Growing Minds connects farmers, distributors, and school food leaders to ensure students have access to healthy local food. Over the years, we have developed tried-and-true resources for bringing local food into cafeterias and engaging students in making healthy eating choices. Serving local food in school cafeterias can sometimes be a daunting task. We encourage schools to start where they can, such as featuring one local product a month.
Get Local @ School
ASAP’s Get Local @ School calendar was designed to feature local products that can be sourced at the cost and volumes appropriate for schools. At the same time, these items are also affordable and easy for families in our region to find at tailgate markets and grocery stores.
Get Local @ School Materials (including menu templates, recipe cards, stickers, and more) are available to teachers and Child Nutrition Directors in the Appalachian Grown region that are currently purchasing local products.
Create a Listing in ASAP’s Local Food Guide
Is your school system or child care center currently sourcing food from local farms? Would you like to source more locally grown/raised food? School systems, child care centers, and educational institutions located in ASAP’s 60-county Appalachian Grown region can create a free institutional listing in ASAP’s online Wholesale Local Food Guide. Being listed in ASAP’s Local Food Guide will help you connect with local family farms who need buyers for their products, while also recognizing the important work your school is doing to support local food systems and connect children to local food and farms.
Ready to get in the guide? The 30-minute video below will walk you through the steps of creating a Local Food Guide listing for your institution. Create your free Local Food Guide listing here. Contact us for assistance.
What you can do
- Interested in working to change the food environment at your school? One of the first steps is gaining an understanding of how school food works.
- Conduct a local food taste test in the cafeteria.
- Highlight locally grown food served in your school cafeteria with our monthly school food menu templates.
- Learn about our Get Local @ School program and request recipe cards and stickers.
- Find recipes, calendars, bookmarks, stickers, and other farm to school teaching resources.
- Interested in purchasing local food and don’t know where to start? Utilize our local food flow chart to find a solution that meets your needs.
- Video: How to conduct a Farm to School taste test
- Seasonal Produce Availability Chart