LFS Executive Summary – Indiana

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA), in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and other statewide partners, will implement Indiana Grown Food for Schools: A Collaboration to Develop Sustainable and Equitable Partnerships Between Indiana Farms and Schools. This project will provide funding (through subawards) to broadline food distributors operating in Indiana to purchase local, domestic food from Indiana-based socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers (SDFRs) to distribute to qualifying (NSLP-enrolled) K-12 Indiana schools. The DNPA will develop and release a request for Letters of Intent to participate in the program and will work with any broadline food distributor who submits a letter. The funding level foreach participating distributor will be determined based on size, reach, and technical capacity to meet the objectives of LFS. To receive funding, participating distributors must contractually commit to 1) purchasing local food from qualifying SDFRs to distribute at no-cost to K-12 NSLP-enrolled Indiana schools, and 2) onboarding participating SDFRs as long-term vendors who may continue to sell into schools and other markets beyond the project period. The DNPA will work with the Indiana Department of Education and participating distributors to determine how to select and prioritize schools to receive LFS-purchased products. This project will benefit farmers and local communities by investing in long-term business relationships between school buyers and Indiana producers, resulting in more resilient local and regional food systems and increased access to nourishing foods within schools throughout the state.