Farm to School Program
About Farm to School:
Farm to School is a national movement that connects schools and local farms in order to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias; provide agricultural, health and nutrition education opportunities, and support local and regional farmers.
Farm to School began in Weld County School District 6 (WCSD6) in 2008, when the District purchased one crop of cherry tomatoes for $239. Since then, with the assistance of numerous grants, including the USDA's Farm to School Grant, the program has expanded to other fruits, vegetables, dairy, and even meat and poultry items.
Today, almost 100% of our meals are prepared from scratch in our Central Production Kitchen (CPK), and about 25% of our food purchases are local, with the rate of local food purchases increasing each year.
D6 Farm to School focuses on the following goals:
- Continuously expanding local produce offerings during breakfast, lunch and in Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program sites
- Sourcing milk from local dairies
- Integrating locally-raised beef and chicken into meals
- Expanding and improving school garden programs
- Increasing Farmer in the Classroom and Chef in the Classroom programming
- Partnering with other Northern Colorado school districts to develop efficient and effective systems to work with local producers
- Collaborating with the Colorado Farm to School Task Force to gain knowledge, share successes and encourage growth of Farm to School programming.
The District 6 Food Hub:
In 2012, WCSD6 Nutrition Services was awarded its first grant from the USDA to develop and implement a Food Hub. The Food Hub, based out of our Central Production Kitchen, focuses on aggregating as much local produce as possible during the Colorado harvest months and minimally processing and redistributing this produce to other school districts in Weld County. The produce is either (1) utilized immediately, or (2) washed, chopped, blanched and frozen for later use throughout the school year. Currently, WCSD6 Nutrition Services serves as a produce hub for the Windsor (Weld RE-4) School District and Denver Public Schools, and shares producer information with districts across Weld County.To incorporate more local produce into your lifestyle, be sure to visit The Greeley Farmer's Market.
For information about Farmer's Markets across the state, visit the Colorado Farmer's Market website.
For the 2017-2018 school year, we are proud to be working with the farmers listed below. Feel free to visit their websites to learn more about them!