Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Farm to Summer Celebration Week

Information about California’s Farm to Summer Celebration Week for summer meal program operators, including background, how to participate, past successes, trainings, partners, resources, best practices, and list of awardees.

Overview

Farm to Summer (F2Summer) is about program operators of the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) sourcing local foods and providing complementary educational activities that emphasize food, agriculture, and nutrition. The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) encourages program operators of the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option to participate in F2Summer activities.

F2Summer Week in California is celebrated during one week in June each year. For the summer of 2022, June 20–24 is F2Summer Week! This week is dedicated to celebrating local foods on the menu, offering a test taste sample in your meals, and providing opportunities for children to experience agricultural-based education activities. Some ideas for celebrating F2Summer Week include: incorporating local foods in your food service, providing an agricultural or nutrition education lesson, sharing current successes with another program operator, watching a virtual farm tour, or inviting community partners (such as a farmer, master gardener, parent volunteer or local health department staff) to your site to lead an activity!

F2Summer Celebration Week is an award program that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees at the federal level and the CDE NSD implements at the state level. The NSD recognizes program operators of the CNPs in California that complete the three elements: 1) Taste, 2) Teach and 3) Connect Summer Celebration Activities during the designated F2Summer Week, June 20–24, 2022. Program operators that participate by completing a pre and post survey and the three elements of the Celebration week will receive a One in a Melon Award Certificate! The theme for summer 2022 is Get to Know Your Local Farm(s).

For information about the Farm to CNP, visit CDE Farm to CNP web page.

Background

The F2Summer movement is a growing trend supported by interest and enthusiasm for including local foods on the menu and teaching children where food comes from.

  • In 2018, the F2Summer Week Challenge was created by the USDA to encourage more CNP sponsors to participate in F2Summer activities. The NSD offered the first California F2Summer Week Challenge for summer meal program sponsors. The NSD found that many summer meal program sponsors needed assistance finding locally sourced foods and implementing agricultural-based education activities.

  • In 2019, the NSD hosted a California F2Summer Week Challenge webinar to help summer meal program sponsors find local food to put on the menu and referred them to organizations that had agricultural-based education activities ready to download at no charge, or that were willing to come to a site to provide agricultural-based education activities. Eleven summer meal sponsors completed that challenge!

  • In 2020, the NSD postponed the F2Summer Week Challenge due to the global Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • In 2021, the USDA retitled the F2Summer Week Challenge to the F2Summer Celebration Week and is supporting state agencies and program operators in implementing the celebration however it best fits the program operators schedule and environment, whether it be virtually, in-person, or a combination of both. The theme for California for summer of 2021 was Celebrate Local Foods!

How to Participate

To complete the F2Summer Celebration, program operators must 1) Complete the Pre-F2Summer Celebration Week Survey, 2) Conduct the three activities at least once during F2Summer Celebration Week, and 3) Complete the Post-F2Summer Celebration Week Survey.

  1. Complete Pre-F2Summer Celebration Week Survey on or before June 20, 2022. (5 minutes)

  2. Conduct the following three activities at least once during F2Summer Celebration Week (June 20–24th):

    • Taste: Serve a locally-sourced food item that students can taste. The tasting can occur during a snack or meal, during a nutrition activity, or in the garden! The USDA does not define the term local, the definition is to be determined and defined at the school food authority level. The definition of the word local can also change based on the season or the type of product. Local could mean within a city, a county, or a specific region. These snacks or meals can come from the school garden or school farm, an individual farmer, a farmer’s market, through a distributor, from USDA foods or USDA Department of Defense (DoD) or DoD Fresh, or a food hub.

    • Teach: Provide an agricultural-based education activity. For curriculum ideas, visit the Resources tab on the CDE Farm to CNP web page or visit the CDE CNP Resource Library web page.

    • Connect: Share your activities on social media, on your organization’s website, via a newsletter article, or email to your school community, or invite the press to attend an event! You could do one of these or all of them!

  3. Complete the Post-F2Summer Celebration Week Survey following F2Summer Celebration Week through August 31, 2022. (10-15 minutes)

All program operators that conduct the Celebration week, and complete the pre and post survey will have their organizations recognized in a listserv, name posted on the F2Summer Celebration Week Awardees tab, and receive a One in a Melon Award Certificate!

Past Successes

Participants of the F2Summer Celebration Week had an opportunity to share one statement that summed up their Celebration experience. Below are some of the inspiring quotes.

