Lunchtime! Next Steps for Farm to School Programs in Oregon
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Farm to school programs connect schools with local farmers, ranchers and fishermen to bring fresh, locally produced products into school cafeterias. These programs have the potential to support sustainable agriculture, keep money in the local economy, and provide students with healthy, nutritious food. Despite these benefits, developing farm to school programs requires overcoming sizeable barriers including price, procurement, distribution, delivery, and lack of adequate kitchen facilities. The purpose of this project was to investigate current food purchasing practices in Oregon schools including an assessment of cafeteria facilities, popular meals, and desired food products in order to provide the information needed to expand and institutionalize farm to school programs throughout the state.