Purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables supports local farmers and builds community connections. Local fruits and vegetables are fresh, nutritious foods for children’s growing bodies and minds. During the growing season, local produce might also be the most affordable option.
In your REACH Farm to ECE application, you will upload documentation of meeting the local foods best practice along with having a garden, conducting taste tests and cooking activities, and having Farm to ECE in the written policy.
|REACH Application Documentation||Go NAP SACC Best Practice|
|One month of menus that shows locally-grown* fruits and/or vegetables being served 3 times per week or more.||During the growing season, local fruits and/or vegetables* are offered as part of meals or snacks 3 times per week or more.|
*Locally-grown fruits and/or vegetables can come from your program’s garden; directly from a farmer; or from a distributor, “food hub”, grocery store, farm stand, or farmers’ market. Local foods may be grown in your state or, if you are close to a border, a neighboring state.
Tips for your documentation:
- One monthly menu or four weekly menus from a single month. (You will be able to upload between one and four files)
- Menus must be dated in the past 12 months.
- Menus must comply with NC Licensing standards and basic CACFP meal pattern requirements.
- Locally-grown foods are marked so that reviewers can easily see what is local. (Feel free to make notes, circle, or highlight.). *Locally-grown fruits and/or vegetables are grown nearby and can come from your program’s garden; directly from a nearby farmer; or from a distributor, “food hub”, grocery store, farm stand, or farmers’ market that sells produce grown nearby. Local foods may be grown in your state or, if you are close to a border, a neighboring state.
- The menus show that local fruits and/or vegetables are served 3 times each week for the whole month. (Local meats and dairy do not count.)
- Only preschool-age menus required.
These menus were both dated within 12 months of the facilities applications. They comply with NC licensing requirements and CACFP meal patterns. Locally grown fruits and vegetables were marked on the menu with a * in the first menu and “(locally grown)” in the second menu. Seven local fruits and vegetables were served within one week in the first menu and five in the second, so both exceed the best practice of three times per week. To meet the menu documentation requirement for the REACH Farm to ECE application, each of these facilities would have to submit three more weeks of menus that show and meet the local foods best practice.
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