By 2025, the State of Vermont intends that 50 percent of the food schools serve be locally produced.[i] As of 2014, 5.6 percent of the food schools serve is locally produced.[ii] The goal of this study is to determine how Vermont might increase the amount of local food in schools and evaluate the economic impact of such an increase. Our analysis focuses on the most pertinent barriers schools face when trying to increase local food purchases and introduces solutions to overcome these barriers. We then present our analysis of the economic impact of increasing local food purchases. We summarize the key insights of a joint report published in 2016 by the Economic Value Working Team of Vermont Farm to School, the Center for Rural Studies (CRS), and the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) at the University of Vermont (UVM). This report found that each additional dollar spent on local food adds 60 cents to the local economy.[iii] Lastly, our report analyzes current Senate Bill S.273 and provides detailed concerns and recommendations for the bill.
[i] Roche, Erin, Florence Becot, Jane Kolodinsky, and David Conner. “Economic Contribution and Potential Impact of Local Food Purchases Made by Vermont Schools.” May 2016.
[ii] Roche, et al. “Economic Contribution and Potential Impact of Local Food Purchases.”