The Local Foods for Tennessee school nutrition programs grant will help Tennessee schools manage challenges of supply chain issues by providing much-needed food to schools and will assist to establish lasting partnerships with local farmers/producers on a broader scale.
Local and regional agriculture is essential to building a healthier sustainable food system. These funds will help to create new market connections with farmers/producers from across the state. Establishing the agriculture connections with school nutrition programs will be accomplished by sub awarding up to 199 School Food Authorities (SFAs) with grant funds. These funds will be distributed equitably to SFAs that request funding. SFAs will purchase local and regional food from a preapproved list (provided by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture) of socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and producers. SFAs will be responsible for documenting the costs of purchasing, storing, and distributing the food products. This documentation will be reported quarterly to the state agency (Tennessee Department of Education) for reimbursement.