LFS Executive Summary – Kansas

Kansas schools are facing challenges providing school meals to students due to supply chain issues, rising prices and staffing shortages. There is an urgent need to support schools in implementation of Child Nutrition Programs and fueling students for success. Historically, small‐scale Kansas producers have had difficulty entering the school market, facing barriers with school delivery requirements, cashflow, and processing compacity compared to established broadline distributors. Socially disadvantaged producers face additional systematic challenges that impede their ability to compete. This Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) led project will simultaneously increase local food purchases by schools and expand opportunities for local, small businesses and socially disadvantaged producers.

KSDE will (1) allocate funds to schools for the purchase of unprocessed or minimally processed meats from local, small business producers/ranchers/meat processors.; and (2) provide technical assistance to schools and producers/ranchers/meat processors, including resources, training, and networking activities. This project will pave a way toward a thriving local meat to school infrastructure that can be sustainable after grant funds are no longer available.