The work of the Pennsylvania Farm to School Network is guided by a five-year strategic plan created in late 2020. The plan centers around three overarching goals:
- Build and activate a strong, sustainable farm to school network
- Support increased and enhanced farm to school/early care and education implementation
- Strengthen and build sustainability for statewide farm to school policy
Read more about the plan here.
Current collaborations include:
Pennsylvania Harvest of the Month: This program developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Project PA (Penn State University) promotes a local agricultural product each month to be served in schools, child and adult care centers/day care homes, and summer feeding sites. PDE and Project PA lead development of food service oriented materials; the Pennsylvania Department of Health has provided training and resources; and The Food Trust is creating complementary classroom educational materials.
Farm to Institution Grower Sessions: The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture provides training for farmers interested in beginning or expanding their wholesaling operations. A special focus is given to child nutrition programs and guest presenters include members of the Pennsylvania Farm to School Network.
Pennsylvania Farm to School Institute: First developed in New England, the Farm to School Institute model brings together school and site teams for training and action planning. The Food Trust is piloting this program with support from the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Education.
Pennsylvania Farm to School Grant Program: In 2019, farm to school legislation was passed to provide funding to schools to carry out experiential education and to purchase local products for use in child nutrition programs. The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and members of the network leadership team are involved in outreach, technical assistance, and grant scoring.
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