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Farm To School

Farm to School Census

The USDA Farm to School Program is conducting a second Farm to School Census by asking all school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program complete the questionnaire. USDA expects to share early results from this Census in October. In the meantime, check out the 2013 Farm to School Census results.

USDA Farm to School Video photograph

This five-part video series shows how districts across the country are bringing the farm to school.

Our new Farm to School Planning Toolkit helps school districts dig in with helpful questions to consider and resources to reference when starting a farm to school program.

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Last Published: 04/02/2015

Hot Topics

Second Biennial Farm to School Census

Back in 2013 we learned that more than 40,000 schools, serving 23.5 million students, were bringing the farm to school. A lot can change in two years and we’re excited to receive updated information through the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. School district submissions must be received by May 29, 2015. Questions about the Census? Please contact Matthew Benson at matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.

FY16 USDA Farm to School Grants

We are currently accepting applications for the next round of USDA farm to school grants. The application deadline is May 20, 2015. For more information visit the Farm to School Grant Program.

New Policy Guidance

States can use SAE funds to support farm to school programs

SP 28-2015

State agencies are key partners in helping bring local products into various child nutrition programs. As such, FNS recently made clear that state agencies can use their State Administrative Expense (SAE) funds, both as initially allocated and when reallocated, and State Administrative Funds (SAF) for state-level coordination of farm to school activities. This guidance applies to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and Food Distribution Programs that provide USDA Foods to applicable programs. Read more here (pdf).

NEW POLICY GUIDANCE: Local foods in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

CACFP 11-2015

Incorporating local food and agricultural education into the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) can play an important role in creating and promoting a healthy environment. In this new policy memo, FNS encourages program administrators and partners to use local food as a means to enhance CACFP operations. Read more here (pdf).

We’re Here to Help!

The USDA Farm to School Program is operated by the Department’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which has seven regional offices around the country; in each is a Farm to School Regional Lead who is available to provide farm to school related support to state agencies and other entities in their region. A list of regions, along with the names and contact information for regional and national USDA Farm to School Program staff, can be found here. To receive information and updates about USDA’s Farm to School Program, please sign up for our Farm to School E-letter.

Questions? Email us at farmtoschool@fns.usda.gov.