Partner: Schools

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 […]

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.

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  

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.

Food Service Staff Training  

Provide skill-building, such as cleaning, slicing, and chopping, to help food service staff prepare fresh local foods.

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.

Hire a Consultant

Engage a consultant who can support schools in creating kitchens that have the capacity to provide scratch-cooked meals that meet meal pattern standards. Base advice on staffing capacities, skill sets and equipment.

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.

Invite Students and Families to Participate

Gather information on student’s cultures through surveys, focus groups, etc., to determine what foods and meals are most desired. Gather family recipes, and then, partner with the food industry to pilot changes to ensure new foods or meals will be accepted. Examples  Resources 

Menu Audit 

dentify where local foods are already incorporated or where local foods could easily be incorporated into a current menu.

Mobile Farmers Market

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