You’re invited to the PA Farm to School Network’s (PFSN) December virtual open house to learn about local food purchasing.

This open house will be of most interest to operators of child nutrition programs and school food service directors interested in purchasing local food to serve in meals for kids. However, farmers, producers, school/Early Care and Education (ECE) operators who are supportive of serving local food are welcome to come and learn how your school/ECE community can benefit from the programs currently available and on the horizon.

At the upcoming open house on Thursday, December 7th from 3-4:30 PM ET participants will hear about a few topics related to local food purchasing including:

  • PA’s pathway to a permanent Local Food Purchasing Incentive (LFPI) – The PA Farm to School Network’s top policy related priority! Learn about the work that’s been happening over the past few years that will help determine the most impactful LFPI for PA. In this section we’ll discuss:
    • How values-based purchasing for school meals can be a win-win for students, farmers and communities
    • Key components to consider when crafting the most impactful LFPI for PA
    • Summary of takeaways from the PA Department of Education’s recently released LFPI investigation
  • The Quarter Back for Local food purchasing pilot programming – a grant program currently benefiting five ECE sites in Philadelphia to purchase local food by reimbursing 25 cents for every meal that includes a local product or ingredient. This pilot will help inform future local purchasing policies that could benefit additional ECE sites throughout PA.
  • A panel of practitioners from PA will share their personal experience selling and purchasing local food for school meals. We’re happy to be joined by:
    • Matt Ferry, Kitchen Administrator/Head Chef at Children’s Village, Philadelphia
    • Jillian Bergman, Director of Food Services, Tulpehocken Area School District, Berks County
    • Crystal Hampton, owner of Davis Farm, Columbia County
  • Current funding opportunities that support purchasing local food including:
    • PA Farm to School Grants
    • Local Food for Schools
    • USDA Farm to School Grant

Register to attend the virtual open house, held over zoom, here!


Additional information and resources: In recent years, there has been significant growth in support for local food purchasing incentives (LFPIs). More than a dozen states have established programs that provide direct reimbursement to child nutrition programs in schools and early care and education (ECE) settings to offset the costs of buying local foods. Additional states are in the process of introducing LFPI bills and advocating for broader adoption of these programs – including Pennsylvania! To explore the current landscape of local food purchasing incentives across states, the National Farm to School Network hosted a two-part webinar series to explore ten different LFPIs across the nation. To learn more, you can watch the recordings of these two webinars here:

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