Bringing fresh local produce to young children

Farm2Childcare (F2CC), a first of its kind of program, in Virginia aims to expose children early, to fresh fruits and vegetables, creating a healthy habit for life.  The Planning Council launched F2CC in Western Tidewater, VA in 2014, with funding from the Obici Health Care Foundation and was able to expand into Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Portsmouth with funding from the Aetna Foundation in 2016.

Why Farm2Childcare?

The three main goals of Farm2Childcare are:

  • To increase the number of preschool-aged children who eat fresh, local produce
  • To decrease childhood obesity and hunger
  • To increase the impact on the local economy

The Planning Council works closely with each childcare provider to help assess what elements of the F2CC program can be implemented in the most feasible and impactful way.

We also help connect local produce farmers with area childcare programs to create new relationships that will continue and grow over time.

The framework for F2CC is based on the National Farm to School Network’s model.  The three key activity areas include: Education, Gardening and Procurement.  A program can participate in one, two or three of the areas.  Each child care program’s F2CC activity is unique based on their needs but creating a community impact together.

Interested and Want to Be a part of F2CC?

If you are a child care provider and would like to join Farm2Childcare to help your community, please fill out the interest form.

If you are a community member and would like to know more on how you can help, email us for more information.

Education
Helping providers and parents introduce children to activities around fresh fruits and vegetables
Sample Activities
- Offer taste tests
- Books about food, farming, gardening, and animals
- Arts and crafts
- Counting, colors and shapes
- Field trips
Gardening
Gardening
Helping providers establish childcare gardens
Sample Activities
- Install a raised bed garden or container garden
- Start seedlings in the classroom
- Establish an herb garden
Procurement
Assistance for buying and serving fresh produce from local farmers
Sample Activities
- Incorporate local produce into their menu
- Participate in weekly produce delivery
- Participate in statewide apple crunch