The California Central Coast boasts a huge diversity of farmers, raising everything from poultry to beef, and jujubes to broccoli. Without our farmers, we don't eat!
Markets can be challenging, especially for the small farmer, which is why Slow Money SLO is committed to connecting farms to schools. Are you a farmer looking for more market share? Our Farm to School coordinator is ready to hear from you!
ABOUT OUR FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM
Farm to School is a nationwide movement that is interested in supporting child nutrition and local farming. In joining with the national effort, our Farm to School Central Coast is likewise committed to offering the best food to our kids while also striving to best support small to mid size local farms.
With leadership from San Luis Coastal Unified School District, Farm to School has grown steadily since 2016, incorporating more local food into school menus. This experience has drawn attention to the challenges that schools and local farmers face when buying and selling high quality, organic, small farmed foods.
Schools face USDA nutrition requirements/restrictions, approved vendor constraints, and budget challenges. Farmers face marketing difficulties, competition with bigger growers, crop scheduling and projections challenges, and getting a fair price for their products and labor. These, and many others, are unique and system wide challenges that require unique solutions. Thus, Farm to School Central Coast is working to understand how to address these in ways that will facilitate change that benefits schools, kids, farmers, producers, and, ultimately, our Central Coast food system. This is no small task, but we are excited to dig in and uncover solutions!
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
FARM TO SCHOOL FORMS
Farm to School has been working on streamlining ordering systems to ease commerce and encourage participation of farmers and school districts. If you are a farmer interested in selling to schools, please fill out the linked forms and return them to our Farm to School Coordinator below.
NOTE: No farm is too small for Farm to School Central Coast! Our coordinator is working to aggregate products so that small farmers can be included in Farm to School. Furthermore, although school budgets do have their constraints, buying locally has more buying power than large producers/distributors. Food service directors want to speak with you to find solutions!
Vendor Response Form - we use this form to understand a little about your farm, as well as what products you would like to sell to school districts.
W9 - school districts need this document in order to set your farm up as a vendor in their purchase ordering system.
Food Safety Checklist - school districts would like to ensure your farm and employees practice good food safety. Please review and sign this document before returning it to the Farm to School Coordinator.
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FarmSLO was started in 2018 in order to gather small, local farmers together to increase communication via a farmers only Google Group, and make connections to institutional buyers. Other FarmSLO benefits include Slow Money SLO Wilhelm Farm Fund, business coaching, scholarships for educational events, and grant and fundraising efforts. Slow Money SLO is committed to problem solving with and for our local farmers to remove barriers and ease challenges.
For more information or to join the Google Group, follow below!