Mississippi Farm to School

What is Farm to School?

Farm to School is a nationwide movement connecting farmers, students, teachers, and communities with the goal of reshaping our food system. We strive to serve nutritious, locally grown food in the cafeteria, educate students on where food comes from and how it grows, and provide hands-on learning opportunities through school gardens, cooking lessons, and field trips to farms.

Even notoriously picky eaters will try new foods if they’ve helped to grow them. In our current out-of-sight food system, most kids think that food comes from a grocery store or a drive-through. When kids get their hands dirty, care for plants, and learn how to prepare a meal, they create healthy habits, positive relationships with the environment, and a sense of contribution to their community. We believe that we can help create a just food system if we empower children and their families to take control of what they grow and eat.

Why Farm to School?

Farm to School programs benefit everyone involved. From directly combatting America’s obesity epidemic to keeping money in the local economy, Farm to School strengthens communities.

Despite being an agricultural state, 90% of all food consumed in Mississippi is imported. Farm to School programs support local farmers so that cafeteria food is fresher and travels a shorter distance from field to plate. School districts are ideal customers for local farmers because they purchase frequently on a large scale. Farm to School programs typically raise school lunch participation by 11%


Where is Farm to School happening in Mississippi?

The Mississippi Farm to School Network supports F2S efforts throughout the state. Join their monthly networking calls to hear from others throughout the state! Email them to stay up-to-date. Visit their website (coming soon!) for a comprehensive list of Farm to School programs throughout the state.

FoodCorps Mississippi is a group of Americorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. From building school gardens, to teaching hands-on lessons in the classroom, to assisting in local cafeteria sourcing, FoodCorps Service Members are on the ground making Farm to School happen every day.

Where do I start?

  • Connect to the Mississippi Farm to School Network
  • How do I start a school garden?
  • How do I start to buy local produce for my cafeteria?
  • Check out the Let’s Move: Salad Bars 2 Schools Grant
  • Get inspired by Sunny Young, presenting on Farm to School in Mississippi at the 2014 TEDx “Changing the Way We Eat” conference.

Further Resources

National: The National Farm to School Network, The National Farm to Preschool Network, Let’s Move: Salad Bars 2 Schools Grant

USDA Farm to School, The Food Hub’s Farm to Hospital Resource

State: Mississippi State Department of HealthExpanding Farm to School in Mississippi: Analysis and Recommendations

Curriculum: The Food ProjectEdible SchoolyardEcoTrust

Second graders learn the process food goes thorugh to get from the farm to our plate