Farm to School

Getting local foods into schools has benefits that go beyond the lunch tray. When students learn about their foods in the classroom, grow them in the school garden, and taste them in the cafeteria, they are more likely to make healthy choices at home and develop long-lasting nutrition habits. And, when schools invest their food dollars in the local economy, farmers, businesses, and the community all benefit.

Local Food Hub serves more than 70 public schools in eight districts, as well as private schools and universities. Over 40% of students in public schools qualify for free or reduced price meals, and many students rely on school food for their primary source of nutrition. Through snack programs, after-school and summer programs, and the National School Lunch Program, Local Food Hub provides access to farm sourced food for everyone.

We help nutrition directors identify opportunities to integrate locally grown produce into meals. Some start small by serving one ready-to-eat item per week, like fresh fruit, while others jump right in, serving butternut squash soup or meatloaf made with grass-fed ground beef and local vegetables.

We work with other nonprofits to create opportunities for students to learn about and taste new foods beyond the school day. The PB&J Fund offers after-school and summer programs that teach culinary and nutrition education, while City Schoolyard Garden teaches students how to grow and harvest their food.

Our Growers Services program works with our partner farms to grow school-specific and kid-friendly foods, and assists farmers with implementing season extension techniques on their farm to ensure local produce is available all year.


“Our students tasted over ten fresh fruits and vegetables during the school year through the Harvest of the Month program, which were grown by Local Food Hub partner farms. During Virginia Farm to School Week, students are introduced to local farmers, and get to try new products. Because of Local Food Hub, we’ve been able to expand our teachings in the classroom and better connect students to their food. ”
– Eiley Patterson, Garden Coordinator at City Schoolyard Garden

Virginia Farm to School Week

Virginia Farm to School Week, organized by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, provides an opportunity for schools and partnering organizations to highlight efforts that are taking place throughout the year to source more school foods locally, and to provide educational activities to students that emphasize food, farming, and nutrition.  These efforts have benefits that reach beyond the cafeteria since they make a lasting impact on the health and eating habits of the next generation, and farmers benefit from increased market opportunities now and into the future. The week is generally celebrated during the first full week of October.

Local Food Hub works closely with area school partners to develop exciting menus for Farm to School Week, and to organize enriching educational opportunities for students, such as taste tests, meet-the-farmer visits, and gardening activities.

In 2015, Local Food Hub provided grass-fed ground beef, sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, apples, kale, broccoli, butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash, gold and red potatoes, apple cider, and peppers to six public school districts.

We currently partner with Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Greene County, Harrisonburg City, Nelson County, Staunton City, and Waynesboro Public Schools. If you are a school interested in partnering with us, please email us at

Your Support

Much of our farm to school work is supported by individual donations. If you would like to support our efforts to teach students about where their food comes from and create greater connections among students to their food, please donate today, or contact our Director of Philanthropy, Marisa Taylor, at

Thank you, Local Food Hub supporters!

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