Today marks the beginning of National Farm to School Month. For the next 31 days, schools and preschools across the country will celebrate the local food served in their cafeterias, the gardens in their schoolyards and the food and agriculture education happening in their classrooms. Some will engage with farm to school for the first time; others will enjoy the harvest from years of farm to school success.
At the National Farm to School Network, we consider Farm to School Month itself to be the product of a successful harvest. Our organization was founded in 2007 to connect and strengthen the many facets of the farm to school movement, and advocating for the creation of Farm to School Month was one of our first national campaign successes. The passage of House Resolution 1655 in 2010 demonstrated the growing importance of farm to school as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies and educate children about the origins of food.
But we didn’t stop there. We also successfully advocated for mandatory funding for farm to school grants through the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and for the creation of the first-ever USDA Farm to School Census. State policy is equally import to the success of farm to school, which is why we release an annual survey of farm to school policy across the country. According to our survey, in 2012 and 2013 alone, 20 states passed farm to school legislation and 17 others introduced legislation. But there’s more to be done, and we need the support of local food advocates, child health advocates and anyone else who believes in farm to school’s potential to transform lives and communities.
This Farm to School Month, will you help us spread the word about the importance of farm to school and the impact it is having in your community? Here’s how you can get involved:
- Visit our Farm to School Month page to find resources and information.
- #F2SMonth - Use this hashtag to share photos and stories about farm to school in your community.
- @FarmtoSchool - follow us on Twitter and Facebook and share our messages with your audience.
- Download our Farm to School Month Fact Sheet and share it with your community: parents, teachers, school nutrition professionals, producers at your local farmers’ market … anyone!
- Use our Communications Toolkit to spread the word about your farm to school events and successes.
- Order promotional materials to wear and share: posters, stickers, aprons and shirts.
- Become a member of the National Farm to School Network to stay informed about farm to school policy and events.
- Tell us your story: Use the Share Form on our website to ell us about farm to school in your community! Stories help us advocate for and raise awareness about farm to school.
- Donate to support our work. The National Farm to School Network is the leading nonprofit working to connect and strengthen the farm to school movement.
Here’s one more reason to get involved: Everyone who fills out a membership form and/or a “Share Form” on our website during October will be entered to win a drawing for $1,000 to spend on a farm to school or farm to preschool project in their community! Five additional drawing winners will also be eligible to apply for a free Project Learning Garden™ lesson kit from Captain Planet Foundation that is valued at $1,000; however, winners must have an existing elementary school garden to qualify. Check out the full contest details.
As a special offer during Farm to School Month, Organic Valley is offering a downloadable coupon for NFSN members only, which can be accessed on our members-only page. Become a member today, then sign in to our website to download your coupon!
The farm to school movement has already seen great success: Farm to school practices are in place at more than 40,000 schools in all 50 states and D.C. and in preschools across the country. This Farm to School Month, help sow the seeds for our next big harvest!