Minnesota Schools Serve Farm-Fresh Local Food to Over a Half Million Students in 2011

Farm to School efforts made locally grown vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods available for 558,000 students in Minnesota last year.  99% of participating school districts plan to continue and possibly expand their Farm to School activities in the future.   


Healthy Meals and Healthy Kids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new rule that requires schools that participate in federally funded school lunch programs to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals, reduce levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fats in meals, and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The updated lunch regulations are challenging food entrepreneurs to prepare healthier, tasty, and affordable school meals.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Grades Students Poorly on Produce Consumption

A new Study from CDC estimates that in 2010 high school students consumed fruits and vegetables on average 1.2 times per day. The study also found that daily fruit consumption was higher among male than female students.


Oregon to reimburse additional 15 cents per lunch for regional foods

The Oregon State Legislature received the proof it needed to pass the Farm to School and School Garden Bill from Ecotrust's work piloting a local lunch subsidy program. The study, taking data collected during the 2008-2009 school year, shows that investment in local school food provides economic benefit to the state.  The Farm to School and School Garden Bill gives $200,000 to the Oregon Department of Education to administer a competitive grants pilot program in two school districts with the majority of funding reimbursing these school districts an additional 15 cents per school lunch to buy Oregon-grown foods.  Click on the following link to read Ecotrust's report, The Impact of Seven Cents.


FoodCorps - a new national service organization

FoodCorps, a partner to the AmeriCorps service program, aims to fight obesity and diet-related disease through promoting school gardens and farm-to-school programs. FoodCorps’ 50 members begin their year of service this month in food desserts in 10 states across America, including Native American reservations. Reservations often lack access to fresh, wholesome food and have lost connection to healthier traditional diets. 


Washington Farm to School Toolkit

The Washington Farm to Schools Program announced the publication of a new toolkit on June 20. The goal of the Washington Grown Food Kit is the help school food service directors learn more about the planning, procurement and logistics of local food purchasing and it also outlines strategies to farmers about how to develop and serve school markets and comply to school procurement policies. Click here for the toolkit.


National Good Food Network

The National Good Food Network (NGFN) includes a network of stakeholders from across the country that are working across the food system to meet the growing demand for healthy, green, fair, affordable food. The NGFN's database includes reports, webinars, case studies, business models, and research dealing with issues related to ‘scaling up’ local food. The website also provides contact information to connect people with regional partners working in the field.


USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS)

The FNS research webpage includes resources on the SNAP (food stamp) program, WIC, food insecurity, nutrition education, child nutrition and food distribution studies. The FNS regulations webpage includes legislation resources for school meals programs, SNAP, summer meal service, WIC, and the Child, Adult and Elderly Care Food Program.

The Food Assistance Program webpage provides resources to Food Distribution on Indian Reservations, Hunger and Food Insecurity, elderly nutrition programs, and head start.


USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS)

AMS provides many resources related to food access, including farmer markets and local foods, agriculture community supported agriculture, supply chains and marketing. The new AMS Food Desert webpage from the Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, regarding how food deserts are identified, grant opportunities, success stories, FAQs and a summary of the USDA’s initiative, and food desert census track data. Resources for grants are listed on the site and include opportunities in 19 programs within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Agriculture.


Let's Move Initiative

Let’s Move is an initiative of the Office of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, designed to solve the issue of childhood obesity within a generation and involves parents and families in order to get kids more active and eating healthier foods. The website includes resources for parents, community leaders, schools and health care professionals to begin to address the nations childhood obesity epidemic.



Ecotrust’s Food and Farms website offers resources for farm to school programs and links schools with local farmers through their food hub webpage, which provides a catalog of buyers and sellers and profiles of businesses throughout Oregon.  Ecotrust serves as the Western Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network.

Ecotrust’s Food and Farms website offers resources for farm to school programs and links schools with local farmers through their food hub webpage, which provides a catalog of buyers and sellers and profiles of businesses throughout Oregon.  Ecotrust serves as the Western Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network.


Pew Charitable Trust

The Pew Charitable Trust’s Food and Health initiative covers topics such as food safety, food additives, produce safety, and school food. Their Safe and Healthy Foods Campaign recommends policies to increase nutrition standards in schools, and ways to implement rigorous school food safety policies.


WHY Hunger

The WHY Hunger resource page includes reports on hunger, advocacy tools, federal nutrition policy tools, and farm to school program models. Their resource directory is a searchable database of food pantries, health care services, economic development resources and anti poverty organizations. Their Food Security Learning Center page includes information on a wide variety of food access topics such as farm to school, land use planning, local and regional food systems, and climate change.