Farm to CACFP

Farm to CACFP aims to connect participants to nutrition education, Virginia grown foods, and gardening opportunities. Through these activities, CACFP participants learn about Virginia agriculture while building their knowledge and interest in healthy foods.

Activity inspiration:

From tastes tests to farm visits, Farm to CACFP includes anything pertaining to Virginia agriculture, which includes food or gardening education, or eating seasonal or local food. Farm to CACFP is comprised of three elements:

Here are a few activity ideas. If you have activities that are not listed below, please share them with us!

  • Taste test with local and/or seasonal foods (different varieties of apples, different colored carrots, etc.)
  • Add a local food item or dish to your menu
  • Maintain a garden
  • Nutrition education activities
  • Visit a grocery store or farm
  • Cooking or food preparation demonstrations
  • A farmer or gardener visits your center
  • Connect with a community garden for field trips or collaboration

What’s in season?

Click here to download a helpful chart of what’s in season in Virginia throughout the year.

Connect with local food:

Find a Farmers’ Market through the Virginia Farmers Market Association

Connect with local food distributors that only source Virginia grown foods:

4P Foods
Local Food Hub
Appalachian Sustainable Development

Don’t have time for a Farmers’ Market visit? Ask your grocery store or food distributor if they have local produce—often times they do!

Connect with local partners:

FeedVA’s interactive map is an excellent source for connecting with local partners.
Local VA Farm Bureau Offices have volunteer boards that conduct different activities.
Virginia Cooperative Extension can connect you educational opportunities and to Master Gardeners.

Connect to educational resources:

USDA’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! Educational Toolkit for Child Care Centers. Order online or email Brittany.thorp@vdh.virginia.gov for a free toolkit.
USDA’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! Educational Toolkit for Family Day Care Homes. Order online or email Brittany.thorp@vdh.virginia.gov for a free toolkit.
National Farm to School Network’s Early Care and Education resources
Harvest for Healthy Kids Lesson Plans organized by fruit/vegetable 
Growing Minds Preschool Lesson Plans
Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom, Harvest of the Month Materials

Promote and celebrate Farm to CACFP

Use #VAFarmtoCACFP and #VACACFP to promote your program on social media.

Are you a CACFP participant and engaged in Farm to CACFP Activities? We want to hear about your work! Please email Brittany.thorp@vdh.virginia.gov to share the activities you are conducting at your center.

 Learn more about Farm to CACFP with Virginia Department of Health’s Webinar