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ERIC Number: ED540872
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
Farm to School Programs in Pennsylvania
Hinrichs, Clare; Schafft, Kai
Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Farm to school (FTS) programs have been getting more and more attention these days. FTS programs aim to increase the supply of fresh, locally grown farm products served for meals and snacks in K-12 school environments, and tend to incorporate educational and experiential components designed to increase students' understanding of and engagement with agriculture, nutrition, and health. The rising interest in and exploration of farm to school programs in the U.S., and Pennsylvania, is directly related to the convergence of recent trends facing agricultural producers and food consumers. This report summarizes research conducted in 2007, including a survey of food service directors at the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, and a follow-up set of mini case studies conducted in seven school districts in rural and urban regions of the state. Findings indicate that many food service directors engage in local food purchasing and support educational efforts focused on health and nutrition, agriculture and the food system. However, many were not aware that these activities are considered components of a farm to school program. Furthermore, there is evidence that food service directors are interested in expanding local food procurement and educational efforts. Case study data further show how school districts' FTS efforts reflect local needs, resources and constraints. This suggests that FTS may be better thought of, not as a relatively coherent and prescriptive set of activities, but as a broad and flexible portfolio of possible efforts from which school district and community stakeholders may draw to best meet local needs. This report concludes with specific policy considerations that may both directly and indirectly enhance institutional conditions favorable to local level FTS activity, both procurement based and educationally based. (Contains 11 tables and 2 footnotes.)
Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 200 North Third Street Suite 600, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Tel: 717-787-9555; Fax: 717-772-3587; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Maryland; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: National School Lunch Act 1946