LFS Executive Summary – Massachusetts

New England Food for Schools is a program the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in partnership with Massachusetts Farm to School has proposed to increase the capacity for School Food Authorities (SFAs) administering the National School Lunch Program to procure local unprocessed or minimally processed foods for service in school meals and snacks. Through this program, funds will be awarded to SFAs to purchase from producers, including but not limited to farmers, food hubs, and fishermen, within a 400-mile radius. Concerted efforts will be made to highlight the opportunities made available through non-traditional providers of locally grown products like Food Hubs in order to create new procurement relationships with socially disadvantaged farmers and small businesses. Technical assistance will be made available to SFAs and local producers to better understand how to identify interested purchasers/suppliers of local foods, the steps involved in issuing/responding to a compliant Massachusetts procurement process and highlighting the value of local food in school meals. The goal of this initiative is to expand the capacity for procuring/providing local foods to schools, strengthening local food systems, and improving meal quality for children of the Commonwealth.