The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) Food Distribution views the LFS Grant as a perfect opportunity to assist the schools in North Carolina with providing nutritious, healthy meals for our kids while introducing and teaching them about fresh, local produce. The funds would be distributed to the schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) based on their enrollment. Schools would have the option to use these funds in our current Farm to School Program or to procure products from local farmers, vendors and businesses. NCDA&CS views this program as a great opportunity to procure local produce from socially disadvantaged farmers, small farmers, and small businesses. We will promote local resources right here at our fingertips and help build relationships that will benefit everyone involved for years to come.
The LFS funding timing is great as schools begin to plan their menus. Procuring needed items for school lunches has been a significant challenge due to supply chain issues. Building partnerships with local suppliers is another excellent benefit to this program as it reduces operating cost and the expense of deliveries at a time when fuel costs are reaching record highs. The LFS Grant will provide NCDA&CS the opportunity to develop partnerships across the state, and will benefit the children, schools, and farmers for many years to come.