We completed our first calendar year of procuring local produce for the Richland County Farm to School program with many successes, challenges and new opportunities. We reflected on 2014 and are excited for what 2015 will bring!
In 2014 we facilitated the purchase of over 500 pounds of local produce for the Richland School District (RSD) and are happy to announce that the program has expanded. Our outreach coordinator Jen Duhr is now procuring produce for the UW Richland Food Service program which provides food for the Roadrunner Café, the Richland County Senior Meal Sites, Lone Rock Head Start program and caters campus programs throughout the year.
This expansion creates the opportunity to purchase a wider range of products and quantities from more farmers. We hope to see our program continue to grow and make an impact on not only the health of our community but on the local food economy. Looking ahead to this summer and the following school year, we are in need of more farmers to fill the demand for local food.
Please see the attached “Richland County Local Food Review” document for a summary of the local food purchased in 2014 and our needs for the future. We have a couple different components of the program which require various quantities and items. From small amounts that a dedicated backyard gardener could provide, to larger quantities that would require mid-sized operations to fill, we are looking for growers of all types. With the UW Richland Food Service partnership we will be looking to utilize produce during the bountiful summer months as well.
If you are interested in growing for the program, or want more information, please contact us.