November 18, 2015 - As Schools Buy Local Food, Kids Throw Less in the Trash



Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - A recent USDA report documents the trend of purchasing local foods for school lunch programs. More and more schools are trying to serve meals with food that was grown nearby. According to this "census" of farm-to-school programs, at least 42,000 schools spent almost $600 million on local food during the 2013-2014 school year.Blueberries

The schools reported that when they served local food, their kids ate more healthful meals and threw less food in the trash.

Amy Bachman, the manager of procurement and sustainability at Washington D. C.’s Central Kitchen, says that in her experience, buying local food doesn't take more money, but it does take more time. "We're not buying just from one vendor," she says. "We work with 20 or 25 different farms." She added; "For us, it's also about getting kids to eat more, to get them to try food and get them interested in food," she says. And it helps to create a connection to food, she says, when they can tell a story about that meal.

Managing delivery schedules and matching growing seasons with menus takes a lot of planning and coordination. This may be why local food still makes up only a small part (less than 20 percent) of the average school meal.

Learn More at This Link