Local Food for Local Schools Pilot Project Reimbursement Bill
Updated October 16, 2023
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.
House Bill 487-FN, the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program, was heard before the House Education Committee on January 24, 2023. On February 1, 2023, the House Education Committee will deliberate and hold a voted that the bill "ought to pass" without amendment. The bill was ultimately laid on the table by the House of Representatives after failing to paLSR House Bill 2024-2697, the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Pilot program, has been submitted for the 2024 legislative session. This bill will support a two-year pilot incentive program that a school or school district from each county will be able to participate in. Schools or school districts will be selected based on an application process. Schools will be eligible to receive up to $10 in reimbursement per student to use to purchase foods grown or harvested in NH and New England. Schools must invest their federal meal dollars in local and regional agriculture to make these purchases and will be reimbursed at $1 for every $3 spent on NH grown or produced foods and $1 for every $6 spent on foods grown or produced in surrounding New England states.ss with amendment. This means that the bill can be reviewed in the 2024 legislative session, and we'll need your support again next year!
Ways You Can Support the Bill
LETTERS OF SUPPORT
The NH Farm to School Network has created both an individual and organizational sign on letter in support of HB 487-FN. All responses to the letters will be collated into an official letter and submitted to the House Education Committee, the House Finance Committee, and the full legislature throughout the legislative process of the bill.
INDIVIDUALS, SIGN ON HERE | ORGANIZATIONS, SIGN ON HERE
View/download the full infographic here.
View/download the toolkit here.
View/download the storybook here.
View/download the fact sheet 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.
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)