Project Type: Local Partnerships

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 […]

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 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.

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.

State-Level Food Procurement

State agencies procure local food from growers, with school districts purchasing from the state agency, reducing time and cost for SFAs.

Student Seedlings

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

Use Promotional Day Serves to Highlight Local Foods

Work with the food industry on promotional serves such as Women’s History Month, Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month could highlight a specific local food.