Farm to School programs connect schools with local food producers. These programs provide an array of benefits to farmers, students, schools, and communities. Schools that buy local food increase market opportunities for farmers. Central Minnesota schools can put $427,000 into the local economy (2010, Tuck et. al.). According to the USDA Farm to School Census, 71 percent of schools in Minnesota buy local food, putting over nine million dollars into the local economy. The four page handout, Benefits of Farm to School, from the National Farm to School Network, provides additional information about the impacts of farm to school programs on student health, school food service, and communities that you can share with school administration.
Benefits of local food systems.
Findings, research and evaluation toolkits.
Benefits of school gardens.
Other Recommended Resources
Colorado Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit — Colorado Farm to School Taskforce — Guidance and data collection tools for communities to track and demonstrate farm to school progress.
Eating Better at School: Can New Policies Improve Children’s Food Choices? — USDA Economic Research Service
Report of the Humphrey School Farm-to-School Policy Fellows Work Group — Minnesota Department of Health
Farm to School: An Overview of Policy and Training Opportunities in Minnesota — Minnesota Department of Health
Delivering More: Scaling Up Farm to School Programs — Penn State Extension
Tuck, B., Haynes, M., King, R., and Pesch, R. (2010). The Economic Impact of Farm-to-School Lunch Programs: A Central Minnesota Example. University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality and University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics.