Arizona Farm to Preschool

FarmToSchool
Farm to preschool is an exciting program for children 0-5 focusing on healthy eating habits. Examples of farm to preschool activities include farm visits, school gardening, local food taste tests, taste education, local food preparation and cooking education, parent education on access to local foods, and serving locally grown foods during snacks and meals.

Benefits include:

  • Investing in Arizona’s local ranchers and farmers thereby supporting the local economy
  • Helping meet the nutrition requirements of federal child nutrition programs by providing access to fresh and healthy food
  • Supporting education initiatives by providing innovative learning opportunities in and outside of the classroom

Best Practices

  • Arizona Department of Health Services Empower Standards work to support ECE facilities’ efforts to empower young children to grow healthy. Subscribe to the Empower Newsletter here.
  • Quality First a signature program of First Things First – partners with child care and preschool providers to improve the quality of early learning across Arizona.

Food Safety Resources

Gardens

  • Arizona Nutrition Network under the Arizona Department of Health Services houses our Supplemental Assistance and Nutrition Programs for Education. In collaboration with county public health departments and cooperative extension offices, both work to make an impact on health and nutrition at eligible facilities. Learn more here.
  • Coming soon ADE Preschool Garden map
  • University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Cooperative Extension (UA Extension) is Arizona’s land grant college. UA Extension works to provide a link between the university’s agriculture research and agriculture education and the citizens of this state.

Where to buy local food

 Family Resources

  • NATIVE HEALTH is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing primary medical, dental, behavioral health, WIC and wellness programs that are open to all. NATIVE HEALTH provides many different community classes focused on engaging young people and families around health and nutrition education including community gardening and cooking classes. Learn more here.
  • Arizona Department of Agriculture publishes a Specialty Crop Guide, a resource for families to engage with Arizona agriculture through Community Support Agriculture Programs, Farmer’s’ Markets, U-Pick Farms, Farm Tours and a seasonal Harvest Calendar.

Statistics

National Resources

  • National Farm to School Network (NFTSN) is an information, advocacy and networking hub for committees working to bring local food sourcing and food and agriculture education into school systems and preschools. NFTSN hosts a farm to preschool subcommittee where members oversee content submitted to farmtoschool.org website and the organization of the preschool network.
  • USDA’s Community Food Systems: Farm to Preschool offers information around farm to preschool as it relates to the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Funding

  • USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program works to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to preschool programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.

Contact Information

Ashley Schimke
Farm to School and School Garden Programs Specialist
(602) 364-2282
[email protected]
Check out Arizona Farm to School on Facebook