school gardens. Two new downloadable calculators have been developed. Distribution Cost Calculator will help producers understand the true costs of produce delivery and assist in determining a “farm gate” value for their crops and Produce Calculator which will help farmers and schools determine the amount of produce needed for the schools based on number of servings and will also calculate the per serving cost. For a hard copy of the manual, please contact Chris Kirby.
SELLING STRATEGIES FOR LOCAL FOOD PRODUCERS
For many farmers, marketing and selling their products are the most challenging parts of the farm enterprise, especially when selling directly to consumers. However, direct markets for fresh and unique food products are among the most rapidly growing farm opportunities. People around the country are looking to buy tasty, healthy food directly from farmers — farmers with whom they can talk, ask questions and build relationships. However, these new market opportunities, particularly in farmers' markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), roadside stands, restaurants and cooperatives, require expertise in selling as well as marketing, production and financial management.
FOOD RESOURCE AND ACTION CENTER
Food Resource and Action Center (FRAC) has a number of publications designed to help groups start and develop their afterschool and summer programs. All of the documents below are in pdf format.
- Implementing the Afterschool Meal Program PDF, April 2009.
- Moving from Afterschool Snack to a Meal: It is easier than you think! PDF, April 2009.
- Implementing Simplified Summer Foods PDF, January 2008. What states can do to make Summer Food easier to administer.
- Fresh from the Farm: Using Local Foods in the Afterschool and Summer Programs PDF, January 2008. FRAC's guide on how to successfully incorporate local produce into your afterschool or summer program.
- Strategies in Tough Economic Times: Increasing Access to Summer Meals PDF, May 2009.
- A How-To Guide for Summer Food Sponsors on Purchasing High-Quality Summer Meals PDF, July 2007. A step-by-step guide for summer food sponsors on how to work with vendors.
- Hunger Doesn't Take A Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report PDF, July 2008. FRAC's annual look at participation and trends in the Summer Food Program.
- FRAC Afterschool Guide: Nourish Their Bodies, Feed Their Minds PDF, 2004. This handbook explains the basics of nutrition programs, how to access these crucial funding sources, and provides valuable information on the available nutrition education resources.
- Rural Transportation Grants Successfully Increase Summer Food Participation: An Analysis of the 2005-2006 Progress Report PDF
The Healthy School Meals Resource System Website
The Healthy School Meals Resource System’s website serves as a farm to school resource, including information on educational activities such as school garden materials.
All About farmer's markets: A Teaching Guide for Classrooms, Camps, and Community Programs
Peggy Sissel‐Phelan, Ed.D.
A useful resource to help children make the connection between the land, the food we eat, and our health and well‐being. The guide is 116 pages of original games, songs, and activities for PreK‐2nd grade classrooms, and includes ideas for field trips and parent involvement.
Fresh from the Farm
TIME for Kids Magazine Teachers Guide on Farm to School
CATCH was the largest school based health promotion program ever done in the US ‐ as a coordinated nutrition education ‐ employing Go, SLOW , WHOA diet concepts to help children choose healthier foods and now utilized as part of CATCH along with the CATCH ‐ EAT SMART Guide for school nutri;on service providers and also CATCH Physical Education K‐8. CATCH builds alliance with school staff, parents, community and administrators to focus on health, nutrition and physical activity. Certified CATCH Trainers also help schools and districts to build their coordinated school health efforts. And, most importantly, CATCH makes nutrition learning and physical activity FUN!
Fundamentals of Organic Farming and Gardening An Instructor's Guide
Revised for 2009 Alexander McGregor, Lynn Pugh, and Jerry Larson
Georgia Organics' curriculum on organic and sustainable growing is now free online. Intended for use by university extension agents, master gardeners, and high school educators, the program is the first of its kind in the state. It can be viewed online for free or it costs $10 as CD‐Rom.
