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Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Southeast > Apples to Zucchini: Building Demand for Farm to School

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Apples to Zucchini: Building Demand for Farm to School


Apples to Zucchini is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture funded Specialty Crop Block Grant project aimed to increase the demand for Minnesota specialty crops by school nutrition programs in the state. This project builds on the 2010-11 pilot project that aimed to connect specialty crop producers to an emerging market of schools receiving funding through the federal USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).

Project objectives:

  1. 10% increase in the amount of Minnesota produce (in dollars) purchased by schools via the FFVP
  2. 10% increase in the number of FFVP-funded schools that participate in Farm to School (F2S) educational activities

The grant is funding a collaboration of Extension partners. The role of the Regional Partnerships is to coordinate regional Farm to Cafeteria workshops to introduce farmers and school personnel.


School food service, farmers, local public health, nutrition educators, UM Extension and other community partners


  1. Hosting regional Farm to Cafeteria workshops which introduce farmers and school personnel to each other, build capacity for F2S and the FFVP, and offer training on emerging issues
  2. Systematically incorporating F2S into statewide UM Extension nutrition education programs with a focus on eating fresh, seasonal, locally-produced foods
  3. Introducing and engaging schools in F2S education, including the Toolkit for School Food Service 
  4. Encouraging schools that receive FFVP funding to become involved with F2S by offering incentives through a competition to be held during F2S month, September 2013.


To be determined


Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant - $99,917.00 statewide

Leveraged resources

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant
Volunteer time of regional planning committee
TBD: potential co-sponsorship via local public health or other organizations

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