With the most farms in New England and a rising number of young farmers, Maine has an abundant and thriving local food system. School cafeterias are an integral part of this system. Through local procurement and the exposure and education that happens around local food, Maine cafeterias support the local economy and serve fresh and delicious meals to their students. Browse the resources below to learn more about how your program can incorporate local Maine food all year long.
Local Foods Fund
Available to all School Food Service Programs, the Local Foods Fund provides districts with reimbursements when they purchase local food. Districts can submit claim forms via the DOE website.
Harvest of the Month
Each month, Maine Harvest of the Month highlights a local product and provides resources to promote seasonal and local food. Schools that participate in the Harvest of the Month program receive printed marketing materials, recipes and educational resources, and ongoing program training and support.
Maine Farm & Sea to School Network
The Maine Farm & Sea to School Network aims to build connection and coordination among farm to school programs throughout Maine. It focuses on education, school gardens, and supporting the procurement of local foods. It’s a great resource and way to connect with other folks working to get more local food in schools!
Fishermen Feeding Mainers
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association created the Fishermen Feeding Mainers program to address rising food insecurity. They partner with the DOE to donate local fish to school across the state.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federal program available to elementary schools and provides free fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day. While this program is not specific to local fruits and vegetables, it provides helpful funding and can be a great opportunity to bring local food into your school. Check out the FFVP Fact Sheet to learn more.