Participate in the 2023 USDA Farm to School Census
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The 2023 USDA Farm to School Census is coming!
The USDA’s Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program is conducting its fourth Farm to School Census in Fall 2023! The Census assesses the status of farm to school activities at schools across the nation and over time. The Census is the only national survey that examines local food purchasing, school gardens, and agricultural education efforts in schools. Surveys will be sent to all public, private, and charter school food authorities (SFAs) operating the National School Lunch Program in all 50 states, Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico. This includes schools in North Carolina!
This year’s Census will assess SFAs’ farm to school participation during the School Year 2022-2023. Similar to Censuses in previous years, the 2023 Census will include questions regarding:
- SFA activities that are considered “farm to school”;
- The amount of money spent on local food purchases;
- The most common products purchased locally;
- The sources of local food products;
- The benefits and challenges of participating in farm to school; and,
- The number and use of edible school gardens within the SFA.
We highly encourage all Extension agents to spread the word and work within your local communities to participate in this year’s Census. The Census can help you tell the story of how your farm to school programming benefits students, producers, your community, and the local economy. High participation rates in the Census will help illustrate the scale and impact of farm to school within North Carolina and show us where there is room to grow.
Surveys went live on October 2, 2023! Look out for your survey and help North Carolina show that #LocalCounts!
Hungry for more information? Please go to the USDA’s Farm to School Program Fact Sheets Page