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 has plans to expand in 2016 to Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Portsmouth with funding from Aetna.
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.
- Books about food, farming, gardening, and animals
- Arts and crafts
- Counting, colors and shapes
- Field trips
- Start seedlings in the classroom
- Establish an herb garden
- Participate in weekly produce delivery
- Participate in statewide apple crunch