ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program started working with preschool age children in 2007 in Henderson County through a partnership with Western Carolina Community Action. Through this work and our work in Jackson County, a number of Farm to School resources to help early childhood educators were developed that target this specific age group.
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) partnered with professors at Western Carolina University to integrate Farm to School into the course of study for pre-service teachers, early childhood educators, and health science students. We are working with the Jackson County school system and Head Start to establish one elementary school and one Head Start Center as “Learning Lab sites” where university and college students can see Farm to School in practice.
- Farm To School Education Project (quick view as .pdf)
As an Extension agent, your work with agricultural producers, youth, and community education puts you in the unique position to offer an integrated approach to Farm to School and become a leader in the movement. As Farm to School continues to grow, farmers and other community members will look to Cooperative Extension for help implementing Farm to School initiatives.
ASAP’s Farm to School to Community Project focuses on multiple intervention points to positively impact food environments, promote healthy food relationships for children, and build a stronger, more transparent local food system. This two year project, funded through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, begins with a focus on Farm to School in three communities in year one and expands to include restaurants, groceries, Head Start centers, hospitals and colleges in year two.
The Haywood County Farm to School Project is a collaboration of the NC Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville, ASAP, and Haywood County Schools. Funded by the Community Foundation’s Fund for Haywood County, the project is bringing Farm to School activities to five Haywood County schools and approximately 3,000 participants.
- Haywood County Project One Pager (quick view as .pdf)
ASAP is the Southeast Regional Lead Agency for the National Farm to School Network. Regional Lead Agencies in eight regions of the country have been established to lead farm to school efforts in the states that comprise the regions. The Southeast region covers North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
A combination of project activities will further develop regional supply chains to serve the needs of school districts in the region, develop and implement a promotional campaign in support of farm to school initiatives, and create a model Farm to School program that integrates local food in the cafeteria with experiential food and farm‐based education in classrooms.