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Farm to Summer: Why Summer Meals Programs are Ripe for Local Foods and Agriculture-Based Activities

USDA’s authority to provide emergency assistance for its various disaster relief programs exists under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), Agriculture Secretary disaster designations, Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as well as other authorizing legislation. These authorities are identified in the various USDA program descriptions.

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Farm to Preschool: Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Settings

This fact sheet, Farm to Preschool: Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Settings, discusses how Farm to School isn’t just for K-12 institutions; an increasing number of early child care and education providers are engaging in farm to preschool activities. The term “farm to preschool” encompasses efforts to serve local or regionally produced foods in early child care and education settings; provide hands-on learning activities such as gardening, farm visits, and culinary activities; and integrate food-related education into the curriculum.

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Gardens in Tribal Communities

Tribal communities are growing gardens of all forms from medicinal gardens and small community gardens to larger food production gardens to school gardens. This fact sheet, Gardens in Tribal Communities, will primarily focus on tribal school gardens.

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Tribal Foods

This fact sheet, Bringing Tribal Foods and Traditions into Cafeterias, Classrooms, and Gardens, explores how schools and tribes are integrating traditional foods into child nutrition programs, buying traditional foods locally, and incorporating multicultural nutrition education into classroom curriculum and hands-on lessons in school gardens.

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School Gardens: Using Gardens to Grow Healthy Habits in Cafeterias, Classrooms, and Communities

This fact sheet, School Gardens: Using Gardens to Grow Healthy Habits in Cafeterias, Classrooms, and Communities, reviews school farms spanning acres in Minnesota, indoor tower gardens in Vermont, raised beds in New York City, aquaponic systems in the Virgin Islands, and native food gardens in tribal communities. Across the nation, schools are growing gardens to provide food for child nutrition programs, connect children to the source of their food and create hands-on interdisciplinary classrooms.

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Farm to Child Nutrition Programs Planning Guide

The Farm to Child Nutrition Planning Guide directs you through questions to consider when starting or growing a farm to school, farm to child care, or farm to summer program. This planning guide should be used as a supplemental tool to the Farm to School Planning Toolkit. This guide can be updated annually to ensure you are working towards your long-term goals. It follows the same steps as the Farm to School Planning Toolkit, but in a more concise and action-oriented manner.

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Cooperative Extension Professionals

Across the country, an increasing number of schools and districts have begun to source more foods locally and to provide complementary educational activities to students that emphasize food, farming, and nutrition. This fact sheet, How Cooperative Extension Professionals Can Support Farm to School Programs, will assist Extension professionals in getting involved with Farm to School. If you are a Cooperative Extension professional, there are more opportunities than ever to help connect local and regional farm products to school meal programs, support school gardens, and teach students about the importance of eating healthy and how food is produced.

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Integrating Local Foods into Child Nutrition Programs

This fact sheet, available in both English and Spanish, reviews the steps to successfully integrate local food in child nutrition programs.

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Research Shows Farm to School Works

Schools first started using local foods in school meals, planting edible school gardens, and teaching students about where their food comes from in the early 1990’s. Today, these activities, in addition to many others, are taking root all across the country. This fact sheet, Research Shows Farm to School Works, reviews the USDA 2015 Farm to School Census.

Resource | Fact Sheets
Office of Community Food Systems Resources

This fact sheet, Office of Community Food Systems Resources, provides an overview of all available resources from OCFS.