The mission of the Delaware Farm to School Advisory Board is to establish an integrated sustainable network that will enhance health and empower Delaware children to consume local products by means of a strong collaboration involving schools, farmers, and the communities they serve.
We are a statewide collaboration of farm-to-school advocates who work to:
- Communicate and share information to help promote enhancing school feeding programs.
- Empower school nutrition supervisors to embrace the farm-to-school concept and share resources.
- Coordinate the opportunity for districts to network with Delaware farmers.
- Discuss opportunities and barriers related to Delaware farm-to-school programs.
Farm to School Information and Services
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In Delaware, Farm to School started out as a grassroots program with local schools benefiting from local produce grown by farmers. In March 2010, the Farm to School Initiative was formalized when the Secretaries of Agriculture, Education, and Health & Social Services signed a memorandum of agreement.
A Delaware Farm to School Advisory Board was formed, with representatives from school districts, farmers, parents, the Department of Education, Nemours Health & Prevention Services, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and Master Gardeners. The Board meets throughout the year to review farmer surveys, Child Nutrition Supervisor surveys, do presentations, meet & greets, data collection, and provide educational field trips for nutrition supervisors.
In 2011, Taylor Lucas, a 12th grader at Delmar High School designed the Delaware Farm to School logo that is still used today.
- After the signing of the MOU, the Delaware Strawberry Week was born, during which all 19 school districts purchased strawberries from various local farmers. Governor Jack Markell proclaimed May 21-27 as Strawberry Week in Delaware. This tradition has continued annually.
- Schools celebrate Delaware’s watermelon by offering Watermelon Wednesday’s at the beginning of the school year.
- According to the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census:
- 60% of Delaware schools, including public, charter and private, participate in Farm to School.
- All 19 public school districts and 5 charter schools currently participate in Farm to School.
- Out of 18 public school districts and 2 charter schools who completed the USDA survey, $999,578 of their food and nutrition expenditures reported were for locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Recognition of our partnerships with the annual celebration of National Farm to School Month in October.