At the Washington State Farm to School Network Launch Summit in May 2018, network members affirmed some goals and initial Strategic Priorities to help guide and align the diverse work that network members do in their own communities for shared, collective impact across our state. The Metrics and Evaluation team established a set of simple, measurable metrics to help show progress towards those Strategic Priorities and other ways that farm to school makes a difference for students, farmers, and communities across Washington State.
49% of Washington school districts surveyed by the USDA say they participate in farm to school activities, representing 1,183 schools and 542,145 students statewide
Local Food Sourcing
Goal: Increase the amount of local, Washington produced foods purchased and served by K-12 schools.
91 school districts reported buying food directly from Washington farms between 2013-2018*
At least $17,440,300 was spent on local food by Washington schools in the 2013-14 school year**
25 school food authorities host farmers in their cafeteria or classrooms**
Sources: *2015 USDA Farm to School Census, 2016 WSDA Farm to School Survey, 2015-2018 WSDA Taste Washington Day participation. **2015 USDA Farm to School Census.
“School food authorities” (SFAs) are predominantly school districts, and some individual private schools. Food purchases direct from farms include sales direct from producer, CSA, farmer co-op, or farmer’s market. 73 (of 308) SFAs reported the value of their local food sales; each SFA set its own definition of “local food.”
Food & Agriculture Education
Goal: Increase student understanding of where food comes from through education about food, agriculture, and nutrition.
47 school food authorities participated in Harvest of the Month or other themed promotions in the 2013-2014 school year
Source: 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. “School food authorities” (SFAs) are predominantly school districts, and some individual private schools.
School Gardens and Farm-based Learning
Goal: Support school gardens and farms in every school.
At least 206 school gardens exist in Washington State as of 2018
Source: 2018 WSDA Farm to School Survey and OSPI Washington State School & Community Gardens Google Map, as of November 2018. The survey and adding a garden to this map is voluntary, so may be under-reported. To add your school garden to the map, fill out the OSPI School Garden Map Update Survey.
Farm to Early Care & Education (ECE)
Goal: Increase the number of early childhood education programs incorporating farm to school.
72 ECE providers reported participating in Farm to ECE activities in 2017
Source: 2018 National Farm to School Network ECE Survey. Top Farm to ECE activities that programs reported conducting included food and agriculture education, serving local foods in meals and snacks, and having an on-site garden.