Rural Community Impacts of Farm to School
Food Supply Chains, Educational Programming, and Household Food Purchases

We want to understand the impacts of Farm to School Programs on farmers and food supply chain businesses, household consumption patterns, and school food choice and consumption.

  • Nearly 100,000 schools across the U.S. serve school lunches to 30.5M students each day.
  • Annually $13.6 billion dollars are spent on school lunch.
  • This spending could create economic opportunities for rural communities, U.S. agriculture, and food supply chain businesses, as well as to improve the health and well-being of children and households.
  • As of 2018 $7.5 million of federal funding is budgeted to support Farm to School Programs.
  • Farm to School Program rates are rising, with 42,587 schools reported participating as of the 2013/14 school year.
  • Farm to School legislation rates have also spiked in States across the country.
  • Despite this undeniable interest in Farm to School and significant federal funding we need to learn more about how Farm to School Programs are related to economic and public health outcomes in rural communities.

Click each section of the image below to learn more

kids win farmers win communities win

Farmers Win

Do Farm to School Programs provide business opportunities for farmers and other food supply chain businesses in the region?

We explore farm profitability across the country and link this information to Farm to School Programs and policies in the same places. We are exploring how place-based Farm to School Programs may influence or correlate with farm performance. Results from this study will be shared in a Webinar mid-2019, check the Resources page for updates.

Kids Win

Does sourcing local food for schools influence students’ fruit and vegetable consumption?

We explore the relationship between local food procurement and students’ choice, consumption and waste of fresh fruits and vegetables. Through in school experiments we are examining how the quality of Farm to School products and information about product source may change students eating behaviors. We are also examining how Farm to School policies may change local food procurement in schools.

Check the Resources page late 2019 for results of this study.

Communities Win

Do Farm to School programs change food purchasing behaviors in communities surrounding participating schools?

Check the Resources page late 2019 for results of this study.



Economic Impacts of Farm to School

October 11, 2017

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November, 2019
Becca Jablonski, Dawn Thilmany – Colorado State University
and Melissa Pflugh Prescott- University of Illinois
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  • Coming Soon


  • Coming Soon

Would you like more information about the project? Please contact Becca Jablonski at

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