More than 30 million children in the U.S. eat a school lunch five days a week, 180 days a year. Most students have little to no idea where their food comes from, how it is grown and harvested, how it is processed, and the impact on the environment of its production, processing and transport. Learn about healthy, sustainable food initiatives that can be implemented at your school to bring in fresh, local food; provide healthy meals in school cafeterias; improve student nutrition; offer curricular connections on food and nutrition; and connect schools to their local communities and farms.
Tip: Also visit our National & State Green School Programs page to learn more about local and national Green School programs and resources to help you improve the health & sustainability of your school!
Before You Start
Design and Preparation
- Conduct a Sustainable Food Audit
- Check Out Some Model Urban Programs:
- Develop a Sustainable Food Action Plan
- Become a Team Nutrition School:
- Learn About & Enhance Your School Wellness Policy:
- Start a Healthy School Lunch Campaign
- Host a Food Day Event!
- Find Cool Food & Nutrition Activities & Programs Happening in Schools!
- Become a Recipe for Success Affiliate Partner
- Cook Up Change! National competition to create a healthy school meal
- Participate in the Farm to Cafeteria Conference
- Become a Seed Change Partner to Create a Farm-To-School Program
- Use K-12 Compliant Recipes, Menus, Training & Promotion Toolkit
- Start a Fuel Up to Play 60 Program
- Check Out Real Food for Real Kids Programs & Chapters
- Join/Start an Alliance for Healthy Schools Program (Search by State)
- Get Involved with Your Local Food Policy Council (State Directory)
- Become a Farm to School Network Partner or Member
- Also See: Procuring Healthy, Sustainable Food for Schools
- Also See: Edible School Gardens
- Also See: Recycling & Waste Reduction Projects
Using Your Project
- In Defense of Food Curriculum (ages 10+)
- Johns Hopkins FoodSpan: Standards Aligned High School Curriculum
- EPA Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides & Online Resources for Educators
- Eco Schools Tools & Resources for Educators
- Eco Schools National Standards & Curriculum Alignment
- Green Education Foundation: Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse
- Learning Lab Sustainability Lessons
- Project Learning Tree Curriculum Offerings
Sharing Your Project
- Team Nutrition Popular Events Idea Notebook
- Engage EVERYONE with the “The School Day Just Got Healthier” Toolkit!
- Involve Parents & Others Enhancing & Implementing a School Wellness Policy
- Nutrition Education & Promotion Materials
- Forward Food Posters, Postcards & More
- Golden Carrot Award: Food Service Healthy School Lunch Improvement
- Create Signs About Healthy Food Tips & Efforts
- Project Resource Library: Learn More!
- National & State Green Schools Programs
- Bay Backpack Teaching Resources Search Engine
- Where Your Food Comes From: Farm-Based Education Network Resources
- Farm to School Network Resources Search Engine
- EPA Learning & Teaching About the Environment (awards, resources, more)