251412 Farm to School: Building Healthy Kids and Communities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Anupama Joshi, MS , UEPI, Occidental College, National Farm to School Network, Los Angeles, CA
More than one third of the U.S. adult population and 17% of U.S. children are obese. While the causes of obesity in the United States are complex and numerous, the strategies for prevention can cover changes at the social, environmental, policy and individual levels. Schools have a critical role to play in preventing childhood obesity, and can also serve as building blocks for broader policy and environmental changes that prevent obesity and promote healthier communities. Farm to School programs, are rapidly growing in numbers, and are prevalent in all fifty states. By linking local farmers with schools to improve school meals; incorporating curriculum to promote local foods and agriculture; developing school gardens; and engaging farmers, food service, parents, teachers, healthcare providers, and youth, these programs can serve as precursors for longer-term changes in the community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend Farm to School programs, farmers' markets and purchasing from local farms as a community strategy to prevent obesity. These innovative strategies, when successfully integrated into schools enable linkages with education, built environment, and collaborative efforts to develop the infrastructure, policies and systems for long lasting community-wide changes.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe strategies to improve the school food environment through Farm to School programs, including local food procurement, education, school gardens and policy development. 2. Discuss the importance of engaging communities and youth in transforming school food environments, and list two examples of successful strategies.

Keywords: Obesity, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Anupama Joshi is Director of the National Farm to School Network, and is a recognized leader in the field of Farm to School programs, which connect local farms with schools to improve student nutrition and markets for farmers. She is an expert on local food systems, and a long-time food justice advocate, having recently co-authored a book on the topic “Food Justice” (Gottlieb & Joshi, MIT Press, October 2010). Ms. Joshi has close to twenty years of experience working on nutrition, agriculture and food systems issues in various countries around the world.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.