The Food Trust works directly with 15,000 students and caregivers at schools and early care and education (ECE) sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, delivering nutrition education and supporting farm to school-related initiatives, such as school gardens. Additionally, The Food Trust works at the state and national level to develop and advocate for programs that support communities in carrying out farm to school activities.
The Food Trust has long had a strong commitment to and focus on improving the health of young children and believes farm to school/ECE initiatives are key. In 2004, we developed the Kindergarten Initiative — one of the nation’s first farm to school programs — and led a successful advocacy effort to enact legislation of a statewide grant program to replicate the initiative In Pennsylvania. The organization then developed the Preschool Initiative to engage younger children (3-5 years) in experiential learning through gardening, farm field trips, classroom cooking, healthy snacks and curriculum-based nutrition lessons, with outreach and support for caregivers.