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Farm to School and Summer

purple onions stacked
Farm to School embodies three core elements: Procurement: Purchasing local foods; Education: Education related to agriculture, food, health and nutrition; School Gardens: Support and sustain school gardens to provide hand-on educational experiences and connecting students with their food.

Farm to School is a program focused on connecting communities to healthy, fresh and local food by influencing change within who and how food is purchased, nutrition and agricultural education and supporting schools in establishing school gardens and agricultural programs.  

  • The Benefits of Farm to School (PDF) 
    • Farm to School provides a Win-Win approach, harvesting a life-long impact on kids, farmers and communities.​
  • Tell Us Your Story 
    • Your voice, your story and your passion are powerful.  Impact and influence Farm to School and Farm to Summer in Colorado by sharing your story.

Farm to School - playing in the dirt

Farm To School Legislative Updates 

Local Food Program

With the passage of Colorado HB-1132 during the 2019 legislative session, the Local Food Program will offer selected School Food Authorities (SFAs) a reimbursement for the purchase of Colorado grown, raised, or processed products. This program encourages SFAs to procure local products, foster nutrition education, bolster farm to child nutrition activities, and support Colorado producers and farmers. SFAs that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are eligible to apply for this opportunity. Available funding ($500,000 for SY 20-21) will be distributed as a reimbursement to SFAs that are selected during the application process. CDE will prioritize SFAs that: 

  • Demonstrate a commitment to local purchasing or food and agricultural education;
  • Have a kitchen with the ability to store, prepare, and serve local food products;
  • Have greater than 25% of its students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Important Dates: 

  1. Oct. 7: Application Opens 
  2. Oct. 22: Informational Webinar 
    1. Register Today!
  3. Nov. 26: Application Deadline 
  4. March 1: SFAs Selected 
  5. Aug. 1: SFAs Report to CDE 

Upcoming Events 

Mountain Plains Crunch Off

Mountain Plains Crunch Off Logo  


Celebrate National Farm to School Month, by participating in the Crunch Off on Wednesday, October 16. States throughout the Mountain Plains Region (CO, MT, MO, KS, NE, UT, ND, SD, WY) are competing to see which state can get the most “crunches” into a local apple! Join students, teachers, farmers, parents, community members, and local food enthusiasts in celebrating the wonderful produce Colorado has to offer. Your crunch efforts will encourage healthy eating and support local agriculture right in your own state.

Create a Crunch Team and register your event! You will receive an official Crunch Off Toolkit upon registration with tips to promote your event and where to find local apples in Colorado. Contact McKenna Pullen for more information.

Colorado Farm to School Task Force 

In 2019, HB19-1202 merged the Colorado Farm to School Task Force with the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council (COFSAC). This will strengthen the work of the Task Force, align priorities with COFSAC and those outlined in the Colorado Blueprint for Food and Agriculture.

Contact Jon Padia for more information.

Farm To School and Farm to Summer Partner Organizations 

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Resources 

Learn to build a strong farm to school team, learn about food safety, food and nutrition education, and school gardens as well as how to promote the program. 

National Farm to School Network 

Resources for school gardens, trainings, fact sheets, and educational materials. 

LiveWell Colorado 

LiveWell Colorado is a core partner of the NFSN and offers networking opportunities and webinars related to farm to school initiatives. 

Toolkits and Manuals 

Implementing a Farm to School Program 

Find Local Products 


Funding Opportunities 



For more information or if an alternate version of a document is needed, please contact McKenna Pullen