Improving school meals through advocating federal support for farm-to-school programs

Farm-to-school programs focus on increasing student knowledge and attitudes about healthy eating and local foods, influencing students to choose healthier options in the cafeteria and at home, and linking schools with local farmers to promote the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be incorporated into school meals and snacks. Such programs increase access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables and by roughly one serving per day. Through the national farm-to-school movement, 19 states have passed legislation or adopted policies that support local food procurement. The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC), a coalition of people and organizations working from the local to international levels to build community food security, consists of almost 300 organizations from social and economic justice, anti-hunger, environmental, community development, sustainable agriculture, community gardening and other fields. CFSC plans to advocate for an increase in funding of farm-to-school programs in pending federal child nutrition legislation through three primary activities. First, gaining support for farm-to-school within the USDA by meeting with top level administrators and staff on the benefits and providing guidance on revising regulations related to geographic preferences for school food procurement. If the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act includes funding for a farm-to-school grant program, CFSC will work with USDA on program implementation. Second, CFSC will educate members and constituents about policy changes needed to make school meals more healthful, through email updates and the CFSC annual conference and other meetings. Third, CFSC will build an informed and empowered constituency for farm-to-school programs through outreach activities that will maximize the participation of teachers, food service staff, kids and parents involved in farm-to-school projects. RWJF funding will not be used for lobbying.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $95,443.00

Awarded on: 9/8/2009

Time frame: 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010

Grant Number: 66860


Community Food Security Coalition Inc.

3830 S.E. Division Street
Portland, 97202-1641


Andrew Fisher
Project Director