Local institutions, agricultural producers, and partners in rural areas face many challenges in making local procurement the norm, including a low volume of orders coming from local schools and older adult programs, decentralized purchasing and delivery services, and a lack of time and knowledge to create systems that promote local procurement.
Nourish Colorado is pleased to announce that thanks to support from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), and Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), we will infuse more resources and cooperation among institutions, farmers, and food hubs in Southeast Colorado to help build their capacity and networks through our collaborative models and standardizing metrics for local purchasing among rural institutions project.
This unique project brings local producers, food hubs, institutional food service directors, and key food service staff together to learn how they can all work together to strengthen local food systems and communities in Southeast Colorado that can then be replicated in other regions.
With this $1M Regional Food Systems Partnerships Program grant, we will work together to develop improved and standardized data collection by involving state agencies that run federally supported meal programs. All groups will learn about the challenges and opportunities associated with local procurement and existing regulations, as well as receive training to build the capacity of local producers and institutions to work together to incorporate more local products into meal programs while making valuable connections.
If you are a producer, food hub, local food business, local nonprofit, local leader, local expert, institution, educator, etc., and would like to learn more about this opportunity – please contact Jessica@NourishColorado.org.
About Nourish Colorado
Nourish Colorado is a changemaker strengthening connections with and between farmers, ranchers, and communities so that all Coloradans have equitable access to fresh, nutritious foods. Nourish Colorado achieves this mission by engaging in policy advocacy for systemic change, managing innovative programs, and developing community partnerships and grassroots networks to rebalance the food system and create healthy food environments.
About U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) works to improve domestic and international opportunities for U.S. growers and producers. AMS works with a variety of organizations to support to rural America and the Nation’s agricultural sector. AMS administers programs that create domestic and international marketing opportunities for U.S. producers of food, fiber, and specialty crops. AMS also provides the agriculture industry with valuable services to ensure the quality and availability of wholesome food for consumers across the country and around the world.