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Farm to School Mailing List
The Farm to Preschool e-newsletter will be now be folded into National Farm to School Network’s (NFSN) monthly e-newsletter, which is sent to more than 13,000 farm to school advocates, supporters and partners across the country. In addition to its regular story features, resource highlights and policy updates, the NFSN monthly e-newsletter will bring farm to preschool perspectives and priorities to a larger audience and align our work at the core of the farm to school movement.

To sign up for the NFSN’s newsletter scroll to the footer of the Farm to Preschool page.

Click here to read previous Farm to Preschool e-newsletters.


Local Food Sourcing

Sourcing local food items for snacks and meal patterns at preschool and child care sites is an integral part Farm to Preschool programming.  Local food is fresh and healthy and also helps sustain the local economy through purchases from small to mid-sized farms.  Children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables when they are fresh and the model helps them learn about food systems and how food is grown.

It is important to work with both preschool administrators and food vendors (for larger sites) to determine the best mode of purchasing locally sourced fruits and vegetables for meals, snacks, taste tests and educational activities. For smaller sites, providers can work directly with farmers, farmers’ markets or participate in a cooperative buying or CSA (community supported agriculture) programs to provide seasonal, fresh items.  Best practices include starting ‘small’ with snack or taste test purchases until a sustainable purchasing mechanism is determined.  Key components are budget, volume and seasonality of requested items.  Here we broadly define "local" as within a 50-200 mile radius; the definition is flexible with the location and its resources.

Useful Tools and Resources (General)

Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Compass, USDA

Assessing Delivery Models for Childcare and Senior Meal Programs, Public

Health Seattle-King County

Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions: A Resource Guide for Farm to Institution Programs, National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, NCAT

Local Food Purchasing Options

  • Community Supported Agriculture Model: Subscribe to a CSA or less traditional "market basket" program that delivers fresh market produce to schools and child care sites
  • Cooperative Buying Model: Participate in cooperative purchasing with other preschool/child care sites and local farmers to decrease costs
  • Farm Direct Model: Collaborate directly with a local farmer
  • Farmers’ Market Direct Model: Collaborate with one or several farmers at your local farmers’ market
  • Growers Collaborative Model: Partner with grower collaboratives that aggregate produce from multiple farms
  • Produce Distribution Company Model: Contract with produce distributers that contract with local farmers (an option for larger centers or those that utilize a contracted food or nutrition services vendor)

Community Supported Agriculture Model



Farm to Preschool at UEPI, Occidental College, Magnolia Place Family Center and Children’s Nature Institute Partnership

Farm to Preschool program that uses this model.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures: Farm to Family, Northeastern University

Farm to Preschool program that uses this model.

Local Harvest

General information on CSA and 'market basket' programs

Cooperative Buying Model



Partners for a Healthier Community, Live Well Springfield: Farm to Preschool

Farm Direct Model



USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

"All" about local

Farmers' Market Direct Model



Eat Well Guide

Search for farmers' markets in your area.


Tips, and search for farmers' markets in your area.

Let's Move!

Tips for shopping at farmers' markets.

USDA's Nutrition.gov

Tips on accessing and affording farmers' markets.

Growers Collaborative Model



More information available soon. 

Produce Distribution Company Model



Compton Unified School District

Contact us if you have local food sourcing information or materials you wish to share on this webpage.