Ideas to consider

Here you’ll find examples of ideas that could be included as part of the school food system project you’re designing. These are not recommended as stand-alone projects for these awards. These ideas may enhance your community engagement or project quality as components of your innovative project.

Please see Inspiration for Projects for examples of innovative, community-driven project ideas that improve the local school food system.

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The ideas below can be filtered by type of project and by partners. You can select more than one category in each field. The more categories you select, the more narrow your results will be.

Around the World Menu

Work with a food industry partner to regularly feature meals from different places around the world.

Chef in the Classroom

Students receive “food classes” from local chefs, which include trying new foods as well as learning new recipes that use local foods, how to stock a pantry, and where your food comes from.

Committees and Networks

A committee or network provides a platform for local suppliers and school districts to procure local products; they also increase advocacy, education and information-sharing among partners, ultimately strengthening their local school food system. Potential partners include but are not limited: farm-to-school networks, extensions offices, universities, school wellness and value chain coordinators, food service directors, nonprofits and state departments.

Community Growing Areas and Tool Share Library

Provide a community growing space and tool share library, which can be utilized by new and small farmers as they expand into the school food marketplace.

Create Culturally Relevant Teaching Kitchens

Purchase kitchen equipment, such as rice makers, tortilla presses, induction cookers, combi ovens and woks, which will enable kitchens to make culturally relevant meals. Feature the meals they develop on the school menu.