KidsGardening.Org ‐ Helping Young Minds Grow
Farm to School: Minnesota Toolkit for Food Service, University of Minnesota
The Willmar School District in western Minnesota has gradually incorporated locally purchased food into its cafeteria menu over the last four years. In response to requests to share their information, Annette Hendrick-Derouin (Willmar's Director of Food and Nutrition Services) and Lynn Mader (U of M Extension, Family Development) have been working with the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and an advisory team to develop an online toolkit for Minnesota school nutrition programs. The toolkit contains information and materials to assist in planning a farm to school program; sourcing, preparing, and serving local foods; and promoting the food to students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Ready‐to‐use items include cafeteria menus and recipes complete with nutritional information, sample newsletter and announcement pieces, posters, and tested methods for geung students to sample the food. While most of this website toolkit is intended specifically for food service, the website also provides links to resources to learn more about farm to school programs, including classroom and community connections. For more information, contact Lynn Mader, 612‐708‐8635.
Know your Farmer, Know your Food
Food Safety Plan (templates)
National GAPS Program, Cornell University
Biographical Information for Presenters
Jeff Adair is the passion and vision behind New Grass Bison Co. Jeff’s military upbringing instilled within him a work ethic and discipline to see and reach his goals, and his exploration of life has given him a love and respect for the earth, interwoven into his business principles. Jeff founded New Grass Bison Co. in 2001 to create an sustainable food production and distribution system that offers natural, healthy food to consumers. Email.
Kathy Baldwin-Heitman has served as Director of Admissions and Development for Kansas City Academy for the past 12 years. She also serves as the faculty sponsor for the school's Social Justice and Sustainability team. This team helped to develop the school's vegetable gardens (2007), the healthy lunch program partnering with BistroKids (2008), and this year's addition of a CSA supporting 13 families. Kathy also recently co-facilitated a 6-week class at Crossroads Church entitled "Food for Life: the Spirituality of Eating." Kathy lives in the Waldo neighborhood in Kansas City, MO, is married, has two teenage sons, two dogs and cat. Email
Cathy Crowther is part of The Bread of Life Bakery. It provides breads, cookies, and cinnamon rolls for our lunch program. Their molasses cookies are a favorite item on Friday’s salad bar. The bakery is made up of two families who work together to provide a wide variety of breads and snacks baked exclusively with locally grown 100% organic fresh ground wheat. Email
Kirk Cusick is the director of the Whispering Cottonwood Farm Educational Center. It is a center dedicated to connecting children, young adults, and adults to nature. WCFEC is currently contracting with 13 schools to develop and maintain school gardens on their sites. The gardens are used for educational purposes in both the school year and during the summer. Produce from the gardens is used in the school cafeterias. Email
Karen Elliott is a nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension. She works with community health programs and coalitions and is co-director of the Eating from the Garden program. Email
Lynn Fallon is Midwest Regional Farm to School Network Coordinator and works with state leads in Misouri, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma. She has also done grassroots organizing for the national Farm to School legislation. She works with the Iowa Food Cooperative as their Membership Campaign Coordinator, as a research assistant with a small team working on Farmstead Transition, and with new and beginning farmers, especially the socially disadvantaged and immigrant populations, as Fruit, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Business Facilitator. And, every Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., she co-hosts (with her husband Ed Fallon) a talk radio show on 98.3FM. Email
Kiersten Firquain or "Chef K" as she is known, began her culinary career caring for kids in early education. After seeing their love for cooking, she developed a business model and started Bistro Kids Cooking Classes and Birthday Parties. She annually attends culinary school training at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in the Napa Valley region of St. Helena, California. In 2004 she began what is now known as InHome Bistro Personal Chef Service and Dinner Party Service. In August of 2007, Bistro Kids launched the first Farm 2 School Lunch Program in Kansas and Missouri. Its mission is to provide hands on cooking classes, instill nutrition education, and create kid friendly meals that are healthy, seasonal, delicious, and whenever possible, locally grown. Bistro Kids currently feeds healthy Farm 2 School lunches to almost 1000 kids in two private schools and one head start program in Kansas City and two independent schools in St. Louis. Bistro Kids has also received grants to implement its program in two schools, positively effecting the lives of an additional 1100 students in vulnerable Kansas City and inner city communities. Chef K has an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and a Masters Degree in Business from California State University in Sacramento. She resides in Olathe, Kansas. She is married and has one son. Check out the latest happenings on our blog. Email
