Measure your success! Your efforts have the ability to reach beyond the school cafeteria. Periodically evaluating the impact your Farm to School activities play on students, school food service, parents, teachers, school administrators, farmers and community members can show the growth of your efforts and help identify areas to improve or expand as you reach your Farm to School goals.
Below are sample educational tools that include surveys which you may find helpful in evaluating your Farm to School activities. These resources are provided as examples and may need to be tailored to meet the needs of your specific efforts.
- Bearing Fruit: Farm to School Program Evaluation Resources and Recommendations
Published by: The Urban and Environmental Policy Institute Occidental CollegeThis is a comprehensive guide to farm to school evaluation and includes surveys to evaluate the overall impacts of farm to school for teachers, food service personnel, farmers, parents, policy makers, and community members.
- Community Youth Organization Idea and Resource Kit
Published by: California Department of Health ServicesA product of the California Children’s 5 a Day-Power Play! Campaign, this kit contains activities in English and Spanish for 5- to 11-year-olds that focus on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. Also includes surveys and worksheets to assess children’s food preferences and knowledge about fruits and vegetables.
- Grow Your Program: Evaluation Toolkit
Published by: Cornell University Includes materials that are helpful in implementing farm to school/school garden activities from start to finish. Toolkit also provides sample pre-tests and post tests for children and program leaders along with sample interview questions for volunteers and other program participants.
- Diet History Questionnaire
Published by: The National Institutes of Health. This food frequency questionnaire addresses the intake of 134 food items, portion sizes, and supplements. The survey questions are suitable for secondary aged students or adults and may be used to assess consumption of specific foods prior to and during farm to school activities.
- Healthy Eating, Active Communities Student Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey
Published by: The University of California, Berkeley-Center for Weight and Health As an evaluation tool for the California Healthy Eating, Active Communities, this survey is used to assess the impact of the initiative on health, behaviors, attitudes and knowledge of nutrition and physical activity.
- Healthy Eating Active Living Youth Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey
Published by: The University of California, Berkeley -Center for Weight and Health This student survey was created to determine the impact of California’s Healthy Eating, Active Living initiative (HEAL) on student attitudes, behaviors, and fitness. This may serve as a useful tool for assessing student awareness of, and exposure to, and changes made as a result of this or similar initiatives.
- Youth Farm Stand Toolkit
Published by: CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University. This tool kit is designed to guide a group from start to finish through learning about, planning and putting into action a local food project— a youth farm stand – and includes student survey to evaluate acceptance of school garden produce.
For additional tools/resources on farm to school evaluation, please visit the National Agricultural Library’s Farm to School and School Garden and visit our Resources webpage. A list of taste testing evaluation tools can be accessed through NAL’s Healthy Meals Resource System.