Farm to School

Massachusetts is fortunate to have many exciting Farm to School efforts underway throughout the state. Farm to School work benefits farmers by opening new avenues through which they can sell their products locally, and benefits the community by increasing access to fresh, local food for school children.

Tipsheets

  • Massachusetts Farm to Cafeteria Resource Guide
    The Massachusetts Farm to Cafeteria Resource Guide was developed by CISA in 2008. It contains information on relationship-building, state and municipal procurement policies, the federal School Lunch Program, food safety, and local and regional farm to school resources.

Massachusetts organizations that are devoted specifically to Farm to School work:

  • The Farm Education Collaborative
    Resource for: Parents, Teachers, Community Groups, Farmers
    The Farm Education Collaborative designs and delivers authentic agricultural experiences that nurture connections between families and food in the Pioneer Valley. Email or call 413-559-5670.
  • Farm to Preschool
    Resource for: Preschool Food Purchasers
    This innovative program connects farmers with preschools in the Springfield area.
  • Fertile Ground
    Resource for: Parents, Teachers, Community Groups
    Based in Williamsburg, Fertile Ground empowers children, youth and families to make smart food choices, and to work together across race, class and difference, improving their communities through school gardens, food celebrations, and caring for the land. For workshops on how to start and grow a farm to school program, curriculum integration, developing innovative community partnerships, program monitoring and evaluation, contact: Catherine Sands, 413-268-7334.
  • Massachusetts Farm to School Project
    Resource for: Farmers, School Food Purchasers
    Based in Amherst and works statewide. The Massachusetts Farm to School Project has been matching up schools and farmers since 2004, helping to create sustainable local foods purchasing relationships. With strong support from the Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources, this grassroots Project has encouraged the growth of preferential local foods purchasing in more than 160 public school districts, as well as at least 40 colleges and private schools. Contact: Kelly Erwin, 413-253-3844.
  • School Sprouts
    Resource for: Parents, Teachers, Community Groups
    School Sprouts Educational Gardens professionally collaborates with educators and community partners to design and implement standards-driven, hands-on, garden education programs, which cultivate enhanced student academic performance through a multidisciplinary approach that inspires lifelong learning. Contact: Hope Guardenier at 413-657-0000.
  • Seeds of Solidarity Education Center
    Resource for: Parents, Teachers, Community Groups
    Based in Orange, Seeds of Solidarity provides people of all ages with the inspiration and practical tools to use renewable energy and grow food in their communities. Contact them about their ‘Grow Food Everywhere (TM)’ trainings for your school district or community. Contact: Deb Habib, 978-544-9023.

On a national basis, the National Farm to School Network provides great general resources, including information about funding opportunities and original publications.