The San Antonio Farm to School Work Group is a sub-group of the Food Policy Council of San Antonio. We are tasked to determine where there is an interest in Bexar County and San Antonio school districts in order to develop a program to incorporate local produce into our schools and teach children where food comes from.

“Farm to School” is a national term that strives to bring locally produced foods into school cafeterias. Schools also incorporate nutrition-based curriculum with experiential learning opportunities such as farm visits, chef demonstrations, gardening and related sustainable programs. As a result of Farm to School, students have access to fresh, local foods, and farmers have access to new markets through school sales. 

Farm to School provides a model for positively influencing children’s eating habits through school cafeteria improvements, hands-on nutrition education, and community involvement and support.

Thank you for taking the time to answer this survey. Your participation is critical as we work together to build a healthy community and a strong local food system.

Section I—General Information

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* 1. School district(s) where your program operates:

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* 2. Program title, if any:

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* 3. Please provide the name(s) of the school(s) that your program serves.  If your program serves an entire district, provide the name of the district in the line titled “All schools”:

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* 4. Please provide updated contact information for your program below:

The Farm to School program seeks to support your farm to school goals by providing a range of resources, mobile tours, and direct technical assistance. We are also building a database of interested farms and schools so that we may better match and support farm-to-school partnerships.

Your contact information is needed in order to better assist you. Trust that this identifying information will not be associated with your responses or any reporting that may result from the survey.

If you choose not to include your contact information, please continue with the questions so that we can learn from your experiences as we further develop farm to school tools and resources for San Antonio area schools and districts.

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* 5. Will you allow the Farm to School Work Group to include your contact information on the Food Policy Council's website?

Section II—Participating Feeding Programs and Processing
Many schools/districts prefer to purchase products that come in a processed, ready-to-use form (cleaned, washed, cut, portioned), while others have the capacity to process fresh produce right from the field. The following questions are intended to increase the understanding of product and processing preferences, needs, and potential opportunities.

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* 6. Regarding the Child Nutrition Programs your school district participates in, please indicate below those programs you see as opportunities to use Texas grown foods. (Check as many as apply.)

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* 7. Please list the top 5-10 WHOLE fruits or vegetables most frequently purchased for school meals in the 2013-2014 school year (such as potatoes, strawberries, apples, and broccoli).

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* 8. Please indicate how many schools in your district have active salad bars in operation.

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* 9. Does your school district operate a central kitchen?

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* 10. If so, does your central kitchen currently process fresh fruits and vegetables? This may include cleaning, washing, cutting, or portioning from “as purchased” to “edible portions.”

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* 11. In your opinion, does your central kitchen have the capacity to process fresh fruits and vegetables, as previously defined?

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* 12. If you have individual school site kitchens, do they currently process fresh fruits and vegetables, as previously defined?

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* 13. Please check which of the following most accurately indicates your need for fresh produce to be delivered to you in a minimally processed form?
Minimally processed is defined as frozen, dried, or otherwise prepared, stored, and handled to maintain its fresh nature while providing convenience to the user – this may involve cleaning, washing, cutting or portioning e.g. shredded lettuce, sliced apples, frozen berries, broccoli florets, etc.

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* 14. Many local farms and producers have product they would like to process, but do not have access to a certified kitchen facility to process it. Do you think it would it be possible to rent out school district kitchen space outside of school hours for farms or small food companies to produce their products?

Section III--Procurement
We are interested in the different procurement practices of schools and districts and are exploring multiple ways local foods can be integrated into school meals. This can occur through direct purchasing from farms, through wholesalers and distributors as well as other avenues. The following questions address procurement policies and practices and will help identify opportunities for more local sourcing.

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* 15. Does your school/district purchase Texas foods directly from farms? This may include fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, grains, lentils, beans, jams, dried fruits, etc.

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* 16. If no, please indicate your level of interest in purchasing Texas grown foods directly from farmers/producers  and distributors.

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* 17. Please indicate approximately how much money was spent in the 2013-2014 school year on local products.

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* 18. Would you like to purchase Texas grown products directly from farmers/producers?

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* 19. Regarding liability insurance for your vendors, what is the exact amount of liability coverage you require?

SECTION IV—Farm to School

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* 20. Regarding food safety, do you have a set of questions or other requirements you ask of potential vendors?

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* 21. How does your school or district define “locally grown”?

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* 22. Farm to school encompasses a variety of activities in the cafeteria, in the classroom as well as educational opportunities outside of the classroom. If you have held any farm to school activities, please indicate which ones from the list below and check all that apply.

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* 23. If you purchase locally grown ingredients, how do you procure them? Please check all that apply.

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* 24. Please list your local grower or distributor sources:

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* 25. On average, approximately what percentage of the produce purchased in your program is sourced locally (in dollars)?

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* 26. An important part of this survey is to document the partnerships that bring together a successful farm to school program in San Antonio. Please indicate which agencies or organizations, if any, assisted with farm to school activities in your school/district and include contact information at the bottom:

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* 27. Please describe your relationship with the organizations you listed above. What are you working on and how are you working together?

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* 28. If you do have farm to school activities in place at your school/district, how are they financially supported? Funding sources might include grants, contracts and other monies received either directly by the school, or by program partners. Please check all sources you are aware of from the list below.

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* 29. Please identify the top three barriers to implementing farm to school initiatives that you would like to see addressed by the Farm to School Work Group.

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* 30. If you have farm to school initiatives in place, are you evaluating the impact of your program on students?

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* 31. If so, what methods are you using?

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* 32. If the Farm to School Work Group were to host a series of regional Farm to School mobile tours where food service directors and farmers visit farms and school kitchens, would you be interested in attending or offering your school as a host site for an event?

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* 33. The Farm to School Work Group wants to offer you services and resources you see as critical to supporting your farm to school initiatives. Please indicate the kind of information or events you would be interested in.

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* 34. Each year, the USDA gives $5 million to support farm to school initiatives for schools and school districts across the country. Are you interested in learning more about USDA Farm to School grant opportunities for your school or district?

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* 35. Who is your Food Service provider?

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* 36. Please provide an email for the Food Service Director of your Food Service provider.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these important questions as they relate to building a strong Farm to School program in your school/district. We greatly appreciate your efforts to help the Farm to School Work Group evaluate the landscape in San Antonio and we deeply appreciate everything you do on a daily basis to provide healthy and nutritious meals to students.

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