Partner: Food System Partners

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.

CSA in the Classroom 

Urban farms increase sustainability by providing CSA boxes to schools. Schools use CSA boxes for nutrition education and purchase food for school meals from the farmers. Example  Resource  

Equipment for Growers

Support increased production capacity through irrigation systems, barns, processing equipment, cold storage, wash packs, wax boxes, shelving for the coolers, dry storage, trucks, washing stations, rock pack houses, as well as hydroponics, cold frames, hoop houses and greenhouses for year-round growing.  Example   Resource 

Farmer Co-op

Farmers create a co-op and hire a coordinator to handle aggregation and support farmer/buyer relationships with schools.

Farmer in the School

Farmers visit classrooms to provide agricultural education for students

Focus Group with Farmers and Food Service Directors

Create opportunities for local farmers and food service directors to share success and barriers with one another and plan for school food system and marketplace improvements.

Great Apple Crunch

Participate in your local Apple Crunch Day, where students bite into local apples at the same time. One community organization implemented the Great Apple Crunch, partnering with schools and a local grower who donated apples. Resources 

Hands-on Farm Field Trips

On a farm field trip, students participate in the harvest of crops, such as potatoes, which are then brought back to the school and incorporated into a school meal.

Hire a Collaborative Coordinator to Create Relationships for Long-Term Sustainability

A regional coordinator helps organize and pursue support for infrastructure and logistics, with the goal to build long-term relationships among farmers, school districts, health departments and other partners.

Host a Local Tribal Farm to School Conference

Support American Indian/Alaskan Native farmers, food service directors, teachers, and youth in planning and implementing a Tribal Farm to School Conference, where partners can share their best practices for getting local, culturally relevant foods into schools.


Tell the stories of people working throughout the value chain to build awareness and drive demand for local, values-aligned products.

Mobile Farmers Market

Mobile farmers markets visit schools and provide nutrition or agricultural education and/or include their products in school meals. Example

Producers Advocate for Local Foods

Local growers and producers meet with relevant school personnel to help create school/district buy-in and support for Food Service Directors who are interested in using local foods.

State Value Chain Coordinators

Value chain coordinators can support farmers in connecting with buyers, including schools.

Student Seedlings

Students start seedlings in the classroom, which are then sent to local farms. Once harvested, the produce returns to the school.

Taste Tests

Provide samples of local foods for students to try. If students like the item, work with the food industry to incorporate it into future meals.