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ERIC Number: ED503734
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul-29
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Initiative for Future Agricultural Food Systems (IFAFS) From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals
Kish, Stacy
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
Improving the nutritional value of school meals is a growing priority among school systems across the United States. To assist in this effort, the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) funded a coalition, which developed a new program called "From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals." The project initiated the collaborative framework that helped establish the National Farm to School Network with organizations in more than 38 states to support the expansion of regionally and locally appropriate farm to school models. Farm to school programs connect schools with local farms to improve the nutrition of school meals, provide agriculture and health education, and support local farmers. The project has been a catalyst to start farm to school programs to address the diet-related child health issues while supporting small and medium-scale farmers. The program allows schools to buy and feature farm fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, meat, and beans on their school lunch menus. A nutrition-based curriculum was incorporated into the schools, educating students through farm visits, gardening and recycling programs. In addition to providing a new market to increase farmers' revenue, the program connected farmers to their community through participation in programs designed to educate kids about local food and sustainable agriculture. During the project period, the number of farm to school programs expanded from six pilot districts to more than 400 programs across the nation in 2004. Currently, more than 1,000 programs are operational in 38 states. Policy changes in the 2004 Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children Reauthorization Act have incorporated the provisions supportive of these programs. More than 16 states have passed legislation to support farm to school programs with pending bills. [Project funding was provided through the Initiative for Future Agricultural and Food Systems (IFAFS) program.]
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. US Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 2201, Washington, DC 20250-2201; Tel: 800-333-4636; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: California; New York