Problem DescriptionThe farm to preschool and early care (F2P) movement is flourishing at the grassroots level with hundreds of local programs, as well as nationally with support from the National Farm to School Network (NFSN). But licensing, resources, and many of the rules and regulations around child care meal programs are organized at a statewide level, where there is often a gap in support for and collaboration around F2P. This solution leverages the resources, expertise, and experience of established state-level farm to school networks to help fill this gap.
In 2013, Ecotrust and the Oregon Farm to Preschool Coalition developed Oregon-specific resources in three different areas including how to coordinate a preschool farm field trip, how to start a preschool garden, and local food procurement tips for early child care settings. Ecotrust and Coalition partners used these materials to offer trainings to early child care staff and providers across the state. After two years of focused attention on farm to preschool, the Coalition decided to merge its work with the larger (400+ members) Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network, which provides resources and support for farm to school programs across the state, and gathers annually for an in-person meeting each fall.
- Stacey Sobell, Ecotrust