The proliferation of farm to school (FTS) programming in US schools emerges out of a convergence of recent trends facing agricultural producers and food consumers and as such represents part of a broader effort to relocalize food systems and build new connections between schools, producers, and communities. This mixed method study examines the current forms, organization, and policy needs of FTS programming in the state of Pennsylvania. We find that rather than representing a more or less uniform set of practices, in both scale and content FTS programming varies widely across school districts depending on district needs, resources, and the salient local issues that act as catalysts for FTS (e.g., nutrition, obesity prevention, strong community identification with local agriculture, and/or local economic development). Our findings suggest that FTS might therefore best be understood and promoted as a flexible range of locally embedded strategies that schools might use to address specific community and school needs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health