A Farm-to-School Program Review and Implementation Guide for North Carolina Public School Parents Case Study: E.K. Powe Elementary School | Durham, North Carolina
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Farm to School is a phrase used to describe programs that connect locally-grown foods to schools (Farm to School, 2009). The medium that provides this connection varies, but it is typically made through school gardens, farm field trips, nutrition and culinary education, or serving local foods in the school meals program. Farm to School programs are implemented to provide students with a hands-on learning environment and experiential education, to increase the nutritional quality of food served to students and the amount of time students spend outdoors, and to teach students about the agricultural heritage of their region, among other features. Four approaches are typically utilized in North Carolina and other states to institute Farm to School program: (1)The North Carolina Farm to School Program; (2) Local purchasing through contracted produce vendors; (3) Individual school initiatives; (4) District-wide initiatives. The method that a school or school district uses to implement a Farm to School program depends heavily on stakeholder commitment, funding opportunities, and the support of the school community and the district’s Child Nutrition Services. In this project I have evaluated these four approaches to Farm to School programs, using examples in three North Carolina counties: Durham, Guilford and Wake, and one North Carolina City: Asheville. As a corollary case study, I documented my experiences working with stakeholders from E.K. Powe Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina as they worked to implement a Farm to School program during the 2009-2010 school year. In short, I evaluate Farm to School programs state-wide and determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of each program. Further, I describe a formative process in Durham and use this experience in conjunction with my research to create a Farm to School implementation guide geared to North Carolina public school parents.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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