focus on food

focus on food

good food great kids: six recipes for a better world


This season, our focus on food segment is a menu of six vignettes on                             farm to early childcare and education (ECE) experiences across the                             United States. Anyone interested in bringing farm fresh food to children’s                 growing minds and bodies will find something to suit their tastes here.                           Even if you are just beginning to think about how to share with children                     the highest quality nutrition while their taste buds develop, let the learning                   stories that follow whet your appetite.

A single person can transform a community and culture. Beatriz “Bea” Zuluaga’s story at CentroNía in Washington, DC, is evidence of that. If you’re already part of a team within a regional farm to school program, but you’re hungry to expand impact to vulnerable young children and farmers, feast on the story of Northeast Iowa’s Food & Fitness Initiative. Perhaps you are already leading a growing local program but you’d  like to add some refreshing and innovative flavors to your activities. If so, see how partners in Minneapolis/St. Paul engaged Hmong farmers to enliven the cultural and nutritional menu at Head Start centers. If you love local tastes and familiar ingredients, look at Bedford Stuyvesant and Norris Square’s stories of how homegrown leadership cooked up farm to ECE activities in close collaboration with neighborhood partners to nourish the resilience of their communities.

The common theme in all of these vignettes is partnership and relationship-building. You’ll find that this is the featured ingredient in each story: people from varying backgrounds, sectors, and levels of experience coming together around shared values to bring a scientific foundation of healthy child development—appropriate nutrition—into the habits and cultures of ECE centers. Along the way, you will learn how shared values catalyze growth for a host of other actors: farmers, companies in the food service industry, chefs, teachers, parents, and universities. Read about—and feed on—the rich learning provided in the stories that follow.


This project was developed by the Good Food Great Kids Team: pfc Social Impact Advisors, the National Farm to School Network, and the BUILD Initiative. We would like
to thank Mark Luinenburg and Rebecca Drobis for the photographs that document 
this project.

case studies