LFS Executive Summary – Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness (FDACS) is proposing to administer the $11,459,410 through a non-competitive cooperative agreement for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program (LFS). FDACS will build a program aimed at increasing economic opportunities for farms considered to be small business, as well as those owned and operated by socially disadvantaged, historically underserved producers (e.g., farmers/growers, ranchers, and processors). FDACS will work with community partners (e.g., food banks and other community organizations and non-profits) to connect the targeted farms with Florida schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the School Breakfast Program (SBP), specifically those in rural areas of the State.

These connections will increase the resiliency of Florida’s local food supply chains. By expanding local and regional market access to Florida commodities, students will have an opportunity to consume more local, fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, proteins, and other eligible commodities. Research shows enhanced academic performance from students who consume nutritionally balanced meals daily. Ultimately this program will benefit students participating in NSLP or SBP, community partners, and Florida producers, targeting small business and socially disadvantaged producers.

The State will administer the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program funds through a competitive sub program allowing food banks, nonprofits, and other community partners to apply for a portion of Florida’s allocated funds.