  • "Smiling children makes everything worth it.”
    -Miguel at Mountain View School District

  • “This is a great opportunity to promote the local foods we regularly serve on our menus!”
    -Fresno Unified School District

  • “We LOVE celebrating Farm 2 Summer Week! The freshest, most delicious strawberries are grown just a few miles from our schools at Cal Poly's Strawberry Center! Students get to taste the sweetness of these local berries and experience the beauty of locally sourced items with our fabulous F2Summer program this year!”
    -San Luis Coastal Unified School District

  • “It was great to see the excitement and energy from the students to learn about and eat watermelon; and for some it was their very first time trying it.”
    -Weaver Union School District

  • “F2 Summer Celebration Week provided Riverside Unified School District the ability to bring awareness of locally grown produce served through summer meals. It allowed youth to explore hands-on agriculture-based activities and encouraged increased intake of locally grown fruit through produce taste-testing activity.”
    -Adleit at Riverside Unified School District

  • “Students can be so inquisitive when they have an opportunity to learn something new in a hands-on activity. F2Summer often allows us the opportunity to do nutrition education in a small group setting, where you can answer student questions and give students the opportunity to truly participate in the activity.”
    -Michelle at Elk Grove Unified School District

  • “A great way to collaborate with our local farmers and create an ongoing flourishing relationship to better both school meals and local small agriculture.”
    -Kristin at Brentwood Union School District

Trainings

Online Trainings
Additional Online Training Databases

Online Trainings

Course Number Course Name Training Topic Target Audience
550

F2Summer Week Challenge External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 20:31)

Please note: F2Summer Challenge is now known as F2Summer Celebration Week

Menu Planning or Nutrition Education
Child and Adult Care Food Program Directors, Food Service Directors and Staff, Teachers
External USDA
Menu Planning or Nutrition Education
Summer Meal Program Food Service Directors, Staff

Additional Online Training Databases

To find additional online trainings, visit the:

Partners

The following tables provide a list of organizations you can reach out to for assistance procuring locally sourced foods and providing on-site assistance with agricultural-based enrichment activities. If you need their assistance, it is advisable to contact them early!

Taste—Assistance with local procurement
Teach—On-site assistance providing agricultural-based education activities

Taste—Assistance with local procurement

Organization Contact Information Assistance Provided
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) California Farmer Marketplace External link opens in new window or tab. Navigate the web page to find farms near you. Answers questions about availability of food items
CDFA Office of Farm to Fork–Farm to School (F2S) Program External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: Michael Ackley-Grady

Email: Michael.Ackley-Grady@cdfa.ca.gov
Connecting with local food producers and navigating F2S resources
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: Yousef Buzayan, Farm to Cafeteria Manager

Email: yousef@caff.org

Provides technical assistance (TA) with procuring local foods, and a free Bid Generator for Request for Proposals

The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Location External link opens in new window or tab. Navigate the web page to find the UCCE nearest you.

Provides help finding farms near you

Teach—On-site assistance providing agricultural-based education activities

Organization/Program Contact Information Assistance Provided
The UCCE–Master Gardener Program External link opens in new window or tab. Scroll down the web page and select the county on the California map to reach the UCCE Master Gardener Program nearest you. Garden-based education activities or Ask a Master Gardener a Question
University of California, Davis, CalFresh Healthy Living External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: MaryAnn Mills, Program Team Manager

Email: mamills@ucdavis.edu

Nutrition education activities and taste tests of locally sourced foods
California Foundation for Agriculture (Ag) in the Classroom External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: Judy Culbertson, Executive Director

Phone: 916-561-5625

Email: info@learnaboutag.org
TA regarding standard-aligned agricultural-based lessons and enrichment activities
Center for Ecoliteracy External link opens in new window or tab.

Phone: 510-845-4595

Email: info@ecoliteracy.org

TA by phone or email for agricultural-based education activities

 

Resources

Planning Guide Description
USDA F2Summer: Why Summer Meals Programs are Ripe for Local Foods and Agriculture-Based Activities Fact Sheet External link opens in new window or tab. This fact sheet discusses the benefits of F2Summer activities. Summer is a time of agricultural abundance: plump stone fruits hang heavy on trees, juicy melons and tomatoes explode from their vines, beans begin to dry in their pods, and livestock fed on the most nutritious spring grasses produce delicious meat and dairy products. This fact sheet will review how to integrate local food into summer meals.
Center for Ecoliteracy F2Summer Planning Guide External link opens in new window or tab. This planning guide distills tips and best practices for building community support, conducting grassroots outreach, planning F2Summer menus, and more.
National Farm to Fork Network External link opens in new window or tab. This web page provides resources to assist program operators implement Farm to School (F2S) and F2Summer activities. Examples of resources are: Preschool Lesson Plans by Growing Minds, What’s in Season, Pint Size Produce, Easy to Use Activities for Early Childhood, Fresh from the Farm: F2S and Out-of-School Time Programs and much more!

