Nourish Colorado is helping k-12 and early childhood education programs source and serve nutritious, locally produced food through LoProCO – Local Procurement Colorado. The program facilitates farm to school by educating, connecting, and training partners with the information, contacts, and know-how they need to procure, store, prep, and serve fresh, healthy food to kids.
K-12 Schools and Early Childcare Centers
Farmers, ranchers, and other local food suppliers
Colorado State University, Colorado Department of Education Office of School Nutrition, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability
Our food systems have evolved and gotten increasingly more complicated over time. There is a lot to know and even more to keep up with. LoProCO helps collaborators get a handle on how today’s food systems operate and how they can effectively work together to feed Colorado’s kids locally grown and raised, nutritious foods.
K-12 schools and Early Childcare Education facility food service directors
Local Food Producers
While the notion of buying and eating locally is not a new one, the logistics of making a shift can seem overwhelming for K-12 and early childcare education facilities with an established way of doing things. Often times they don’t know where to start or who to reach out to for guidance and support.
LoProCO removes these barriers by facilitating connections between food service directors, community partners, local food producers, regulatory experts, and other resources to help make the process seamless for all collaborators.
LoProCO hosts customized workshops to equip all partners with the tools, resources, and know-how to grow a nutritious food environment for children. We cover issues like regulatory compliance, safety, and school menu planning. We also run culinary trainings for kitchen leaders to help them adapt to changes local food sourcing may necessitate.
These workshops are vital not only for training, but for in-person connections. “Speed dating” sessions give individual producers and food service directors the chance to meet face-to-face and forge personal relationships.
Locally sourced ingredients offer advantages for chefs, namely fresher and more flavorful ingredients to work with. Local ingredients also require some additional preparation steps and culinary skills in the kitchen.
This is because fresh, local ingredients are often delivered in a different form than mass produced ingredients from large commercial operations. To help head chefs adapt their kitchen workflows, LoProCO provides culinary training from an expert team of chefs.
LoProCO’s Culinary Trainings follow a “train the trainer” model. We equip head chefs with the skills needed to handle fresh, locally sourced ingredients and take that knowledge back to their own kitchen staff.