Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED) is a community-based approach to school food system change in a rural state through the collaboration of two Vermont non-profits, NOFA Vermont and Shelburne Farms.
VT FEED works with schools and communities to raise awareness about healthy food, the role of Vermont farms and farmers, and good nutrition. We act as a catalyst for rebuilding healthy local food systems, and to cultivate links between the classrooms, cafeterias, local farms, and communities. NOFA-VT’s role in this partnership focuses on school food by connecting kitchen managers with local farmers, helping farmers make the connection with schools, training school food service personnel about how to use fresh and local foods, and teaching school staff how to introduce new foods to students.
Selling to K-12 School Meals Programs: A Webinar Series for Vermont Producers
School meals programs represent a big marketing opportunity for Vermont producers and suppliers, purchasing more than $15 million worth of food and supplies last year. However these programs must follow strict federal and state requirements for competitive procurement for every purchase they make. Together, these two webinars will guide you through the federal regulations that these programs must follow, point out potential marketing opportunities for Vermont producers, and teach you how your business could be more competitive when bidding to supply school meals programs. These webinars are for farmers, producers, distributors, and other businesses that sell (or wish to sell) directly to school meal programs in Vermont.
Part 1: Understanding Your Customers’ Needs & Regulations
This 1-hour webinar will cover how the new menu requirements under the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act effect what types and sizes of foods schools are looking to purchase, what competitive purchasing requirements school meals programs need to follow, food safety requirements for these programs, and other things that school food service managers wish you knew about doing business with their programs.
Part 2: Standing Out During a Competitive Procurement Process
In this 1-hour webinar, we will focus on ways that school meals programs may be thinking about what it means to “buy local” and do “farm to school” and how Vermont producers can fit their products and services into these efforts and compete for school business on more than just price.
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