SACRAMENTO, July 10, 2017 – This summer the California Farm to School Network (CFSN) transitions to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Office of Farm to Fork, making the Office the new Network lead as well as a core partner for the National Farm to School Network.
After four years of working on farm to school and food access efforts throughout the state, the Office is well suited to advance and enhance the already robust farm to school program built by three founding organizations: the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI), and LifeLab.
The CFSN is a “one-stop shop” for everything related to
farm-to-school in the state of California. As a communications hub and a
convener across many organizations and regions, the CFSN will align
farm-to-school efforts; share resources; and bring farmers, schools,
distributors and practitioners together. CDFA will help institutionalize the
“California has always been a strong advocate of Farm to School programs,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “CDFA is excited to lead the California Farm to School Network to provide healthier choices for our schoolchildren and expand opportunities for California farmers and ranchers.”
Earlier this summer the Office of Farm to Fork was awarded a USDA farm to school grant. With this support, the Office looks forward to working with stakeholders throughout the state to continue to strengthen the program. Currently, the Office is conducting a needs assessment to better understand opportunities and challenges in California and will use this information to create a two-year strategic plan for the network. Partnerships with the founding organizations will continue, with CAFF leading procurement efforts; UEPI leading early childhood education work; and Lifelab leading school garden efforts.
Together, the Office of Farm to Fork and the many farm-to-school practitioners in California will support the development of new information and resources, develop greater awareness of farm-to-school benefits, and provide vision for the growth and evolution of the program.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814