Iowa Report Shows Farm to School Sales Dropped Without Financial Incentive

A report released by the Iowa Food Hub Managers Working Group and ISU Extension and Outreach showed that school purchases of local food from food hubs dropped from 2020 to 2021, when financial incentives were no longer available. In 2020, schools received Local Produce and Protein Program grants, but when those funds were no longer available in 2021, many fewer schools purchased local food. Schools that already had established relationships with local food providers were likely to continue to purchase local foods, however. Over time, schools with established relationships tend to make larger and more frequent purchases of local food. The study also made several recommendations on how food hubs could help schools increase local food purchasing.