Farm to Institution

Institutional Buying: Working to connect farms with institutions to encourage local food being used in local institutions, such as schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.

Currently: The ACFPC is looking into grant opportunities and partnerships for other channels to support institutions in the purchasing of locally produced food.

2014: Our neighbors in the Northern York County School District, PA received a $99,000 Farm 2 School Implementation Grant through the USDA to develop a virtual food hub and hire a procurement coordinator. The procurement coordinator will connect food service directors in seven school districts to local farmers and find out if they can fulfill their food needs. Two of the seven school districts, Upper Adams and Bermudian Springs, are actually right here in Adams County!

Carol Richwine, teacher of Horticulture and Agricultural Sciences in the Northern York County School District, spearheaded the effort and hopes that this model can serve as a learning model that may be replicated in other school districts.

2009: The ACFPC created a committee to develop an action plan for Adams County regarding institutions in the county buying from local growers. With the help of Kirsten Markley, the Community Food Security Coalitions Farm to Institution Program Manager, we began to plan for an introductory workshop to be held at the Adams County Health Summit in June of 2010. Four main presenters were selected including Mark Ott, a food service director from Wingate Pa.; Jennifer Halpin, the Director of the Farm to College Program at Dickinson College; Katy Lesser-Clowney, the Sales and Marketing Assistant/Ag Tech Specialist for Bear Mountain Orchards and Kristen Markley. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the concept of local food resourcing to interested food service directors, institutions, distributors and community members, while beginning to lay out the barriers to institutions buying local and developing a list of strategies to lay the ground work for an action plan.

The workshop was a huge success, with Russell Redding, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Agriculture in attendance as well as other representatives from the Department of Agriculture, the Central PA’s Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapter and many other organizations with a focus on buying local. All agreed that the largest barrier to be addressed would be adequate distribution.