Farm To School

  

2011 National Ag Week Art Contest Winner
Angelina Wedding, 3rd Grade Winner,
Whitehead Elementary School, Woodland

Farm to School Yolo is a public health and agricultural marketing initiative that has the potential to change the way students and young people eat, think about food, and improve health through development of life long healthy eating habits. It is a three-year program linking Yolo agriculture with the National School Lunch Program and 38,000 Yolo County preschool – grade 12 students. A majority, 65%, of these students are eligible for the national free and reduced lunch program.

The program is currently funded through a three-year California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.

Farm to School Yolo works with all five Yolo County school districts and the Yolo County Office of Education’s Head Start Preschool Program to increase the amount of fresh, local produce offered in breakfasts, lunches and after school snacks. The program offers an opportunity to educate students and staff on food origins: how it was grown and how to prepare it for peak flavor and nutritional value.

Farm to School Yolo is a mandate contained in the Yolo County General Plan 2030 and builds upon the 3-year Yolo Agricultural Marketing initiative 1 and the successful Davis and Winters Farm to School Programs. A 60 member Advisory Task Force is guiding the project’s implementation that will include food service professional development; grower/farmer assessment, training and development; and menu and recipe templates. Also planned is a feasibility study of a Yolo County Food Bank food hub and private sector marketing and distribution linkages.

Public School District Food Service Directors in Yolo County

Group Shot of Farm to School Yolo Stakeholders
From left to right: Dominic Machi (Davis JUSD), Cathleen Olsen (Winters JUSD), Nicole Sturzenberger (former grant Project Director), Spencer Springer (Woodland JUSD), John Young (Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner)