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National Farm to School Network

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10 best farm to school stories from 2015

NFSN Staff Friday, December 18, 2015

By Anna Mullen, Digital Media Associate

Happy (almost) New Year! Before jumping into 2016, we’ve been taking time to celebrate the success of the farm to school movement this past year. From national media covering the impact of the USDA Farm to School Program, to regional stories of communities transforming the way kids eat, 2015 was filled with great farm to school storytelling that has raised national consciousness around this common sense approach to child and community health. 

So how did we pick these 10? We listened to you! All year we share farm to school news, articles, videos and blogs on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. These were the most liked, shared and clicked stories of the past twelve months:

  • Advocating to Put Better Meals on School Children’s Plates: Twenty-three year old farmer Cliff Pilson takes great pride in selling his produce to local schools. That’s why he advocates for more federal funding for farm to school programs. (Carolina Farm Stewardship Association) 
  • Fresh From Farm to Schools - It Just Makes Sense: A USDA Farm to School Grant has changed everything in Dallas public schools, from the way kids are learning to what they’re eating for lunch. (Huffington Post, by American Heart Association) 
  • Healthy Eaters, Strong Minds: What School Gardens Teach Kids: From healthy eating habits to entrepreneurial skills, the benefits of school gardens have long-term payoffs for students. (NPR) 
  • Healthy Kids are Common Sense, Not a Trend: Thousands of communities across the country have experienced the significant impact farm to school initiatives have on creating a generation of healthy eaters. Here are three ways we know farm to school works. (National Farm to School Network)
  • High Hopes for Farm to School Act of 2015: As the farm to school movement matures, conversation about Child Nutrition Reauthorization is not just about more funding for the USDA Farm to School Program. It’s about institutionalizing the presence of local food in schools, and how CNR can help that happen. (Inside School Food)
  • How One Visionary Change School Food in Detroit: With a focus on healthier foods and local farms, National Farm to School Network Advisor Betti Wiggins has led Detroit kids through a food revolution. (Civil Eats)
  • Making School Gardens Accessible: Unlike traditional classrooms, school gardens help level the playing field for students by empowering everyone to contribute to the process of growing food from seed to harvest. (National Farm to School Network)
  • More Students are Eating Locally Sourced Food: New federal data from USDA indicates students in public schools are eating healthier cafeteria meals made from an increasing array of locally sourced food. (The Atlantic) 
  • More Than Lunch: The Academic Benefits of Farm to School: We know farm to school activities are an effective approach for encouraging kids to try healthy foods, but what are the benefits of farm to school in the classroom? The short answer: there are many! (National Farm to School Network, by New Jersey State Lead) 
  • 6 Food and Farming Stories From Native Communities: Native American communities are connecting to their roots through food, farming and education. Here are six stories of what’s working. (Civil Eats) 

Storytelling is an incredibly effective tool for policy action, spreading awareness and building support for the farm to school movement. We are proud to help elevate stories like these year-round, and share the ways that farm to school is a win for kids, farmers and communities in every corner of the country. 

Help us continue to share these success stories and case studies with policymakers, change makers and communities across the country by making an end of year gift to the National Farm to School Network. Your support makes it possible for us to continue this important work and keep farm to school in the spotlight. 

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