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Abstract

Local food offerings differ within and across school districts with farm-to-school programs. Using two waves of nationwide data, we estimate the relationship between two supply chain indicators— local foodshed size and length of local food supply chain—and districts’ local food expenditures. We find that increasing foodshed radius by 50 miles and sourcing from intermediaries increases the average district’s local spending by 8% and 26%, respectively. Districts’ actions to increase student access to local foods by widening definitions of local or sourcing through intermediaries thus have the potential to reduce localized benefits to nearby farmers and community members.

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