First Nations Development Institute Report Details Considerations to Include When Planning to Launch a Native American Farm-to-School Food Program


LONGMONT, Colorado (July 24, 2013) – Farm-to-school food programs are gaining a lot of interest in Native American communities as a way to improve diet and nutrition and to bolster local economic development. In light of this, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today released a new report that details some of the many things to consider when starting a farm-to-school project.

The report – “Healthy Foods for Navajo Schools: Discoveries from the First Year of a Navajo Farm-to-School Program” – was authored by Shawn Newell of Native American Development Associates in Flagstaff, Arizona, on behalf of the STAR School’s “Navajo and Hopi Farm-to-School Project.” The STAR School’s project was funded by First Nations, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The grant to the STAR School was made in 2012 under First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI).

The purpose of the report “is to provide a road map for other schools interested in school gardens and partnerships with local farms,” Newell points out in the introduction. “We address issues specific to the Navajo Nation as well as general issues that any school and farm would need to consider when initiating a farm-to-school partnership.”

The downloadable report is available for free through the First Nations website at this link.

“Farm-to-school programs offer one strategy to help address conditions of severe poverty, social stresses, and health and nutrition problems, including obesity and diabetes found in many Native communities,” the 18-page report notes.

The STAR School is a charter school located 25 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona. It serves 130 students in preschool through eighth grade who live in the southwest corner of the Navajo Nation and the surrounding rural area. “STAR” stands for “Service To All Relations.”

About First Nations Development Institute

For more than 30 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023