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Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit

Slow Food USA, in partnership with Whole Kids Foundation, has developed a toolkit to help school district food services safely bring school garden produce onto the lunch line!

What is the toolkit?

The toolkit builds off the successes and safety protocols of five school districts across the United States to provide templates and a step-by-step process to help District Food Services develop their own protocols. It is developed based on the successes of the following school districts: 

• Austin Independent School District
• Chicago Public Schools
• Denver Public Schools
• San Diego Unified School District

How Can I Get Started?

1. Download the toolkit for free or purchase a hard copy here.
2. Download the sample GTC protocols from each of the above districts. 
3. Participate in the GTC community - see below for details
4. Check out the GTC FAQs  (PDF coming soon)

GTC Community

The GTC Community is designed to support school districts as they implement the GTC toolkit. We will offer several levels of support from a webinar series to direct consultation with Andrew Nowak of Slow Food USA-detailed below. In order to be a part of these opportunities, please tell us about your school district via this general information form. Only one form per district is needed. Email Andrew Nowak with any questions at Andrew@slowfoodusa.org.

Webinar Series: Build Your District’s Garden to Cafeteria Program

Whole Kids Foundation and Slow Food USA is launching a 4 month webinar series to provide technical support for the Garden to Cafeteria toolkit. Each month will feature a webinar and a separate virtual office hours session with Andrew Nowak, as well as email support, as needed. 

Monthly Webinars
Each webinar, led by Andrew Nowak of Slow Food USA, will cover a portion of the toolkit and will feature special guests from school districts that have successfully launched their Garden to Cafeteria program using the toolkit.  

Office Hours
Andrew Nowak will conduct virtual office hours through a webinar format each month 2-3 weeks after the previous webinar to address any questions as you work through the toolkit. 

Program Schedule
A recording of each session will be linked below, or you can view all on our GoToWebinar channel.

Welcome to the Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit-an introduction to the toolkit and webinar program. If you have previously attended a GTC Program informational session or webinar, feel free to start the program in September.
Webinar: August 23 at 3:00 pm ESTWatch here.

Chapters 1 and 2 - Building your GTC Team and Exploring Concerns W
Webinar: September 6 at 3:00 pm EST- Guest: Bellingham, WA Public School and Common Threads Farm- Watch here.
Office Hours: September 27 at 3:00 PM EST 

Chapters 3 and 4 - Designing your District’s Protocols
Webinar: October 11 at 3:00 pm EST - Guest: School District Rep TBD - Watch here
Office Hours: October 25 at 3:00 pm EST 

Chapter 5 - How to Pay for the Garden Produce
Webinar: November 8 at 3:00 pm EST - Guest: Tegan Hagy, formerly of USDA Farm to School team - Watch here

Chapter 6- Launching your GTC Program
Webinar: January 10 at 3:00 pm EST - Guest: School District Rep TBD - register here!


Direct Consultation with Andrew Nowak

For the 2018-2019 school year, Andrew Nowak will provide one-on-one technical assistance to districts specifically selected based on their readiness for a GTC program with all travel costs covered by WKF. To be eligible for this opportunity, please tell us about your school district via this general information form. Only one form per district is needed.  Districts will be selected and support is expected to begin by October 1, 2018.

There will be two types of support:

On-Site Technical Assistance

Andrew will visit the school district twice throughout the school year: the 1st trip will be to get the toolkit started and the 2nd will be to train the staff and launch the GTC program.  In between trips, Andrew will be available via video conferencing, email and phone calls to provide assistance when needed. About 15 hours of support per month will be provided. 

Two districts will be selected for this support. 

Remote Technical Assistance

Andrew will offer the same level of support as the on-site TA but it will be conducted remotely via video conferencing, phone, and email. He will remotely join meetings, read drafts, and help design training workshops to launch their GTC programs. About 10 hours of support per month will be provided. 

Three districts will be selected for this support. 

Success Stories 

We have been following the progress of our 4 pilot school districts-listed below. As they successfully implement the toolkit, we will highlight them here! We would love to feature your school district. 

Bellingham Public Schools (Bellingham, WA)
Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District (Houston, TX)
Pittsburg Unified School District (Pittsburg, CA)
Virgin Islands Department of Education (US Virgin Islands)