Frequently Asked Questions


Can produce grown in the school garden be served as part of the school meal?

Schools can use the produce for taste tests, but if it will be served as part of the National School Lunch Reimbursable Meal, consult the SC Department of Education Coordinator for more information on the procurement process.


Where can produce be purchased for meals and/or snacks?

Produce can be purchased from a variety of sources, whether directly from a farmer, farmers market, roadside stand, etc. or indirectly through a food distribution company.


Are schools required to purchase produce from a farm that is GAP certified?

No, GAP certification is not a requirement, but it is strongly suggested. If you are purchasing directly from a farmer, ask about food safety practices and take a tour of the farm. Also make sure they have liability insurance and ask how much they have. If you still have questions, contact Farm to School Coordinators.


Are there resources for farmers seeking assistance for paying for their GAP audit?

Yes! SC Farm to Institution will cover the cost of the audit for a farm that agrees to sell to institutions. Consult the SC Department of Agriculture Coordinator for more information on cost coverage.


As long as the produce is free of dirt, can the children eat it straight from the garden?

No, fresh produce must be washed before it is eaten. Even if you are planning on cutting or peeling the produce, it is still important to wash it first. Consult the SC Farm to School Food Safety Guide for more information and further resources.