Local Food for Public Institutions

In a Nutshell

Sustainable and locally grown foods provide institutions such as hospital, schools, and corporations with healthy alternatives. Institutions are normally located within a close proximity to its local food system, reducing travel costs and greenhouse gases. Local Food Systems also coordinate with public institutions to supply products for cafeterias, farmers markets, local gardens, and community supported agriculture programs.

Practical Solution

The “How To”The “How To”

local food for public institutions The first step of implementing a local farm program would be to start a conversation with the key stakeholders and decision makers. Administrators, patients, students, staff, and food purchasers are all people to promote healthy food options to. Next is to develop a policy that addresses the types of foods to be included in the farm program. Contact your institution's existing suppliers and food distributors, expressing preferences for healthy and locally grown foods.

Farm to School Network connects local and regional farm systems to schools (K-12) with objectives of serving healthy meals in school meal programs, improvement of student nutrition, provide opportunities for agriculture, and to educate students on health, nutrition, and agriculture.

Farm to Hospital programs allow local farmers to distribute food products directly to hospitals. Farm to Hospital program elements include not only purchase of locally grown products, but also helps to host farmers’ markets, market community supported agriculture, and can create hospital gardens.

Planning & ZoningPlanning & Zoning

Institutions may develop a food purchasing policy that gives preferences to locally grown fruits and vegetables not exposed to herbicides and pesticides, meats grown without the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics or naturally fed beef.