Fruits, Vegetables, Top Local Foods Purchased by Schools
Many U.S. school food authorities purchase local foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and proteins for their district’s cafeterias. In addition to buying locally produced foods, many school districts participate in other farm to school activities, such as product-specific promotions, taste tests of local foods, onsite edible gardens, and field trips to farms. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. school districts participated in farm to school activities during the 2018-19 school year, according to research from USDA. Of the school districts that participated, 78% reported purchasing any local foods during the school year.
Fruits and vegetables topped the list of local foods purchased in 2018-19, at 85% and 82% of school districts, respectively. Further, 68% of school districts reported buying locally produced milk, and 29% reported buying local grains, including baked goods. Approximately a third of school districts reported purchasing other local dairy products, and about a quarter purchased locally produced proteins.
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