Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill
Updated January 24, 2022
Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Program Information Session
and Live Q & A with State Legislators
Farm to School programming isn't just great for kids — it benefits farmers and communities too! Implementing farm to school activities teaches healthy eating habits, improves food security, and increases engagement from students, parents, educators, and the community. It also has an impact on economic development, reduces food waste, and contributes to a more sustainable food system. Read more about the benefits from the National Farm to School Network here.
The NH Farm to School Network, with the sponsorship of over 10 New Hampshire state legislators, has submitted the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program (HB 1657) as a bill to the New Hampshire legislature. The reimbursement program will incentivize New Hampshire school districts and food service directors to purchase locally grown and produced food for breakfast and lunch services in cafeterias across the state, boosting youth health and wellness, agricultural viability, and specifically:
Providing New Hampshire students access to fresher, nutrient dense local foods
Annually injecting $1.8mil federal and state funds directly into New Hampshire’s farm and food economy.
Educating New Hampshire students about the variety of fruits, vegetables, and other products grown and produced both locally and regionally.
Showcasing to students the economic and professional opportunities available in the food system.
You can also help support this important bill in the following ways:
Testify in support of the bill in person on Wednesday, January 12th at 10:30 AM at the Legislative Office Building in Concord (State House complex LOB 205-207). Prepare your remarks using the talking points above and listed in this helpful Toolkit. Remember to put your testimony in your own words, infusing your experience and reason for supporting the bill, to have the most impact. You can sign up to testify and/or submit support prior to the hearing on January 12th online here, or sign in on the day of the hearing. If you are unable to make the in-person hearing, utilizing the online support function is great too!
Write an email to the House Education Committee Members showing your support for the bill, and copy your local representative(s). Remember to put your testimony in your own words, weaving your personal experience and reasons for supporting the bill into your email for the greatest impact. Utilizing this address, your letter will be sent to all members on the Committee: HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us. If you need to locate who your State Representative is, please click here.
Sign in on the NH General Court website to show your support for the bill here. Follow the NH General Court's guide, "How to register support/opposition on a bill," for step-by-step instructions on how to sign.
If you are an authorized member of a farm or organization, sign onto our official letter to legislators showing your support for the bill no later than Tuesday night, January 11th to be shared at the hearing on January 12th.
Attend An Event:
January 14th, 10 - 11 AM — Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill & Farm to School Event, Hosted by Lakes Region Farm to School Network and Genuine Local, Laconia
January 21st, 12 - 1 PM — Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill Event, Hosted by Stonewall Farm, Keene
January 28th, 1 - 2 PM — Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill Event, Hosted by the Littleton Food Co-op at the Littleton Opera House
January 28th 11 AM - 12 PM — Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill Event, hosted by the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter
Sign up here to stay updated on the progress of the bill and receive information about support and advocacy opportunities.
View / Download the full infographic here.
View / Download the toolkit here.
Farm to School in New Hampshire
Learn more about NH Farm to School in this webinar series, starting in January 2022.
149 schools in New Hampshire are participating in Farm to School programming, according to a 2019 USDA Farm to School Census.*
76.5% serve local food
73.5% provide food, nutrition, or agricultural education
55% of those schools have edible gardens
Nearly 50% hold student field trips to farms, taste tests and cooking demos
*41 School Food Authorities (SFA) representing 172 schools responded to the survey. An SFA is the entity responsible for school food operations and may or may not correspond to the district.
Farm to School Legislation in Other States
Maine Local Foods Fund: Matches $1 for every $3 a school administrative unit pays for produce, value-added dairy, protein or minimally processed foods purchased directly from a farmer, farmers' cooperative, local food hub, local food processor or food service distributor in the State. Maximum state contribution of $5,000 per school administrative unit in fiscal year 2021-22 and subsequent years or $5,500 per school administrative unit if funding is received and the school administrative unit sends a food service employee to local foods training administered by the department under subsection 13.
Michigan’s 10 Cents a Meal Program: The State of Michigan matches funds spent by school districts and child-care centers, and sponsors up to 10 cents per meal for purchases of Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Farm to School in New Hampshire is Going Beyond the Classroom (NH Food Alliance's October 2021 Network Café)
Farm to School stories from schools across the region (Northeast Farm to School Collaborative)