Established in 2007, Farm to School BC is a diverse and expanding provincial network administered by the Public Health Association of BC that promotes, supports, and links Farm to School activity, policy and programs across the province. Since 2007, Farm to School BC has managed a series of Farm to School expansion projects in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health including the following:
- 2007: Pilot Farm to School Salad Bar Initiative in northern BC
- 2008: Pilot expansion of 16 Farm to School salad bar programs in Northern and Interior Health in collaboration with the BC Healthy Living Alliance.
- 2011: Produce Availability Initiative funding of Farm to School salad bar programs in rural and remote BC communities
- 2012: Expansion of 30 new Farm to School grants across the province
- 2014: Expansion of 50 new Farm to School programs across the province
- 2014: Development of 3 Farm to School Regional Hubs (Kamloops Region, Vancouver Region, Capital Regional)
- 2017: Expansion of 60 Farm to School programs across the province
When people think of a Farm to School program, they often think of a salad bar program. Although salad bar programs were the original Farm to School programs in BC, the concept and framework of Farm to School has expanded and grown considerably since then – with salad bars still being a very popular way of implementing Farm to School! A central focus is to build relationships between schools and local farms. Parents, students, and school staff prepare, serve and eat fresh, local produce. Children benefit because fresh veggies and fruit are readily available at school and they learn about the local food system, nutrition and health.