Farm to School BC Framework

– Three Core Elements –

F2S programs differ by school,
but include the following core elements:

  • Healthy, Local Food

    Schools source local food in a variety of ways, including through direct farmer relationships, food distributors, schoolyard farms, or the harvesting of wild or traditional foods. When local food arrives in schools it is often served in the form of a salad bar, hot lunch program, tasting activity, fundraiser, or community celebration.

  • Hands-on Learning

    Food literacy is a critically important component of a F2S program. Step into any school offering a F2S program and you will find students learning about food in the school garden, greenhouse, kitchen, lunchroom or classroom. They may also be getting ready for field trips to local farms, forests and shores. Schools access a plethora of resources available to them through provincial and regional partners.

  • School & Community Connectedness

    The most sucessful and sustainable F2S programs are built upon strong relationships.Schools establish relationships with farmers, community members, and support organizations, tapping into local knowledge passion,skill and resources.

What makes the F2S framework unique is that it is not a one size fits all program – communities develop models that are unique, appropriate and applicable to their own  interests, needs, opportunities and community resources.

Our Vision

Healthy, local and sustainable food on the plates and minds of all students in BC.

Our Mission

Working with communities and partners, Farm to School BC seeks to empower and support schools in building comprehensive Farm to School programs that support vibrant, sustainable, regional food systems, develop student food literacy and enhance school and community connectedness.

Farm to School BC Goals



Support the development of sustainable regional food systems in BC by bringing more healthy, local, and sustainable food into BC schools.



Promote healthy eating in BC schools by supporting the development of healthy school food environments.



Advance experiential hands-on learning opportunities related to food systems and the development of student food literacy in BC schools.



Enhance school and community connectedness in BC.



Develop promising Farm to School practice models that are sustainable, self-financing, eco- friendly and have the potential to be implemented elsewhere.

Growing Farm

Growing Farm to School in BC

In 2014 the Public Health Association of BC received funding from the Province of British Columbia to implement a two year project that would see continued provincial coordination of the F2SBC network, the funding of 48 new F2S programs across the province and the establishment of three F2S Regional Hubs. The three Regional Hubs were created in the Vancouver, Kamloops and Capital Regions of the province.

The development of three F2S Regional Hubs fostered collaboration and collective impact around F2S at the regional level. The F2S Regional Hub Community Animators, part-time F2SBC team members who live in the Hub regions, enabled capacity-building and F2S resilience within communities and sowed the seeds for long-term F2S success. The Animators became agents of change in the community: building relationships and developing new partnerships.

— By the Numbers —

Farm to School BC

Start-up Grants 2014-2016

Stories from the Field

As part of their grant reporting process, grantee schools were requested to write a story highlighting the process and progress to date in building their F2S programs. Below you will find short summaries of a handful of the amazing stories generated by our grantee schools.

South Nelson Elementary

South Nelson Elementary

At South Nelson Elementary School they have developed their version of a F2S program through the creation of a weekly salad bar lunch program which features fresh and local vegetables. Two local farmers deliver their produce directly to the school and a neighbourhood baker delivers whole wheat bread in a car that oftentimes runs on pedal and solar power. The grade two students contributed sprouts and seeds that they grew for the salad bar and the grade four and five students are apprenticing in the planning and preparing of the weekly salad bar service. The school uses roughly 40% grown and local produced in their weekly salad bar and provides a range of experiential learning opportunities for students building strong relationships with their local community. This successful program aims to continue to increase the capacity of their local farmers to food their community.

Logan Lake Secondary

Logan Lake Secondary

Logan Lake Secondary began with an idea to start a school garden and expanded into so much more. Some of their achievements over the past year include a successful school garden, growing microgreens, healthy lunch and breakfast programs, and school composting. . The team has built and created many positive connections throughout the school and community. Students have grown in their leadership abilities and healthier life choices are being made by students and staff alike. The school credits their F2S Start-up Grant as the catalyst for all of the amazing work they have been able to accomplish over the last two years.

Yarrow Community School

Yarrow Community School

Since receiving their F2S Start-up Grant, Yarrow Community School has built a F2S program that includes a school garden, local food smoothies, strong connections with local farmers and community partners and has provided local food meals for the school community. The entire school student population—all 307 students, plus the on-site preschool and daycare programs—participate in the program in one way or another. “Smoothie Tuesday” is one of the most engaging components of Yarrow’s F2S program where every classroom in the school rotates through being in charge of Smoothie Tuesday. The chosen class makes smoothies with grown, donated and gleaned ingredients and deliver samples to the entire school population. They bring knowledge along with their tasty treats, engaging kids to “Guess what’s in it? Guess which healthy ingredients were grown right here in Chilliwack?” And then they share their recipe!

