USDA Expands Local Food in School Meals Through Agreements with States

USDA recently signed cooperative agreements with the states of Wyoming, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, and Arkansas to increase their purchase of nutritious, local foods for school meal programs. Under these agreements, designated state agencies will purchase and distribute local and regional foods and beverages for schools to serve children through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). These products will be healthy and unique to their geographic area, with the goal of improving child nutrition and building new relationships between schools and local farmers. These cooperative agreements will allow organizations the flexibility to design food purchasing programs and establish partnerships with farmers and ranchers that best suit their local needs, accommodate environmental and climate conditions, account for seasonal harvests, improve supply chain resiliency and meet the needs of schools within their service area. Additionally, the program will provide more opportunities for historically underserved producers and processors to sell their products.
Related ATTRA publication: Farm to School Sales: Profiles of Ranches Making It Work