Farm to Preschool

The Farm to Preschool Program began as a two-year pilot program in  2009 and is continuing to expand.  It is designed to influence early childhood eating habits and expand the farm to school network of programs to bring farm fresh foods to a range of child care and preschool programs in underserved areas of Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

Goals of the program include incorporating locally grown fruits and vegetables from farmers and farmers’ markets into preschool meals and snacks and providing age- and culturally-appropriate nutrition curricula for preschoolers and their parents.  The curriculum includes Harvest of the Month activities, taste tests, cooking demonstrations, field trips to farms and farmers’ markets, and a workshop series for parents. Demonstration sites in each county were established in Spring 2011 to disseminate the program to other interested preschools, day care centers and family homes.  Ultimately, program-developed wellness policies for preschools will help establish nutrition standards for these schools and community organization around fresh and healthy food access will be facilitated.

UEPI’s Farm to Preschool program was extensively evaluated during its two-year pilot phase and has demonstrated many positive changes in preschool knowledge of fruits and vegetables, increased preference for healthier food, among other measures.

The Farm to Preschool program is currently partnering with Ecotrust in Portland, Oregon and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project in Asheville, North Carolina to help create a National Farm to Preschool Network.  This Network will link similar preschool programs around the country to share resources and best practices models.  The funding and planning for this network will be aided by the National Farm to School Network.



Contact Project Staff

Zoe Phillips
Farm to Preschool Project Director
Rosa Romero
Victor Hernandez

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