Laina Fullum is the Director of Nutrition Services for Columbia Public Schools. Over the past year she has worked with vendors to increase the amount of locally grown fruits and vegetables in school meals and snacks. A successful pilot program in two elementary schools, funded by the MO Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, featured Missouri-grown fruits as a part of students snacks in the 2009-2010 school year. Laina is an advisory team member on the University of Missouri Extension Farm to Institution Project and has testified before the Missouri legislature concerning proposed Farm to Institution legislation. Email
Jerri Kemble is Superintendent at Centre USD#397 School District. Email
Hannah Lewis is the Midwest Regional Director for National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). She has an MS from Iowa State University, where she co-majored in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology. Through NCAT, Lewis serves on the Midwest Regional Lead Agency team for the National Farm to School Network, which is responsible for connecting schools, farmers and other stakeholders with relevant resources, information and networks. Her other work focuses on local food systems development, and collaborative research and programming to link immigrants with farming backgrounds to agricultural entrepreneurship opportunities, including access to education, markets and land. In addition, Lewis serves on the board of the Women Food and Agriculture Network. Email
Jodi Mackey is director of the Child Nutrition and Wellness section of the Kansas State Department of Education. Twenty-six years of Jodi’s career has been devoted to child nutrition, nutrition education and school health. She has been director of Child Nutrition and Wellness for over eleven years and prior to that served as the section’s assistant director, nutrition education and training coordinator, and as a child nutrition consultant. In mid-career, Jodi temporarily changed directions and spent eight years in the technology field as a computer systems developer, systems analyst and project manager. She is a graduate of Washburn University in home economics education and has completed post-graduate work in computer science and technology. Jodi lives in Topeka, Kansas with Dave, her husband of 41 years. They have one married daughter who also lives in Topeka. Email
Rachael McGinnis Millsap is an Extension Associate for University of Missouri Extension. She uses her BS degree in Plant Science to coordinate and implement the Eating from the Garden program program. She is the liaison between the trained nutrition gardening volunteers and the classrooms. She leads and organizes the nutrition garden volunteers in preparing the garden, buying supplies, teaching the curriculum, harvesting, and all other aspects of the Eating from the Garden program. She also assists with evaluation of the program, recruitment of participating schools, and recruitment of volunteers. Email.
Bill McKelvey has worked with University of Missouri Extension in a variety of settings since 2002. Prior to coordinating the MO Farm to Institution Project, he worked with the Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture program and Eating from the Garden, a nutrition and gardening education program for youth in Jackson County, MO. He also works with the MU Extension Healthy Lifestyle Initiative and serves as the president of the Community Garden Coalition in Columbia, MO. Email
Nancy O'Connor, MSEd is the Director of Education and Outreach for Community Mercantile Natural Food Coop in Lawrence, Kansas. She is also the Executive Director of Community Mercantile Education Foundation (CMEF) a non profit sister organization dedicated to teaching about local and sustainable food systems. CMEF is currently directing the West Junior High Garden Project in Lawrence. The project includes youth job training, peer education, a student run Farmers Market, and farm to cafeteria production from the 4,000 square foot on-site garden.Nancy is the author of Rolling Prairie Cookbook, a celebration of fresh, local produce. Email
Mercedes Taylor-Puckett is the Farmers Market and Local Food Coordinator for the Kansas Rural Center. Her current projects include developing manager and board training and the annual Kansas Farmers Market Conferences, as well as launching the local food branding label, Our Local Food, for the Kaw River Valley in NE Kansas. In addition to serving as the Kansas co-lead for the National Farm to School Network, Mercedes is also the administrator of ksfarmersmarkets.org. Prior to joining KRC, she was the coordinator of the Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market and served as the local food forager for the 2008 National SARE Conference in Kansas City. Mercedes enjoys working on issues of local, sustainable agriculture and expanding SNAP access at farmers markets. Email
Karen Wooton, RD,LD, is the Coordinator of School Food Services for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has also worked as Public Health Nutritionist for the Oklahoma State Department of Health from 1981-1990. Email