Project Type: Local Products

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 

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.

Menu Audit 

Identify where local foods are already incorporated or where local foods could easily be incorporated into a current menu. Project includes opportunities to include student perspectives and opinions in audit plans/metrics.

Mobile Farmers Market

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

Needs Assessment

Complete an assessment of schools’ assets and needs to identify areas of opportunity and plan for improvements. 

Partner with a health nonprofit to develop recipes

Partner with a health nonprofit that has a dietician or nutritionist on staff who can support in the development of recipes for SFAs that incorporate local foods.

School Wellness Policy

School wellness policies, which can include local procurement goals as well as nutrition education, are written documents that guide a school district’s efforts to support an environment of healthy eating. Project includes opportunities to incorporate a committee of students into school policy initiatives (i.e.– student council).

Scratch Cooking Assessment and Learning Evaluation (SCALE)

Complete the SCALE self-assessment and receive custom recommendations and a step-by-step guide to improving school meals. Resources 

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.

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.