Farm to School enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as 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 three core elements of Farm to School:
Pennsylvania ranks 22 out of 50 states in local food purchasing.
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 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.
Patrick AndrewsDivision ChiefPA Department of Agriculturepatriandrew@pa.gov
Kelsey PorterProject Manager, Community Food Systems Pennsylvania Core PartnerNational Farm to School Networkkporter@thefoodtrust.org
Audrey HessPublic Health Nutrition ConsultantDivision of Food and Nutrition, Pennsylvania Department of Educationauhess@pa.gov
State College Area School District Food Service Department
The State College Area School District Food Service Department loves to include locally grown and produced foods on its school menus. Director Megan Schaper shares these tips with others who want to feature more Pennsylvania foods on their school menus.Read More