New York State (NYS) Farm to Preschool

NYS Dept of Health with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance


Farm to Preschool, a component of Eat Well Play Hard (EWPH), is a PSE Change intervention that focuses on an environmental approach to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Farm to Preschool objectives include (1) to increase parental access to locally grown produce and (2) to reduce the cost barriers to these healthy foods for parents with children in preschool and the staff who work there.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: PSE Change; Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

Farm to Preschool targets preschool children enrolled in low-income childcare centers, their families, childcare staff, and the surrounding community. The projects are located both in upstate and downstate New York within low-income settings.

Setting: Child Care, Community

Target Audience: Preschool (<5 years old), Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Farm to Preschool includes:

  • Nutrition Education activities with preschool children, parents and community members
  • Distribution of recipes, nutrition and fruit/vegetable informative handouts
  • Gardening activities with preschool classroom
  • Farmer’s Market, Farm Stand and/or Farm Share set up/distributed one day per week (from mid-June – September/October)
  • Taste testing of local produce with Market participants (during farmer’s market), including recipe demonstrations,
  • Subsidized sales, EBT, FMNP (Senior & WIC), WIC F/V checks
  • $2 produce coupons distributed to encourage purchases by children and families

Intervention Materials

Farm to Preschool provides nutrition education and on-site food demonstrations. Lessons include the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and how to prepare simple, healthy recipes with locally grown produce. In addition, teachers use the United States Department of Agriculture’s “Grow it, Try it, Like it” curriculum in the classroom and garden, giving children hands on experience with in-season fruits and vegetables.

Evidence Summary

A Rapid Market Assessment Tool, referred to as DOT survey, was used to measure usual fruit and vegetable consumption and purchasing and serving behaviors related to fruits and vegetables. In all market locations a majority of respondents indicated that they did in fact purchase, serve, and eat more fruits and vegetables because they were available at the child care centers. Across all participating centers, nearly $67,000 was spent on produce and over 3900 parents of children attending child care centers, staff and community members purchased produce. Fruit and vegetable sales at each market using EBT, WIC Coupons and NYS funded coupons accounted for more than 20% of the total sales.

Classification: Emerging

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST2 MT1, MT2
Environmental Settings MT5
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

The Rapid Market Assessment Tool or DOT Survey assesses behaviors related to purchasing, serving, and consuming fruits and vegetables.  To assess the reach of the intervention sales data, including number of parents purchasing produce is collected in addition to parent survey, center director and Farm to Preschool Coordinator interviews.

Additional Information

Website: As a component of EWPH, Farm to Preschool information can be found on

Contact Person(s):

Lisa Borden (Director)
Phone: toll free: 1-800-942-3858 Option 3; Fax: 518-402-7252

Josie Ennist (Public Health Nutritionist)
Phone: toll free: 1-800-942-3858 Option 6; Direct: 518-402-7238; Fax: 518-402-7252

Obesity Prevention and Outreach Unit
Division of Nutrition- Child and Adult Care Food Program
150 Broadway, 6th Floor West, Albany, NY 12204-2719