Farm to School and Early Care programs support local farmers, children and local economic growth.  

Good for Farmers

John Svihel, a farmer who sells canteloupe to a Farm to School early care program

John Svihel, a farmer who sells canteloupe to a Farm to School early care program

Direct access to institutional markets, like schools and child care settings, gives farmers a predictable, stable income that helps their bottom line and keeps them on their land. Access to local markets is a critical component to farmers maintaining their livelihoods, and we need to provide the necessary technical assistance to help their businesses succeed. 

Good for Kids

An early care program with local apples 

An early care program with local apples 

Farm to School and Early Care programs give children access to fresh, nutritious local foods that support their learning, growth and development. At the same time, hands-on classroom activities offer a critical opportunity to educate kids about where their food comes from, build positive relationships with local farmers and increase their understanding of food systems. 

Good for Local Economies

Winona, MN, a rural community in southeastern Minnesota with Farm to School programming

Winona, MN, a rural community in southeastern Minnesota with Farm to School programming

Keeping the supply chain local means more business for farmers AND local businesses, like processors and distributors. Local food is in high demand, but the lack of infrastructure means supply cannot get to local markets. Increasing the number of stable local institutional buyers creates a floor for local farmers, processors and distributors to access the consumer market and drive the revitalization of rural communities.