Farm to School

Country of implementation

District of Columbia and United States Territories

Type of the practice

Educational programme

Initiator of the practice


Type of education


Age of participants


How many participants max can participate


Education form


Short description

Farm to School is an educational program that aims to connect schools with local farmers and food producers in order to provide fresh, healthy food to students while also supporting local agriculture. The program typically involves a variety of activities, such as educational workshops, cooking classes, and farm visits, that help students learn about where their food comes from and how it is produced. The program also encourages schools to source their food locally, which helps support local farmers and food producers while also reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food long distances.  The National Farm to School Network is a significant resource that influences farm to school and farm to early care and education. More than 15,000 practitioners, supporters have joined the project. Members support the mission of the National Farm to School Network by advocating for supportive policies, volunteering in their communities and supporting the organization financially as they are able. Members receive a free email newsletter and early access to special events such as the National Farm to Cafeteria conference. Membership is free of charge. There is an interactive tool on the project’s website that allows you to create your own meal game. The aim of this initiative is to build children’s awareness of nutrition and increase knowledge about the nutritional value of food.  It also allows us to learn about food sourcing and production, which can help us to make more informed food choices.


Improved Access to Healthy Food: By connecting schools with local farmers and food producers, the Farm to School program helps improve access to healthy, fresh food for students. This can lead to improved student health outcomes, including reduced rates of obesity and chronic diseases.
  • Support for Local Agriculture: The program supports local agriculture by creating new markets for local farmers and food producers, which can help strengthen local economies and reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting food long distances.
  • Experiential Learning: The program provides students with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that help them learn about where their food comes from, the importance of healthy eating, and the impact of food choices on the environment and local communities.
  • Replicability: The Farm to School program is highly replicable, and can be adapted to different educational settings and geographic regions.

Challenges in implementation

Funding: One of the main challenges of implementing the Farm to School program is securing adequate funding to support the necessary infrastructure, staff, and resources.
  • Logistics: Another challenge of the program is the logistics of sourcing and distributing local food to schools. This can be complicated by issues such as seasonality, supply chain disruptions, and transportation.
  • Limited Infrastructure: In some areas, there may be limited infrastructure for local food production, processing, and distribution, which can make it challenging to source local food for schools.
  • Compliance with regulations: Schools must comply with a variety of regulations related to food safety, nutrition, and procurement, which can add complexity to the implementation of the program.