Michigan Farm to Institution Network to Launch in April
By Liz Gensler, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and Alyson Oslin, Ecology Center
On April 3, 2014 the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the Ecology Center will launch a new initiative to further advance progress of the Michigan Good Food Charter goal that “Michigan institutions will source 20% of their food products from Michigan growers, producers and processors by 2020”.
The Michigan Farm to Institution Network will be a statewide learning and practice collaborative that supports Michigan farms’ and institutions’ efforts to increase local food purchases toward the 2020 goal.
“The timing to initiate this network is right,” said Colleen Matts, CRFS Farm to Institution Specialist and Michigan Farm to Institution Network co-coordinator. “We continue to see local food purchasing grow in Michigan’s schools, hospitals and other institutions. Last year Sixty-eight percent of school food service directors reported purchasing Michigan foods. This new network will build on that momentum to continue to ramp up Farm to Institution programs.”
The Michigan Farm to Institution Network will involve farmers, distributors, processors and other food vendors, food service buyers and supporters across Michigan to achieve the goals of helping:
- Farmers, food processors and food suppliers provide the local foods institutions require in the forms they need;
- Institutions like hospitals, schools, pre-K programs, and colleges locate, purchase and use these products; and
- Eaters at these institutions recognize, understand and enjoy local foods.
All are welcome to join in the April 3 event celebrating Michigan’s exceptional Farm to Institution programs and developing strategic solutions to the challenges that remain to further increase food purchasing at institutions to meet or exceed the 20% goal.
Launch Event Details
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM, with a Farm to Institution Marketplace Reception to follow
Location: Crowne Plaza Lansing West, 925 S. Creyts Road, Lansing, MI 48917
Event fee: $25 (includes reception)