The E-Harvest now delivers more information and resources!

The E-Harvest Gets a Makeover!

Starting this month, TDA’s E-Harvest will feature information relevant to schools, child and adult care centers and sites operating a Summer Nutrition Program.

What does this mean for you?
As a subscriber to this newsletter, you will be connected with news, important policy memos, resources and funding opportunities relevant to the Summer Nutrition Programs, schools, and child care and adult care settings. 

Farm Fresh Spotlight

Fort Worth Elementary School Gardeners Share Vegetables with Local Chef

Real School Gardens has partnered with elementary schools in low-income areas throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to build gardens for each campus. The Fort Worth-based nonprofit is providing these gardens for schools to use as teaching tools for the students. Read the full story here

New Farm to Summer Site Brochure and Online Toolkit

TDA has developed a brochure and accompanying online toolkit to provide information and sample models of how sites participating in the summer meal programs can purchase local products and incorporate nutrition and agriculture into enrichment activities. The online toolkit also provides information for Texas agricultural producers interested in getting involved with local farm to summer site initiatives.

Access the toolkit today and start connecting local summer meal programs to local agriculture!

Farm to School

USDA Farm to School Grant
Planning, Implementation and Support Service grants
Application due May 20

USDA is now accepting applications for the Farm to School Grant Program. These grants help new farm to school programs get started, expand existing efforts and facilitate stronger connections between local and regional producers and school cafeterias.

The grant Request for Application, information about the grant categories of funding and sample applications can be found on USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program Web page.

2nd National Farm to School Census Underway!

USDA is currently collecting information about schools’ farm to school activities during School Year 2013-2014. The census records information related to local food purchases, garden-based learning and nutrition and agriculture educational lessons. Invitations for the census have been sent directly to Texas Child Nutrition Directors.

If you received an invitation to complete the survey, please do so before May 28, 2015. Support organizations working with local schools are asked to encourage their partners to complete the survey.

Resource Spotlight

Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement

This new report, published by the Illinois Public Health Institute, Crossroads Resource Center, highlights how local food systems facilitate community health and stronger local economies. It can be useful for communities creating innovative and effective ways to build procurement systems for locally produced foods for schools, hospitals, food banks and other institutions. The report features original qualitative research in case studies of five diverse communities – Southern Arizona; Jefferson County, Kentucky; Burlington, Vermont; Southwest Wisconsin; and San Diego County, California – and offers a critical analysis of the literature on the economic impact of local foods and recommends effective funding strategies.

Go here to access a copy of the full report, executive summary and fact sheet.  

Farm to Child Care

Farm to child care supports establishing healthy habits in young children as early as possible. The goals of farm to child care are similar to those of farm to school: connecting early care and education settings to local producers so that young children are served locally grown food and taught about local food through nutrition and agriculture-based education lessons.

Learn more about Texas CACFP day care centers and homes that have put farm to child care into practice by visiting the Healthy Child Care Network.

Resource Spotlight

The Public Health Law Center has developed a series of resources designed to help child care providers and other early childhood educators understand how farm to child care activities complement existing licensing, quality ratings and best practices standards, and can be integrated into child care programs to support healthy child development. 

Growing Healthy Kids through Farm to Child Care is available here, on the Public Health Law Center website.

Farm to Summer Site

Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option program operators can integrate farm to summer site activities, including using locally sourced ingredients in meals and snacks, creating garden-based learning environments, including nutrition education in enrichment activities, and connecting children with local farmers and ranchers. Offering local, seasonal fruits and vegetables during a peak growing season ensures that children learn the benefits of enjoying foods that are fresh and tasty.

Resource Spotlight

Outreach materials, including posters, door hangers and rack cards are currently available on TDA’s website. These materials can help raise awareness of the Summer Nutrition Programs and how to find a local site for parents, students, businesses and city officials.

Visit TDA’s Summer Nutrition Program Outreach Web page to download these materials.

Contact TDA

Alyssa Herold
Farm to School Program Coordinator
Direct: (512) 463-1209
Toll Free: (877) TEX-MEAL

Connect with Others

Texas Farm Fresh Statewide Network
(LinkedIn Group) 

This LinkedIn Group is intended to connect schools, child care centers, summer meal program participants, producers, support organizations & community members interested in expanding local food purchasing & educational efforts.

Join Today!

Grant Opportunities

Food & Nutrition related grants

TDA Grants

USDA Grants

Upcoming Webinars

USDA Growing Roots in Farm to School Webinar Series

USDA Farm to School staff and guest speakers have just what you need to start or expand your farm to school program in the new year. This 11-part webinar series will help you build your farm to school skills and develop new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom.

Go here to see the full schedule.

Connect with TDA

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This product was funded by USDA. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


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