Farm to School Beacon Communities (2015-2018)
A 3 year collective impact project to engage multiple organizations that have agreed to align strategies in order to increase access to local and healthy foods, and to serve as models for other communities across the state. The communities involved in this pilot project were Colebrook, Nashua and Somersworth.
NH Farm to School Institute (2018)
The Summer Institute was first offered in 2018 as part of the Beacon Communities project. The Institute is three days of team building, hands-on activities, and practical skill building. Teams are selected from New Hampshire communities who are committed to increasing access of local, healthy food options in their school cafeterias, hospitals, and other community locations.
NH School Garden Day (2016)
October 6, 2016 was NH School Garden Day. Schools and their gardens from around the state hosted visitors so they can learn about the gardens.
Sea to School
NH, Maine and Massachusetts farm to school programs worked together in 2016 to create a resource guide and educational video on best practices and case studies about sea to school in New England. View the finished guide and video here. NH Farm to School also partnered with NH Community Seafood to bring fresh and local fish to schools.
Farm to Institution Summit and Farm to School: Recipe for Success Contest
This 3-day event in 2015 brought educators, non-profits, government agencies, students, farmers, fishers, K-12, college and hospital dining together to learn more about farm to institution in the northeast. Over 600 people attended. This event was preceded by a contest to gather the best farm to school projects and activities happening on the northeast. The top three winners, including NH’s Iron Chef Salad Challenge, are available now.
Farm to College
A project to help New England Colleges and Universities increase procurement of local foods. The project entailed discovering what colleges and universities may already be doing in regards to procuring local foods and what is happening on campus to influence purchasing.
USDA Procurement Workshops
NH Farm to School received a grant through the NH Charitable Foundation to help educate schools and farmers about proper USDA procurement requirements that schools will need to use when making most school food purchases, which includes food they are purchasing from a farm. Several regional workshops were planned for 2015 as well as trainings that were offered within other conferences and events. Other aspects of this project included the development of local foods buying groups and using forward contracts.
Manchester Cooks (2013-2014)
A series of workshops to train the food service staff of the Manchester school district on culturally appropriate recipes to address the needs of the immigrant and refugee population in the schools. Four workshops were planned throughout the school year and focused on the cuisine of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latino countries. Read more about it here.
NH School and Youth Garden Network Development (2014)
NH Farm to School partnered with NOFA NH and the Cooperative Extension to develop an NH School and Youth Garden Network. This network provides resources and support to anyone interested in starting or expanding a school or youth educational garden in NH.
NH Farm to School Conferences (2011-2015)
NH Farm to School Conferences were hosted annually from 2011 to 2015, with workshops topics including procurement, USDA farm to school, school gardens, farm to preschool, grant writing and funding opportunities and more. Each conference also had a Farm to School keynote speaker.
NH Healthy Recipe Cooking Challenge (2010-2013)
The NH Healthy Recipe Cooking Challenge took place annually from 2010-2013. Ten teams from around the state participated in two categories: High School Culinary and CACFP programs. The teams created recipes that had to include certain ingredients. Ten judges decided upon the winners. All recipes and winners can be found on the recipe page. In 2014, the competition was re-launched as the NH T.E.E.N Cookoff.
Farm to Pre-School Conference
The first Farm to Preschool Forum held in the northeast was October 5, 2013 at Dublin Consolidated School in Dublin, NH. Seventy-five teachers, farmers, advocates and others from around New England spent a day attending 12 workshops and participating in field trips to area farms and preschools.
Cooking with Local Foods to Meet USDA Guidelines Workshops (2013)
These regional workshops were for school food service workers to learn new recipes using locally sourced dark leafy greens and orange vegetables. Five workshops were held in the spring of 2013 in Nashua, Concord, North Conway and Exeter. Seventy food service workers attended in total.
Local Foods Trade Shows and Matchmaking Events
NH Farm to School partnered with other organizations in the state to organize regional local foods trade shows where farmers and value added producers met potential institutional, restaurant and other buyers who would like to offer more local foods to their customers.
Several times each year, school food service directors and farmers are given the chance to meet and form connections during our NHFTS matchmaking events. These meetings give those interested in participating in the Farm to School Program an opportunity to determine if working together is feasible and mutually beneficial.Farmers give short presentations about their farms, including their history, size and what they produce. School officials will have a chance to see which farms will be good matches when it’s time to set up food contracts in September.
Educational Posters (2011-2012)
For the 2011-2012 school year, we sent out NH Farm to School posters to all participating schools. These were posted in cafeterias, informing the students that their school is taking part in a program that uses food from local farms in their lunches.
Farm to School Hubs (2011-2012)
During the 2011-2012 academic year, NHFTS piloted a new project to help increase farm-to-school activity in different regions of the state that are sometimes difficult for us to reach given our small staff and location on the Seacoast. Working with partners in three areas — the Monadnock region, the Upper Valley region, and the North Country region — NHFTS established NH Farm to School Hubs to advance projects specifically focused in those areas.
“Get Smart Eat Local” 10-District Project
In 2006, NHFTS initiated a new, one-year pilot program — the Get Smart Eat Local 10-District project — to work with 10 school districts and farms in the seacoast region of the state to work help build and strengthen direct farm-to-cafeteria relationships and introduce new local foods in the schools. Read the Case Study on this project
Apples & Cider Project
The NH Farm to School Program was established in 2003 as a pilot program funded by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) 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! This program continues successfully today in many schools across the state. Read the apple/cider pilot project reports
Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP)
In collaboration with partners in the NH Department of Education, UNH Cooperative Extension, and others, NHFTS is building on its previous work to develop new connections between schools, produce distributors, and NH wholesale vegetable growers. Target schools for the initial connections are those receiving grants from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). A USDA initiative, FFVP grants awards to schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Recipients of FFVP funds are schools whose student body has at least 50% eligibility for the free and reduced lunch program. Each school receives funding based on the total number of students in the school.