Making farm-to-school accessible for all

By Benita Gingerella for FoodService Director

Before her current role as the farm-to-school and nutrition specialist at the New Mexico Public Education Department, FoodCorps alum Kendal Chavez worked in a school in the state for over a decade. There, she noticed firsthand the shift toward incorporating locally grown food in school foodservice programs.

Due to lack of support for small farmers in the state, however, she saw that many schools were purchasing from the same large farms over and over, many of which were run by older white men. 

“We may say we want to do farm to school, and we may provide funds for schools, but if there’s no capacity for the program to function and farmers don’t have a support system to sell their food equitably and extensively across the state, then we’re kind of missing the mark,” says Chavez.