Arkansas Grown Arkansas Farm to School

Farm to School Expansion

In January 2009, two meetings were scheduled by the Arkansas Department of Education Child Nutrition Unit to look at the expansion of farm to school in the state. The first was a meeting to gather initial interest in farm to school and to talk about working with farmers in the southern region of the nation. The second meeting was in collaboration with NNFC, Florida A&M University, and Stephen Walker of the Tri-County Community Coalition (TCC), a nonprofit incorporated in 2006. Child nutrition directors from around the state attended the meeting to hear about the successes of NNFC and to establish a farm to school pilot program in the state. Following the meeting, TCC began using the farm to school model developed by NNFC with it’s group of farmers in south-central Arkansas. TCC used NNFC’s processing facility to process sweet potatoes, green beans, and collard greens into fresh, packaged, easy-to-serve products. 24 districts participated in the pilot program which connected them to local farms and aided in the purchasing of local food.