There are many resources available in Massachusetts for folks working on Farm-to-Institution local purchasing projects. There are just a few; please let us know what others you have found useful.
- Northeast Farm-to-School Institute: a free yearlong training/mentoring opportunity for organizers in K-12 schools in New England & NY. The deadline for 2015 has passed, but keep it in mind for next year.
- Massachusetts Farm-to-School
The hub for everything farm-to-school in Massachusetts. Offers technical assistance to institutions and farmers, matchmaking services, educational and promotional materials, and a wealth of other resources.
- Farm-to-Institution New England (FINE)
A new nonprofit working with Food Service Management Companies (FSMCs) and food processing centers to overcome barriers to institutional purchasing. Offers a variety of educational resources and events.
- Seeds of Solidarity
A fantastic local organization based in Orange, with many resources for education and growing gardens in schools and childcare facilities.
- National Farm to School Network
An information, advocacy, and networking hub for schools across the country.
- USDA Farm to School Program
Offers grants, recipes, webinars and other technical assistance for farm-to-school programs.
- Real Food Challenge
A national network of students working to make college and university purchasing more sustainable and just.
- Center for Eco-Literacy
Based in California, but offers a variety of useful farm-to-school resources including the Rethinking School Lunch Guide, case studies and feasibility studies, curricula, budgets, professional development and wellness policies.
- Healthy Food in Health Care
A project of Health Care Without Harm, working with hospitals to improve the sustainability of their food services.
Food Processing, Aggregation & Distribution
- Franklin County CDC Food Processing Center
An invaluable resource for making local food available year-round, located in Greenfield
- Lettuce Be Local
A local food hub and distributor based in Sterling, MA
- Farm to Cafeteria: A Guide To Building Farm to School Relationships in Massachusetts. Published by CISA in 2008 (PDF)
- Healthy Bodies, Active Minds: Best Practices for Improving School Nutrition and Physical Activity in Franklin County (PDF)
- Food Safety from Farm & Garden to Preschool – online food safety training and resources from UMass Amherst
- Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions from the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (PDF)
- Farm Fresh Healthcare Project: How-To Guide – California case studies from Health Care Without Harm
Status of Local Schools
- Which schools have farm-to-school projects in our region? For Franklin County, check out the inventory of local school initiatives to improve nutrition and physical activity. We’d love to expand this inventory to the Athol-Royalston district – let us know if you’d like to help!
- There’s a long history of farm-to-school initiatives in this region, so it’s worth asking around and doing some research if you are interested in starting a project at a local school.