David Thomson Secondary School

David Thomson Secondary School

Cultivating healthy eating and ecological stewardship may require much more than healthy snacks- but they’re certainly a place to start. With their F2S Start-up Grant, the team at David Thompson Secondary School transformed part of the school food landscape by empowering students to produce, market and sell preserved fruits and vegetables. They experimented, learned and shared using locally-sourced produce, all while fostering leadership, employment skills and a sense of community amongst student participants. Most excitingly, students involved in the school Carrot Club were featured in Vancouver Coastal Health’s PhotoVoice Project, which mentors students to use photography as a means to document their engagement with local food, gardening and cooking activities. This project has enabled students to capture project highlights and share these with a wider audience

Telkwa School

Telkwa School

Telkwa School’s F2S funding was used to develop a process of making fruit leather. In a remote community with a shortened growing season, due to almost a half-year of frosted ground, they can’t rely on fresh produce. Fortunately the community is generous and actually grateful to pass along the bear-attracting apples and other items like Saskatoon berries, rhubarb and strawberries that grow very well. With the purchase of two large industrial sized dehydrators they spent the fall blitzing and making fruit sauce. With cinnamon for flavour the sauce was frozen, then thawed, spread and dehydrated through the school year. The fruit leather is served to all the students in the school as part of their ongoing breakfast program, when a healthy snack is offered to all students to start their day. Students were delighted to be able to eat the fruit leather and all the students in the school have had multiple chances to be part of the process at every stage. To maintain this program they have planted apple trees, strawberries and other fruit- this addition to the school grounds will add beauty and function.

Queen Elizabeth Annex, Vancouver

Queen Elizabeth Annex, Vancouver

This school’s F2S program started with a focus on nutrition education and food skill building. The idea was to develop and enhance the student’s understanding of food and healthy eating through creative, hands on learning. They used the expertise of community partners and parent volunteers to educate the students on gardening, nutrition and cooking activities in an effort to cut down costs. They grew and maintained the school garden of six raised beds- this involved harvesting, food safety and preparation and food sharing. The students also had the opportunity to learn more about nutrition, food groups, meal planning and healthy snacks through fun and creative activities. Students have gained access to local food and engaged the community with their enthusiasm. In order to make the program more sustainable, they worked hard to establish successful partnerships with other local farms and suppliers. With F2SBC funding and help from parent volunteers, teachers and students, they have been able to get all the students involved in growing an edible food garden including planting, watering, harvesting, cooking and sharing. They are now in the planning stages of building a bee and butterfly garden, and were successful in implementing school wide composting measures.

Fernwood Elementary, Saltspring

Fernwood Elementary, Saltspring

This school set out to grow, harvest and consume food from their own garden, have a whole school harvest community lunch, arrange field trips to a local farm, and ultimately give the students a strong sense of food security that they can carry with them and share with others throughout their lives. And it is working! Students have been truly empowered by learning about soil, composting, preparing garden beds, planting seeds, watering, caring for plants and harvesting food. A big highlight for all students was the opportunity to learn about raising poultry from egg incubation, chick hatching, growth, development and care, all the way to a beautiful chicken flock that they care for daily. Fresh organic eggs were added to a pre-existing healthy offering of vegetables for students. Most importantly is how the sense of community has been strengthened throughout the entire F2S experience. The school program has connected with local farms, worked together in the garden, ate together at community meals, and witnessed friendships forming amongst students across age groups and intellectual and physical abilities. Their garden has been beatified but the true beauty has been watching a child’s face light up at the elation of being included, of being proud and of eating healthy food.

Lake Trail, Courtenay

Lake Trail, Courtenay

On any day at Lake Trail School students are out in the garden – with a teacher or volunteer tending the seeds and starts they’ve grown themselves. Math students are measuring how much plastic is needed to refurbish the hoop covers. Some are practising the names of herbs in French or trying radishes straight from the soil for the first time. Students made mint, parsley and lemon balm bouquets for Mother’s Day and harvest mint for tea-time in Foods Class. All of the small activities make up a whole school food movement. Inside, the garden plays a big role in Foods lesson plans and the Breakfast program offers fruit French toast and smoothies with fruit and greens from the garden. On any given day salad volunteers connect as they prep while students took an after-school Young Chefs class. The F2S program has engaged the students in menu planning, harvesting and composting. They coordinated to integrate the harvest, purchase and prep so that there can be fresh healthy food at every meal. In other words, they are Growing Together!