LFS Executive Summary – Connecticut

Local Foods for School Incentive Program (LFSIP) provides school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) opportunities to include more local foods into school meals. LFSIP funding allocated to Connecticut will be divided in half to fund two rounds. A predetermined formula will be used to allocate LFSIP funds. The allocation includes two components: a base payment of $2,000; and a proportional amount of funding based on each district’s share of statewide student enrollment. The base payment is intended to ensure that the smallest districts receive a meaningful level of funding, and the proportional amount is intended to provide resources that scale with the size of the student population served by the SFA. SFAs will have the opportunity to participate in one or both rounds. Round 1: The first round of the Local Foods for Schools Incentive Program (LFSIP) will be provided to all NSLP sponsors who opt in to participate. The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) will require that NSLP sponsors submit a signed Attestation Statement to the CSDE in order to participate in the LFSIP. As part of the Attestation Statement, sponsors will agree to only use the LFSIP funds for local food purchases with a priority on purchasing food from socially disadvantaged and small producers. The producers will be identified by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) as part of their work on the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA) program and the CSDE will provide the contact information to NSLP sponsors. Approximately $800,000 is estimated to be spent for Round 1.

Round 2 (must first participate in Round 1 to be eligible): Building on Round 1, the remaining funds will be available to sponsors who choose to participate in Round 2. For the purposes of distributing Round 2 funding, the SFAs will not be required to sign another statement in order to receive the additional funds. The CSDE will provide a simple opt-in vehicle to the SFAs that already signed an Attestation Statement and participated in Round 1. In Round 2, participating sponsors agree to reach out to local producers, targeting socially disadvantaged and small producers, to establish a longer-term relationship for the upcoming growing season(s) to incorporate local products in their school menus as a result. The remaining funds will be allocated to sponsors opting in to Round 2 based on enrollment size. Round 2 funds must be used to procure local foods from socially disadvantaged and small producers. Additional training and technical assistance will be provided by CSDE, DoAg, and University of Connecticut Extension (UConn Extension) to initiate and support these relationships and ensure proper procurement methods are implemented. The goal of Round 2 participants is to establish a sustainable procurement relationship between the producer and NSLP sponsor. One-on-one technical assistance, webinars, and onsite support will be provided. Funding for the administrative costs will be from the recently announced Farm to School State Agency Formula Grant funds and State Administrative Expense (SAE) funds.