School and Early Childhood Program Information

As part of Hoophouses for Health, participating farmers can provide vegetables, fruit, and other food products as loan repayment to child nutrition programs at eligible schools/districts and early childhood programs. The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) can help establish relationships between participating farmers and eligible schools and programs.

How it Works

Farm to School

Eligibility of Schools and Districts

For K-12 public, private and charter schools/districts to participate, the food service program must:

  • Have at least 50% free and reduced-price meal eligibility, and
  • Participate in school-based USDA Child Nutrition Programs, such as the National School Lunch Program.

Food service directors from a school district may choose to focus local food procurement efforts on selected school buildings or an entire district’s food service program, but the entire district must have 50% or greater free and reduced-price meal eligibility to qualify.

Eligibility of Early Childhood Programs

To participate in Hoophouses for Health, all early childhood programs must participate in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

  • Head Start, Early Head Start, and Great Start Readiness Programs (GSRP) are automatically eligible to participate given federal or state requirements for these programs.
  • If a preschool or other early childcare program is within a K-12 school/district, the school or district must have at least 50% free and reduced price eligibility or greater.
  • Other center-based programs including private for-profit, private non-profit, faith-based programs, and day care homes must be located within an attendance area of a school building where at least 50% of the enrollment are eligible for free and reduced price meals. 

Sign Up

School administrators who believe their school/district or program is eligible and would like to participate in Hoophouses for Health should fill out the Farm to School Commitment Form. Please send completed forms to CRFS Farm to School Specialist, Abby Harper, at harperab@anr.msu.edu or mail them to 480 Wilson Rd, Room 309, East Lansing, MI, 48824.

Resources

MSU CRFS Farm to School Page

Farm to School FAQ’s for Farmers

For more information, please contact Abby Harper at harperab@anr.msu.edu or 517-432-4525.