Schools reap the benefits of farm-to-school
Farm-to-school activities include school gardening, field trips to farms and taste tests, all of which empower students to make healthier choices for their well-being. At the same time, teachers, food service professionals and other school staff reap benefits through improved academic, health and financial outcomes.
- Students increase consumption of fruits and vegetables at school and at home.
- Students become more likely to choose a balanced meal tray and consume less unhealthy foods.
- Students see a reduction in the intake of calories, cholesterol and saturated fat.
- Students become more willing to try new and healthier food options.
- Farm-to-school programs promote an increase in physical activity.
Academic and behavioral
- Students show positive social behaviors, including an improved work ethic.
- Students show improved social skills and self-esteem.
- Students attain higher academic achievement and gain better knowledge of plant cycles and the environment.
- School gardening provides experiential learning, which stimulates higher-order cognition.
- Farm-to-school programs lead to better school meal participation, increasing school meal revenue.
- Every $1 spent on farm-to-school programs produce $2.16 in economic activity in the community.
- An increase in the use of local produce results in better income and opportunities for farmers.