Sponsored by the Public Health Association of BC and supported by many other partners, Farm to School BC is an initiative dedicated to changing the way children think about, and consume, food in their schools. Established in 2007, Farm to School BC is a diverse and expanding provincial network that promotes, supports, and links Farm to School activity, policy and programs across the province.
Farm to School programs bring healthy, local food into schools and provide students with hands-on learning opportunities that foster food literacy, all while strengthening the local food system and enhancing school and community connectedness.
Core Elements of Farm to School include empowering students and school communities to make informed food choices while contributing to vibrant, sustainable regional food systems that support the health of people, place and planet. Farm to school programs differ by school, but include the following core elements:
Healthy, Local Food
Schools source local food in a variety of ways, including through direct farmer relationships, food distributors, schoolyard farms, or the harvesting of wild or traditional foods. When local food arrives in schools it is often served in the form of a salad bar, hot lunch program, tasting activity, fundraiser, or community celebration.
Food literacy is a critically important component of Farm to School programs. Step into any school offering a Farm to School program and you will find students learning about food in the school garden, greenhouse, kitchen, lunchroom or classroom. They may also be getting ready for field trips to local farms, forests and shores.
School & Community Connectedness
The most successful and sustainable Farm to School programs are built upon strong relationships. Schools establish relationships with farmers, community members, and support organizations, tapping into local knowledge passion, skills and resources.
One of our primary goals is to provide support to individuals and organizations wanting to establish Farm to School programs in their community. Some of our most highly used resources include: