What MN school food service directors think about local food

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by Allison Page | February 17, 2009 • As demand for local food continues to grow, K-12 schools are looking for ways to incorporate food from local sources into their food and nutrition programs. A new survey, developed by the Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA) and IATP, assesses Minnesota K-12 Food Service Directors’ interest in purchasing and serving locally grown food. The online survey was conducted over a one-month period, and roughly 20 percent of Minnesota School District Food Service Directors responded.

Think Forward is a blog written by staff of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy covering sustainability as it intersects with food, rural development, international trade, the environment and public health. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy.

Key findings include:

Overall interest in buying local foods is high;

Thirty-five percent of respondents said that they purchased local foods directly from a grower during the 2007-08 school year;

Respondents were very interested in the potential local foods “tools” identified in the survey to help with Farm to School efforts.

The results will inform the work of the MSNA Farm to School Task Force in the coming year. We can expect school nutrition to be an important issue in 2009, as the Child Nutrition Act is due for congressional review in September.

Read the full findings from the survey here.

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