Local Foods for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program (LFS) activities will strengthen the Wisconsin food system and expand economic opportunity. There are two beneficiaries. The first are Public, Private, or Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs), referred to as School Food Authorities (SFAs) in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). Second, are socially disadvantages and/or small businesses farmers/producers. Funds will increase access to local, unprocessed, and minimally processed foods by March 2024.
Pre-award activities like surveys, networking, and mapping collaborators will increase awareness and success of the LFS opportunity. Collaborators include buying groups, aggregators, distributors, processors, non-profit and for-profit, and other contractors in the supply chain. Maps will identify outreach focus to close gaps and allow for equitable reach across the state. Creation of a Local Procurement webpage, application and tracking forms, and FAQs will be established throughout the period of the grant. Other state agencies, student organizations, and extension offices can support LFS activities and beneficiary connections.
Collaborators and SFAs will complete an application outlining their plan to justify use of grant funds before receiving a sub-award. The timeline is flexible to allow for dynamic procurement plans. Solutions to procurement concerns, like forward contracting, will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
The final phase will assess the amount of new or expanded resources and share lessons learned with the public. These deliverables support sustainable partnerships and expand economic opportunity.