Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill

Updated October 14, 2021

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, have submitted the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program 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:

  1. Providing New Hampshire students access to fresher, nutrient dense local foods

  2. Annually injecting $1.8mil federal and state funds directly into New Hampshire’s farm and food economy.

  3. Educating New Hampshire students about the variety of fruits, vegetables, and other products grown and produced both locally and regionally.

  4. Showcasing to students the economic and professional opportunities available in the food system.

Sign up here to stay updated on the progress of the bill and receive information about support and advocacy opportunities.

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View / Download the full infographic here.

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View / Download the toolkit here.

Farm to School in New Hampshire

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.

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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.