Different Farm to School related programs and organizations are all over the United States doing great work AND creating great resources along the way! Here are some of the resources we found to be most valuable for Farm to School efforts in the cafeteria.
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement
“is dedicated to providing schools with the knowledge, motivation, and resources needed to build a lunchroom environment that makes healthy food choices the easy choice.”
- The Smarter Lunchrooms “Scorecard & Tools” developed by experts can help schools effectively improve the school nutrition environment.
- Smarter Lunchrooms also offers trainings, including a year-long training program “No Time To Train” for school food service professionals, aligned with USDA Learning Objectives.
The Lunch Box
“is dedicated to supporting school districts and food service teams who are transitioning their food programs from processed foods to scratch cooking and fresh ingredients” and offers many “tools for school food change.”
- The Lunch Box offers several Marketing and Education tools, such as promotional materials & guides for the lunchroom, taste test guides, and chef demo guides.
National Farm to School Network
“is as an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing, school gardens and food and agriculture education into schools.”
- Their Resources page offers a variety of tools for all Farm to School stakeholders.
- The Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit is a great resource for schools and food service professionals.
Michigan Farm to School
operating under Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems helps schools with “sharing ideas, tools, and resources to support a range of efforts to serve local foods in school and early childcare and education food programs.”
- The Garden to Cafeteria Step-by-Step Guide covers necessary considerations, tips, and examples for sourcing from a school garden into a cafeteria.
founded in 2000, Vermont FEED has worked with more than one-third of schools in Vermont to create robust and viable Farm to School programs.
- A Guide to Taste Testing Local Food in Schools walks through a taste testing program, case studies, and promotional material.
USDA Farm to School
housed in the Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS).
- OCFS helps child nutrition program operators incorporate local foods in the National School Lunch Program and its associated programs.
- The USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit can help all Farm to School stakeholders, including food service professionals, for building a robust FTS program.
Center for Ecoliteracy
“is dedicated to cultivating education for sustainable living.” The Center works at multiple levels, local to national, to lead system change initiatives, publish original books and resources, facilitate conferences and professional development, and provides strategic consulting.
- Rethinking School Lunch: A planning framework from the Center of Ecoliteracy, the main goal is to improve school food, teach nutrition, support sustainable
food systems, and create an education program focused on understanding the relationships between food, culture, health, and the environment.
- The Food and Sustainability page also features several features that can be beneficial for food service professionals.