“Locally produced foods” is defined by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets (VAAFM) in Act 129, excepting fluid milk. Milk already comprises over 15% of school food costs on average and is required to be served, so to incentivize new purchasing of Vermont products fluid milk has been excluded.
This victory was possible because of all of the work you all have done over the past many years - from building your Farm to School programs to talking with legislators to participating in Farm to School month activities to working out the nitty gritty details of local food purchasing. THANK YOU for all of this great work. This law is a giant step forward for our school meal programs and our farms and food producers. It will help to create new, reliable markets for farmers and food producers.
The bill also included a new position at the Agency of Education in the Child Nutrition Program to help implement this program and also to work toward universal school meals, which we will continue to advocate for next year (there will be a task force between now and then to develop a proposal for legislators).
Our work is not done, and we will be in touch with how you can continue to help get more local food into our schools and early childhood programs, but for now, take a moment to celebrate this huge victory!
All the best,