In 2016, The Food Trust and the Pennsylvania Head Start Association formed a task force with partners from all over the state of Pennsylvania to identify strategies for furthering farm to ECE practices in PA while doing so through a racial equity lens. The Ready Set Grow Report is available to see the goals and strategies that the task force has chosen to focus on as well as next steps for this initiative. The three strategies are integrating farm to ECE concepts into the Keystone STARS rating system, creating a pilot incentive program for providers to purchase locally and regionally sourced foods through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and establishing a mini-grant program to provide funds to ECE providers who would like to start or expand farm to ECE practices in their programs and helping them explore ways to make those expansions sustainable through other partners.
The task force will continue to meet to support those strategies that will further farm to ECE practices in Pennsylvania, while regional learning hubs will take a ground-up approach to identifying specific needs around the state; bring community partners, farmers, and ECE providers together; and build capacity for advocacy. To see the full report, go here.