For Educators
Early Childhood
Farm to School

Leveraging Federal & State Funding for Innovations in Farm to Early Childhood

Posted by Sarah Webb
Communications Manager

Farm to early childhood encourages children to investigate their food systems, adopt nutritious eating behaviors, and develop deeper connections to their communities. How can early educators make the best use of federal and state funding to connect their children to local food and nutrition and agriculture education? Watch a recent webinar from Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) to explore current approaches from early educators and policy specialists.


Watch the webinar from ASPHN



[1:53] Katrina Kefalas, Program Analyst CACFP Policy Branch, USDA Food & Nutrition Service
The Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program funded by the USDA providing reimbursement for meals and snacks provided to children and adults enrolled in various settings (child care, family childcare homes, adult day cares, after school, emergency shelters, etc). Katrina shares how this program can support and bolster FTEC opportunities.


[14:53] Brenda Tourangeau, Farm to School Coordinator, Milton Family Community Center
Milton Family Community Center cares for and feeds nearly forty children, serving them breakfast, lunch, and snack daily. Brenda shares tips for getting kids outside in the garden, and how she has worked with local farmers to help kids understand who makes their food and fiber. “Putting the plant into the dirt is such instant gratification, but they also love planting the seeds in the dirt and waiting for it to sprout. It’s just so much fun watching their reactions when they pull a vegetable out of the dirt.”


[29:00] Laura Butler, Owner & Educator, Imagination Island
Laura operates an in-home early childhood center in Milton, VT, and has been a CACFP participant for over 29 years. Gardening with her kids quickly took root with the families. “Families are now growing gardens and we’re swapping foods. I have one dad that is really good at growing squash, so he grows the squash for us. We have a salad garden, and it produces so much more than what we need to eat in a week—it is actually feeding all of the six families, too.” Laura is a longtime Shelburne Farms collaborator and professional learning participant.


[39:47] Melanie Tran, Farm to Early Childhood Education Specialist & Registered Dietician, Michigan’s Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities
10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids and Farms is working to bring more local, nutritious foods to Michigan children, which reached approximately 590,000 children in SY2022-23. This reimbursement program supports local purchasing, and can offer additional funds on top of CACFP. Melanie shares how the program gained traction and the difference it is making.


Original webinar date: January 9, 2024. Download the slide deck.

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