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What We Do: Mass. Farm to School Project Technical Assistance  “Matchmaking” services to farms, institutional food service and distributors Promotion.

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Presentation on theme: "What We Do: Mass. Farm to School Project Technical Assistance  “Matchmaking” services to farms, institutional food service and distributors Promotion."— Presentation transcript:

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2 What We Do: Mass. Farm to School Project Technical Assistance  “Matchmaking” services to farms, institutional food service and distributors Promotion  Coordinate Mass. Harvest for Students Week & Harvest of the Month  Distribute promotional materials for farm and food service use. Education & Advocacy  Annual research on the state of farm to institution sales.  Representation of MA in National Farm to School Network

3 Farm to School Status Report School Year School Year # of public school districts that preferentially purchased local foods # of colleges and private schools that preferentially purchased local foods 1989 # of farms reported selling directly to schools 20114

4 National School Lunch Program How it works  Cash reimbursements and donated food from Federal government (USDA )  Meals must meet nutrition requirements  Authorized through Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act  Major changes in SY Who’s in Charge?  Self-operating vs. management companies

5 The 3 Cs Cafeteria Community Classroom

6 Players in the Farm to School Food System Local Farmers Food Service Directors Distributors Agitators/Advocates/ Students School nurses Teachers/professors School administrators (principals, superintendents) Food Service Staff Our job is to understand the players and look for an opening

7 Local Foods for Cafeteria System

8 Why Serve Local Foods? Preserves Open Space & Diverse Farm Land  Farmers get more of the food $ Lighter Carbon Footprint  On average our food travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate Preserves Genetic Diversity  Local Farmers often grow many varieties for taste, flavor & longer season Minimize food waste Educate students & staff about where food comes from Connect to other sustainability initiatives in the school – i.e. school gardens, compost programs etc. Serve the freshest, healthy and flavorful foods Support the local economy

9 Challenges & Opportunities For Farms Opportunities Can provide stable, consistent customer. Can purchase in high volume. Demand greatest during farms’ non- peak time. Challenges Must be able to communicate regularly with schools and track orders Prefer a diverse product line or ability to buy products from other farms. Price Delivery requirements - # of drop-offs, location, minimum orders For Schools Opportunities Increase in participation Less wastage Good PR Potential for curriculum connections FFVP Challenges Ability of kitchen to process raw food # of meals served per day Ability of FSD to chose vendors FSD and kitchen staff motivation Consumer buy-in Food Service Management Companies

10 What’s Next – Farm to School Innovations Season extension and processing “Contract growing” Regional collaboration

11 Farm to Cafeteria In Your Community What’s Currently Happening?  Talk to your District Food Service Director  Currently buying from Farm? Distributor?  Challenges they see?  Opportunities? (salad bar, # meals/day, snacks, freezing)  Talk to your School Administration  Management Co. contracts  Support cafeteria buying local foods?  School Wellness Committee/Policy  School Gardens  What is being done with food grown?  What classes are using gardens?  Classroom connections – taste testing & more

12 Farm to Cafeteria In Your Community What’s Currently Happening?  Farms – where to look?  In your area  At farmers markets  Delivering to restaurants, supermarkets, colleges, school nearby  Farm Lists  Farms – who may fit?  Size of operation & crops they produce  Delivery capacity  Price point

13 Farm to Cafeteria In Your Community Colleges Hospitals Preschools Retirement Communities Other ideas?

14 More Information Mass Farm to School: Natl. Farm to School: Farm to Inst. New England: Contact Information Lisa Damon


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