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THE. PROGRAM. Farm to School. West Virginia School Nutrition Association Conference March 2013. Overview. What is Farm to School? Challenges and Solutions Benefits Why is USDA involved? How is USDA involved? Resources Farm to School Myths, Busted! Questions .

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Farm to School


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    1. THE PROGRAM FarmtoSchool West Virginia School Nutrition Association Conference March 2013

    2. Overview • What is Farm to School? • Challenges and Solutions • Benefits • Why is USDA involved? • How is USDA involved? • Resources • Farm to School Myths, Busted! • Questions

    3. What is Farm to School? Local Food Food Education

    4. Procuring Local Foods for Schools Procuring Local Foods for Schools The term ‘farm to school’ encompasses efforts that connect schools with local or regional food producers (including farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and distributors of all sizes) in order to serve their products to children at schools.

    5. Beans, Grains, and Flour Meat, Poultry and Fish Local What? Dairy and Eggs Fruits and Vegetables

    6. Local How? • Through distributors • From food processors • Through food service management companies • From individual producers • From producer co-ops • From school gardens

    7. Education Farm to school programs can also include food, agriculture and nutrition-based educational efforts that span a host of activities such as gardening, farm visits, and cooking classes.

    8. Challenges Challenges, and Solutions! Volume Distribution Price Time Facilities Staff skills Food safety Acceptance of new foods .

    9. Why Farm to School? Farm to school programs are believed to: • Improve knowledge and attitudes toward food, agriculture, nutrition, and environment. • Increase fruit and vegetable consumption. • Increase market opportunities for producers. • Support economic development.

    10. Legislation Section 243 of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act “The Secretary shall carry out a program to improve access to local foods in eligible schools.”

    11. Why is USDA involved?

    12. Local Foods and the New Meal Pattern What’s new for school food: • More fruits • More vegetables • Whole grains • Only low- and non-fat milk • Calorie ranges • Saturated fat limits • Sodium limits • Foods-based menus

    13. Geographic Preference The Geographic Preference Option Institutions receiving funds through the USDA Child Nutrition Programs are allowed to apply an optional geographic preference in the procurement of unprocessed locally grown or locally raised agricultural products.

    14. FNS Staffing and Offices NERO MWRO WRO MPRO MARO SERO SWRO

    15. Farm to School Grants In FY 2013, USDA will award up to $5 million in grants to support farm to school efforts.  • Planning grants are for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations. • Implementation grants are for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. • Support Service Grants are for schools and entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives. Proposals are due April 24, 2013

    16. Farm to School Census • Survey of all Public School Food Authorities • Baseline of SFAs purchasing locally produced food/and or conducting other F2S activities • Survey will be open until May 3, 2013 • Data will be available by State

    17. Other Involved USDA Agencies • Agricultural Marketing Service • Economic Research Service • Forest Service • Farm Service Agency • National Agricultural Library • National Agriculture Statistics Service • National Institute of Food and Agriculture • Rural Development

    18. Farm to School Myths, Busted • It’s mainly for farmers. • It’s mainly about fresh produce. • There is a set definition for local. • It’s dependent on direct deliveries from farmers. • Local is always fresher. • USDA doesn’t support gardens and curriculum integration; it is just interested in the cafeteria. • It’s just about organic or sustainable products. • It only involves the National School Lunch Program. • USDA requires local farmers to be GAP/GHP certified before they sell to schools.

    19. Resources Farm to School Resources www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s: Farm to School resources Farm to School listserv Farm to School grants Farm to School related policy guidance http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s/pdf/2010_summary-report.pdf USDA Farm To School Team 2010 Summary Report

    20. Thank you! Questions? Monique Hatten Branch Chief Email: monique.hatten@fns.usda.gov Justin Darko Farm to School Coordinator collins.darko@fns.usda.gov