Why We Farm to School?


  • Familiarity with new foods leads to an increased willingness to try new foods

  • An increased willingness to try new foods leads to the inclusion of healthier foods in meal choices

  • Healthier food choices in meals result in positive impacts on the health of students and their families

  • Food system inequities disproportionally affect communities of color, farm to school works to provide access to healthy food for ALL students.

  • School lunches allow access to meals for ALL students

  • Many families rely heavily on school meals, which means healthier school meals mean healthier students and families.

  • Farm to school creates strong, meaningful relationships between schools, farmers, and parents, closing the community circle to support the younger generation.

  • Stronger community bonds result in increased civic participation and a solid sense of place and a profound sense of stewardship.

  • Supporting local farms creates more jobs and strengthens the local economy.

  • Reducing the miles food travels from farm to plate reduces our collective carbon footprint.

  • Buying farm fresh produce reduces the use of plastic packaging and waste.

  • Less food waste is created if we are buying only what we need and produce that is fresh.

  • Farm to school program increases fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.

  • Students who are introduced to farm or garden fresh foods and are a part of the growing process are more likely to eat the healthy food that they grow.

  • Increased consumption and a variety of fresh produce is linked to long term positive impacts on our health.

  • Local food in school meals increases the meal count

  • With more robust farm to school relationships, in-season local produce can be purchased at a fair price.

  • Farm to school can increase social capital and create more jobs.


The Farmer and Food Service Director Perspective on Farm to School

"Our farm to school sales have meant we have extra money to actually invest in our Retirement account!"
-Rob Schact, Hunts Brook Farm

"Purchasing local products is important on so many levels; it has a positive impact on our community and residents. We encourage others to consider sourcing local foods when possible."
-Maureen Nuzzo, Old Saybrook PS

"The most satisfying thing for me is to know our food is going to the kids right in our town. Selling to schools is the perfect way to achieve this."
- Rodger Phillips, Sub-Edge Farm

"When my students see something on the menu that was GROWN in Hartford, they are so excited. To see the farmers, they understand the food is better."
- Lonnie Burt, Hartford PS

"I have been selling to schools for over twenty years.! We would never be able to market our entire crop without these very important outlets."
- Peter Hayward, Hayward Farm

The National Farm to School Network

Put Local on Your Tray is a proud member of the National Farm to School Network, where we learn from and share with other Farm to School programs across the country in an effort to increase access to farm-fresh, healthy products for ALL.

You can view more data on why farm to school is important for the positive development of your community at the link below.