• Exceptional Flavor and Freshness: Foods grown locally are fresher, and taste better than food shipped long distances.
  • 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.
  • Enhanced school curriculum: Local food connections create 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.
  • 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.

There are many ways for your school to become involved in the NH Farm to School Program!

  • Serve locally grown fruits and vegetables in your cafeteria
  • Buy fresh fruit or vegetables directly from local farm
  • Order locally grown foods through a distributor
  • Use FFVP funds to purchase local produce
  • Set up a salad bar featuring local vegetables
  • Grow vegetables in a school garden
  • Organize a harvest meal featuring local ingredients
  • Incorporate food, farming or nutrition into classroom activities and curriculum
  • Take a field trip to a local farm

To get NH products into your schools, follow these “six steps to success:”

  1. Contact Stacey Purslow at the NHFTS Program
      1. Phone: 603-862-2542
      2. E-mail: stacey.purslow@unh.edu
      3. She will assist you with all of the following steps and will answer any questions you have about the program.
  2. Working with NHFTS and your local farmer(s), determine the following: 
    • Appropriate products and quantities desired/available
    • Packaging requirements
    • Billing/payment method and dates
    • Insurance requirements
    • Distribution methods, frequency, dates and times
    • Price of product

Once step two is complete, contract with your farmer and/or distributer and begin offering fresh, local foods in your school!

Let your school staff, students and parents know what you are doing and direct them to the NHFTS website for more information.

Add more local products to your cafeterias menu!

When we choose to buy local foods, we support New Hampshire farms and we keep our dollars circulating in the community, thereby helping to preserve our state’s open spaces and rural, working landscapes. Buying local foods can also increase access to fresh, high quality products available in schools. This benefits students and staff by providing nutritious snack and meal options – not to mention the educational opportunities doing so creates: What better way to teach kids to eat their fruits and vegetables than by serving foods from local farms in their schools? Making the connections from farm to fork to nutrition helps foster a more complete understanding of how to make healthy food choices and what those choices mean in the larger context of their community. For more information on the benefits of buying local foods click here.

Neither the USDA nor the FDA requires that domestically produced fresh fruits and vegetables be inspected. Rather, growers are advised to voluntarily adopt and follow Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) as defined in the FDA’s “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.” The USDA’s grade standards are also voluntary and optional. These standards cover quality issues (size, blemishes, etc.). Read more about GAP here.