Purchasing Resource for Farm to School Programs
Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems recently released the Local Food for Little Eaters: A Purchasing Toolbox for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This resource helps support local food purchasing in the early childhood setting. The majority of Farm to School efforts have focused on reaching students in the K-12 and the college setting. Now early childhood providers have a resource to support local purchasing for their meal programs. Farm to School programs include nutrition education, school gardens and fruit and vegetable tasting. By prioritizing local food procurement, these centers can help to teach students about the importance of eating fresh, seasonal produce while exposing them to new fruits and vegetables. The toolbox provides an overview of purchasing local food for early childhood programs, federal funding opportunities that can support local purchasing, and step-by-step instructions for purchasing from a variety of different local food sources.