Benefits and Obstacles to Purchasing Food From Local Growers and Producers
Is Version Of
Oftentimes, those who are responsible for purchasing food for school foodservice programs have a variety of vendors from whom they choose to purchase. One buying option that is receiving increased support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the purchase of foods from local growers (those who grow food items on their farm and sell directly to consumers) and producers (those who produce a food item, such as pasta or ground beef, from locally grown or raised foods). Data for this study were collected from individuals responsible for managing school foodservice operations in four Midwestern states to determine current purchasing practices and identify benefits and obstacles to purchasing food from local growers or producers. Results indicated that approximately one-third of the managers had purchased from local growers or producers. Primary benefits cited were: good public relations; aiding the local economy; ability to purchase smaller quantities and fresher food; knowing product sources; and food safety. The year-round availability of food items, as well as the ability to obtain an adequate food supply and reliable food quantity, were perceived as the greatest obstacles.
This article is published as Gregoire, M.B., & Strohbehn, C.H. Benefits and obstacles to purchasing from local growers/producers. Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. Posted with permission.