The NH Farm to School (NHFTS) Program was established in 2003 as a pilot program to introduce local apples and cider into NH K-12 schools. Within three years, over half the K-12 schools in the state were purchasing them for their cafeterias! In addition to continuing with this successful program integrating apples and cider, the NHFTS is working to expand local food procurement. In 2006, NHFTS initiated a new pilot program — the Get Smart Eat Local 10 District Project — to work with school districts and a wholesale farm in the seacoast region of the state to introduce new local foods in the schools. Since then, NHFTS has been working to establish new farm-to-school connections with growers and schools in other parts of the state.

The NHFTS Program serves as a facilitator engaging farmers, distributors, food service directors, teachers, health educators and administrators in adopting farm to school practices.

How do we do this?

  • Help negotiate simple, affordable systems for purchase of NH grown and produced foods by K-12 schools or distributors serving those schools;
  • Create, collect, and distribute support and educational materials tailored for individual stakeholders and program partners; 
  • Provide and present information on how to integrate farm to school connections into curriculum and school policies; and
  • Work with stakeholders and media to enhance the visibility and effectiveness of farm to school efforts.

Benefits of Farm to School

Vibrant Local Agriculture

When you buy locally grown food, you help ensure that NH farms continue to thrive, helping to preserve NH's open spaces and rural, working landscape.

Environmental Stewardship

Eating locally grown food means less resources are used to get the food to your plate, and teaches children respect for their environment.

Long Term Health & Nutrition

The more a child is involved with food, through gardening, farming, cooking or other "real life" food experiences, the more likely he or she will adopt healthy eating behaviors as a life long practice.

Enhanced School Curriculum

Opportunities to incorporate food, nutrition and farming themes into curriculum, and explore experiential learning opportunities such as cooking, school gardening, and visits to local farms.