Guidestone Colorado Farm to School Program
2021 Innovative EE Program Award Recipient
Guidestone Colorado is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to growing a vibrant agricultural future through education, community building, and partnerships. The organization’s strategies and programming are founded upon the belief that if individuals are exposed to experiences on local farms and ranches, that exposure results in a growing appreciation for where our food comes from and the commitment and resources needed to produce food locally. As a result of that appreciation, those individuals will then make choices that support and increase the capacity of the local food system. The result of these choices will be resilient local food systems, healthier communities, and a vibrant future for local agriculture.
Guidestone’s Farm to School Program grows produce for the Salida School District (SSD) to ensure students have access to healthy, local food in their school meals, and fosters garden education and curriculum correlated to state standards through programs at two school gardens and the Community & School Farm. Through education, and food production and distribution, the Farm to School Program improves the health and vitality of our community by increasing local food access, local food system resilience and capacity, and awareness of the importance of local agriculture. Since its inception, the Farm to School Program reaches the whole SSD community of 1,500+ students and staff from early childhood through grade 12 and has provided 15,000+ pounds of local produce to school meals and an increasing swath of community members. This reach represents 26% of the 6,000 town residents.