Increase Access to Farm to School and Early Childhood Programming
Vermont Farm to School is a nationally recognized initiative that supports children’s healthy development and learning, along with Vermont’s economy and communities. In 2017, Act 63, the Farm to School bill, was signed into law allowing both registered and licensed early childhood education providers to be eligible for Vermont Farm to School grants.
The Alliance supports Vermont FEED, Hunger Free Vermont, and champion organizations in their efforts to fully fund Farm to School and Early Childhood at $500,000. Full funding will ensure early childhood education programs and K-3 classrooms can access this critical programming.
Data and Talking Points
- 91% of early childhood providers polled are interested in implementing Farm to Early Childhood programming, yet only 21% have been able to access Farm to Early Childhood professional development opportunities.
- The Farm to School and Early Childhood Grants program has engaged over 50,000 Vermont students since 2007. Nearly 50 early childhood education programs have received grants in the last few years.
- Farm to School and Early Childhood programming offers concrete food support and fosters community resilience. Every dollar spent on local food contributes an additional 60 cents to the local economy.
- 93% of early childhood programs offer at least one snack or meal during program hours and 56% of early childhood providers are serving local food one or more times per week. This indicates that there are market growth opportunities in the early childhood community which can support farmers and improve access to nutritious food for our youngest children.