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Bringing food from the farm to the school is the crux of farm to school! There are many methods for getting local food into school cafeterias. Remember that whether you work through your distributor, use geographic preference, or another method, you always have to abide by USDA regulations.

Our guide is the most comprehensive look at procurement options in Georgia, including examples from 13 Georgia school districts.

Georgia Local Food Procurement Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

Getting Started with Local Procurement

These documents will give you an overview of the options for making local purchases.

Find Farms

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Finding farms from which to buy is one of the first steps to local procurement. We have a lot of great tools in Georgia to help you find food producers in your area. To help you make connections, check out our Tips for Working with Farmers.

In addition to searching those databases for farms, you can find food producers in your community by connecting with folks who work with farmers every day. They can help point you in the right direction!

  • UGA Cooperative Extension
  • USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Georgia Farm Bureau
  • Farmers Markets: Visiting your local farmers market is a great way to find a lot of growers all in one place and start conversations with them. They may be growing on a larger scale and can support a school district.
  • Food Hubs:  Food Hubs are popping up more and more and, as aggregators of local products, will know lots of farmers.
  • Producer Associations: These groups represent a specific industry and support a specific product. Talking to a producer association is especially useful if you are looking for a specific product (i.e.: Blueberries).

Local Procurement Methods

These documents go more in-depth about certain local procurement strategies.

Local Procurement Through a Distributor

Geographic Preference

Tips for Farmers Sourcing to Schools

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Tracking Local Purchases

Other Ideas for Local Procurement