Farm to School

Start a Farm to School program if your goal is to:

• Learn how to buy local foods

• Support your local farmers

• Serve the freshest, highest quality foods

• Increase program participation

• Increase staff’s pride in their work

Farm to School? That’s a dumb idea, said NO ONE ever!

When I directed Wenatchee School District’s Food Service Program, we had developed a mature and vigorous FARM TO SCHOOL program for which we received a lot of positive recognition. This program was eight years in the making and we had a lot of success and a lot of help to get there! During the course of the 14/15 and 15/16 school years, we purchased over $210,000 worth of farm fresh food direct from about twelve local farms. This was great, and FARM TO SCHOOL is great, but this isn’t my main point.

Maybe you’ve been interested in your district getting involved with farm to school but you just don’t know how.

May I suggest looking at your priorities from a different angle. Instead of focusing first on FARM TO SCHOOL, focus first on serving less processed foods and more whole foods. It’s not that hard and anyone can do it!

Starting with salad bars or fresh fruit and veggie bars is a great place to begin! Do ALL of your schools offer raw fresh whole foods on self-service food bars during the meal periods? This is a great place to start!


Make serving more FRESH, WHOLE FOODS your FIRST priority regardless of where the food comes from. Once you master serving more whole foods, FARM TO SCHOOL will be a much easier and more logical evolution of your overall program improvement plans. Begin by training your teams on how to more efficiently purchase and prepare whole foods and how to cook more from scratch. To say that your students will benefit greatly from your whole foods emphasis is a massive understatement! Your families and community will be thrilled that you are feeding their children delicious, nutritious WHOLE FOODS!

Need inspiration? Take a look at this video (see below) produced while in the thick of directing Wenatchee’s food service program. Sustainable food service program improvements are within your grasp!

The Four Pillars of Success in School Food Service

Focus on Food and Success Will Follow

Whole Foods

Scratch Cooking

Farm to School


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