In continued celebration of October as National Farm to School Month, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) spotlights several of the 60 farm to school projects that received funding through the CDFA Farm to School Incubator Grant Program in 2021. Grantees are hard at work implementing their projects and transforming the school food system!
It was recently announced that an additional $60 million from the state budget has been allocated to sustain and expand the grant program through 2023. Visit CDFA’s California Farm to School Program page for grant updates.
San Luis Coastal Unified connects local food into nutrition and lessons
CA Farm to School Incubator Grantee San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD) does it all! From procuring local foods for school meals to teaching students about where their food comes from, SLCUSD has been a driving force in the farm to school community and we are so excited to see its work grow through CDFA’s Farm to School Incubator Grant! For its grant project, SLCUSD will procure foods from local farms and school gardens, integrate these foods into recipes for the school meal program and tasting opportunities for students, teach students about the local foods served in school meals through classroom lessons that connect to Common Core Standards, maintain school gardens and provide garden lessons, and coordinate Meet the Farmer events for students.
Farm to Institution Center supports Oceanside Unified and Fallbrook Union High School districts
The Farm to Institution Center is using grant funds to establish the Inspiring Local Food Connections (ILFC) program. A partnership between Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD) and Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD), the project supports and expands farm to school procurement and education to inspire the next generation of food system advocates. As part of the ILFC program, nutrition service staff members at OUSD and FUHSD received “fresh five” bags from Foodshed (a 100% farmer-owned operation!) before autumn equinox. These bags included a variety of local produce including kale, Japanese eggplant, corn, red pears, kohlrabi microgreens, green onions, cherry tomatoes and honeydew melon!
Ocean View Elementary School District implements an Edible Education Program
Ocean View Elementary School District (OVESD) is using its Farm to School Incubator Grant funds to implement an Edible Education Program that will bridge the gap between the local food items served in school meals and what students are learning in the classroom. In partnership with Edible Ojai and Ventura County, OVESD is developing and distributing monthly Edible Education units that include: lesson plans for teachers with suggestions for connecting the unit to the school meals in the cafeteria; farmer trading cards for each K-8 student featuring the farmer who provided the local food served at lunch; accompanying farmer posters for the cafeterias; Edible Education booklets with an in-depth profile of the farmer and their climate smart agricultural practices; and recipes highlighting the local food item that the district purchased from the farmer. Check out these Edible Education units the district has developed so far:
- August 2021 – Issue 1: Tomatoes & Video
- September 2021 – Issue 2: Gem Lettuce & Video