Farm to School
At its core, Farm to Table means serving locally grown food at homes, restaurants, schools, colleges, hospitals, daycares, nursing homes or anywhere people eat! Farm to Table boosts the local economy and the farmers, encouraging people to eat fresh and nutritious foods.
The Missouri Grown staff connects Missouri farmers and ranchers to consumers, chefs and food service personnel. Whether you are a farmer, rancher or a consumer we are here to help with your Farm to Table needs!
Farm to School
Farm to school (F2S) was initiated through legislation in 2015 and has been implemented throughout the state. The goal of F2S is to connect Missouri farmers and ranchers to schools and serve students and children locally grown products for meals and snacks. Large or small, each F2S activity has value and supports the health and well-being of students and teachers, as well as the livelihood of Missouri family farmers.
Do not feel overwhelmed, Farm to School can begin with something as simple as cherry tomatoes. Start considering what Farm to School looks like for your school. Would it be purchasing Missouri grown products? Starting a school garden? Or both? Wherever you want to grow, we are here to help!Check out the summary of the 2022 Missouri Farm to School/ECE Strategic Planning Process.
- Check with your current food distributor(s) to see what products they already carry from Missouri farms.
- Does your budget contain a line item for Missouri grown (local) food purchases?
- If not, find out who has the authority to adjust the budget and work with them to get administrative approval.
- Look at your school’s policies/requirements about accepting a new local vendor.
- Is Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) certification required?
- Does the vendor need liability insurance? If so, how much?
- Review procurement methods of micro purchases, small purchases (informal) and competitive bids (formal).
- Determine the cold storage and freezer capacity to help extend the life of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Fill out the school portion of the Request for Information (RFI) document.
- Send the Letter to Local Vendor, RFI and the Farm Checklist to local farmers/vendors for them to review, fill out and send back by a certain date.
- Review the information and determine the farmers and vendors that could meet the needs of your school.
- Contact the farmers and vendors to do a site visit of the farm and review the information for accuracy.
- Agree to any terms and conditions and complete the Purchase Agreement.
Information for Schools
- Missouri Value-Added “Farm to School” Grant Program
- Missouri F2S Guide for School Food Nutrition Professionals
- Missouri F2S Guide for PreK-12 Educators
- Getting Started with F2S Gardens
- Procuring Local Foods Guide for Child Nutrition Programs
- Farm to Early Care and Education
- Best Practices- Handling Fresh Produce in Schools
- Verifying on Farm Food Safety
- USDA Grants and Loans that Support Farm to School Activities
- Ag in the Classroom
- Ag Ed on the Move
- Kids Gardening
- Missouri Value-Added “Farm to Table” Grant Program
- Farm to School-Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Missouri Farm to School Report 2018-19
- Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Food Programs
- MO Beef for MO Kids
- National Farm to School Network
- USDA Community Food Systems