Additional Resources

To find additional resources, visit the:

  • CDE CNP Resource Library web page to assist program operators with Nutrition Education activities, Agricultural-based Nutrition Education, Recipes, Cooking in the Classroom, and Physical Activity.

Best Practices

Below is a list of best practice to assist with planning, enjoying, and then wrapping up F2Summer Celebration Week.

Prior to F2Summer Celebration Week

  • Watch the F2Summer Online Training
  • Obtain school administration and staff support
  • Utilize the CDE partners or school district partners for assistance
  • Complete the F2Summer Pre-survey
  • Involve students and teachers in choosing activities
  • Connect your activities with the 2022 theme: Get to Know Your Local Farm(s)
  • Contact your local farms and farmers
  • Visit the CDE Resources Library
  • Consider incorporating nutrition education into core subjects
  • Utilize DoD Fresh and USDA Foods
  • Notify Parents/guardians of Celebration participation by:
    • Email or E-Newsletter
    • District website
    • Robo calls
    • Text
  • Leverage help and assistance from parent volunteers, garden staff, Farm to School Coordinators, nutritionists, and students!
  • Post your commitment to participate on social media

During F2Summer Celebration Week

  • Teach agricultural-based lesson(s)
  • Taste local foods and produce
  • Share your successes with other school districts
  • Utilize all school spaces: Classrooms, cafeteria, garden, grassy areas, or farm areas
  • Take plenty of photos and videos (Don’t forget student photo releases!)
  • Write down the memorable quotes from students and parents
  • Place recipes and flyers in meals
  • Enjoy your week!

After F2Summer Celebration Week

  • Complete F2Summer Post-survey by August 31, 2022.
  • Notify Parents/guardians of your successes by:
    • Email or E-Newsletter
    • District website
    • Text
    • Social Media Platform

Awardees

2021

The CDE NSD would like to congratulate the following California program operators for receiving a One in a Melon Certificate of recognition for completing the three elements of the F2Summer Celebration Week in 2021:

  • Antioch Unified School District (USD)
  • Baker USD
  • Barstow USD
  • Brentwood Union School District
  • Elk Grove USD
  • Fresno USD
  • Morongo USD
  • Mountain View School District
  • Ontario-Montclair School District
  • Redlands USD
  • Rialto USD
  • Riverside USD
  • San Diego Unified Food Services
  • San Luis Coastal USD
  • Santa Cruz City Schools
  • Vista USD
  • Weaver Union School District
  • Winters Joint USD
  • Yuba City USD

2020

The CDE NSD did not offer the F2Summer Week Challenge due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2019

The CDE NSD congratulated the following California program operators for receiving a One in a Melon Trophy of recognition for completing the three elements of the F2Summer Week Challenge in 2019:

  • A Place Called Home
  • Eastside Union School District
  • Elk Grove USD
  • Natomas USD
  • Ontario-Montclair School District
  • Redlands USD
  • Rialto USD
  • Riverside USD
  • San Luis Coastal USD
  • South Bay Union School District
  • Winters Joint USD

The CDE also congratulated the following program operators for receiving a Certificate of Appreciation for participating in the F2Summer Week Challenge:

  • Adelanto Elementary School District
  • Camp Laurel Foundation
  • Hesperia USD
  • Santa Clara USD
  • San Diego USD
  • Hilmar USD
  • Sacramento City USD

Contacts

If you have any questions, please contact the CDE NSD F2S Team by email at Farm2School@cde.ca.gov.

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, August 8, 2022
Related Content
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • Waivers for SFAs in Three Counties (added 23-Sep-2022)
    This information announces waivers for El Dorado, Placer, and Riverside County SFAs in response to the Mosquito and Fairview fires.
  • CA Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program 2022 (added 23-Sep-2022)
    The purpose of this program is to honor excellence in whole-school sustainability while spotlighting replicable best practices.
  • Paid Lunch Equity and Meal Charge Policy Guidance (added 21-Sep-2022)
    Paid Lunch Equity Exemption Guidance has been updated to make an adjustment for the implementation of the California Universal Meals Program. In addition, a meal charge policy will no longer be required from SFAs in which all sites are non-pricing.
  • State of Emergency Due to Fires (added 21-Sep-2022)
    Governor Newsom Proclaims State of Emergency in Madera, Modoc, and Siskiyou Counties Due to Fires.
  • Webinar: USDA TN Meal Talk: Taste Test Events (added 21-Sep-2022)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is hosting a Taste Test Events Webinar to share success stories, tools, and best practices for taste test events.