Food education for the littlest learners

Farm to school connects children to their local food system through nutrition, food, and agriculture education, and by providing locally grown and produced items in meals, snacks, and taste tests.

Online learning for kids

The Food Trust works directly with 15,000 students and caregivers at schools and early care and education (ECE) sites in Philadelphia, Norristown, Reading and beyond, 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.

“The learning is contagious because the kids get excited about fruits and vegetables with us, and then they tell their parents. Farm to ECE is great for all ages.”

—Connie Carter, Director, Smart Beginnings Early Learning Center, West Philadelphia

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through the PA Department of Human Services (DHS).

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