GARDINER — The Maine Farm to School Network at Healthy Communities of the Capital Area received a $25,000 USDA Farm to School Training Grant to build K-12 local food procurement capacity in Maine. Designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools, USDA Farm to School grants can help farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts.
“This award will develop the capacity of Maine school food directors to purchase from and support Maine farmers,” said Stephanie Cesario, Maine Farm to School Network coordinator. “The funds will support local foods procurement training for food service directors across the state as well as network building.”
The Maine Farm to School Network, in collaboration with other state farm to school advocates, will offer local procurement and network building trainings at the 2019 Maine Farm to School Conference at Kennebec Valley Community College Alfond Campus on Oct. 3-4, and at the annual Tri-State (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont) school nutrition conference in 2020. School nutrition directors, food producers and other farm to school stakeholders will learn local procurement rules and strategies to increase the amount of local foods served in school meals. Participants will also gain a deeper understanding of network building to further strengthen farm to school partnerships across the state.
Learn more about the Maine Farm to School Conference and Maine’s Farm to School initiatives at mainefarmtoschool.org.