Farm to School: A Market Analysis

This paper explores the potential for the National Farm to School Program to effectively engage with Georgia’s public schools in order to reduce local food insecurity and improve the quality of nutrition provided to students. A survey was conducted with the specific goals of assessing: first, the current and future impact Farm to School has and will potentially have on the Georgia economy through schools purchase of local foods; second, the potential market for farmers; third, school administrators willingness to buy local food by Georgia; forth, the level of infrastructure available within schools to prepare fresh, whole foods; and fifth, the perceived opportunities and challenges to buying and preparing local food. University of Georgia collaborated with the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Organics to develop a survey that met the objectives as defined above. There were twenty-five questions total and most answers were formatted in a multiple-choice selection with an option to write any additional comments. The survey was distributed by the Department of Education to 158 public schools in Georgia, and collected, a total of 93 responses. From the data, it was concluded that the willingness to participate exists, as well as the tools necessary for participation. What appears to be missing is the infrastructure that would allow schools to purchase food easily and frequently. Most schools noted that they would be willing to interact with an online platform that would put them in contact with local growers and sellers.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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