Garden to Café

This valuable program connects school and community gardens with school lunch meals through seasonal harvest events and educational activities. SchoolFood has partnered with Grow to Learn NYC: The Citywide School Garden Initiative to identify possible Garden to Café schools. Students and school communities share in the bounty of school gardens and celebrate with biannual harvest events that take place in October or November and then again in May or June.

SchoolFood kitchen teams prepare produce and turn it into delicious foods like kale salad, fresh herbed vinaigrettes, and roasted root vegetables. This gives students a unique opportunity to taste what they have grown. Schools also receive additional culinary support from SchoolFood’s Garden to Café coordinator to plan and prepare for the harvest events.


Support instruction on gardening and the local food system


Raise awareness of the benefits of school gardening


Influence healthful food choices among students and school faculty


Increase student consumption of more fresh and locally-grown produce

Garden to Café Application

Program Eligibility

NYC public schools with active school gardens or gardening programs are eligible to participate. School gardens come in all shapes, sizes and locations. Gardening happens in classrooms, schoolyards, urban farms, community gardens and on school rooftops. The important component for Garden to Café is that students are growing foods. In order to be considered for Program Eligibility, your school must meet all of the minimum requirements:

  1. An established vegetable and/or herb school garden, community garden, or urban farm.
  2. An established program for the children/youth to garden regularly.
  3. Secured Liability insurance for community gardens or urban farms.
  4. Safe Soil – Soil tested for heavy metals and is safe or contains soil from a source known to be safe.
  5. An established coordinating team that includes at minimum: a School Site Garden Lead (most often a teacher), SchoolFood Food Service Manager, and Community Garden & Farm Lead, where applicable.
  6. Principal's consent and approval to apply for Garden to Café.
Apply Now

Or download the form, fill it out, and return it to George Edwards (gedwards4@schools.nyc.gov)

Upcoming Events

Interested in checking out Garden to Café? Here's a calendar of all of the upcoming Garden to Café events!