Take the CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge this March!

During the month of March 2019, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is hosting the first ever Farm Fresh Challenge for all TDA contracting entities (CE) in the Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP). The Challenge is a fun and engaging way for nutrition professionals to gain recognition for their efforts to bring local foods and garden-based learning activities to their sites. 

Participating in the Farm Fresh Challenge is easier than you may think, as some of the food options you’re already serving - like milk and fresh produce options - are likely locally sourced from Texas producers, which means you’ve already completed some of the Challenge requirements before you ever pledge

Participating in the Challenge is Easy

Follow these simple steps to participate in the CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge and receive TDA recognition!

Step 1: Take the Challenge participation pledge.

Important note: The Challenge participation pledge should be completed by the CE, not an individual site.

Step 2:
 Plan your menu and educational activities.

Step 3: Complete the parameters:
Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

Step 4: Submit your participation 
attestation form by Friday, April 12, 2019. This form collects information about local products served, dollars spent on Texas products, details about hosted educational activities and social activity.

Step 5 (optional): Send a success story about your participation and photos
 (if available) to FarmFresh@TexasAgriculture.gov

Complete the Challenge: Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

 Eat Local.
Serve 3 or more Texas Foods representing 3 different meal components, at least once a week,
every full week in March.

Teach Local.

Host 2 or more nutrition education activities during the month of March.

 Be Social.

Share 1 or more social media post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #FarmFreshTexas during the month of March. If you don't use social media, that's okay! Share your Farm Fresh activities in your newsletter and bulletin boards.   

Success Stories
This past October, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors supported by the Region 4 Education Service Center participated in a Farm Fresh Challenge pilot. Spotlight stories coming soon!

Resources to Help you Complete the Challenge

Below are a few resources that you can leverage to make completing the Farm Fresh Challenge a breeze for your program. 

Sourcing Local Products

Find local Texas farmers, ranchers and distributors using our Farm Fresh Network.

Questions about how to buy local? Visit the Local Procurement page for additional resources.

Farm Fresh Cookbook

Make your menu fresh with the Cooking for the Seasons cookbook.

Farm Fresh Educational Activities

A Farm Fresh educational activity is any activity that educates participants about local food and agriculture. Activity examples include taste testing local products; field trips to a farm or farmers market; Meet the Farmer days; garden-based learning activities; or programming focused on local food and agriculture. You may use one of TDA’s Farm Fresh Friday celebration ideas and resources or create your own. Engage your participants in garden-based learning with these activity ideas.

Social Guidance
Complete your Be Social parameter with the help of our Be Social Support tool. Click on the icon below.

Even more resources to support your participation in the Farm Fresh Challenge can be found on our RESOURCE PAGE.

Other Helpful Resources

Defining Local Decision Tool

The USDA authorizes entities participating in the NSLP to define local in a manner that best suits their needs and the needs of the population they serve. This tool will walk you through two questions to help you identify your entity’s definition of local. 

Local Procurement Decision Tree

This USDA resource will help you identify the appropriate procurement method to use when buying local. 

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