The state’s Indiana Grown program is teaming with three organizations to give Indiana school corporations greater access to local foods.
As part of a Farm to School grant, Indiana Grown is putting together a local school food resource guide and is looking for farmers, producers and businesses that are interested in selling their products. Examples of these products include fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and drinks such as milk or juice.
“This partnership is all about equipping our school corporations with the tools they need to make better informed decisions when it comes to purchasing local foods,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “In order to do that, however, we need to know what local products are available in Indiana and who is interested in providing them.”
Under the guidance of the Indiana State Department of Health, the information gathered will be collated by Purdue Extension and developed into the Indiana Grown for Schools Resource Guide. Once the guide is complete, it will be distributed to all Indiana public school corporations by the Indiana Department of Education.
School food service directors will be able to use the guide to make more informed local purchasing decisions.
“Our mission is to connect Indiana producers with greater opportunities to market and sell their products,” said Heather Tallman, Indiana Grown member development program manager. “Through Indiana Grown for Schools, we’re making that connection and educating food service buyers on the local options available to them.”
Farmers, producers and businesses interested in selling their products must be located in Indiana and complete an online survey by Feb. 1, 2019. Participation in the survey is not a guarantee of sales, Indiana Grown said.