Local Food in Washington County
Downeast Farm to School
Farm to School programs have grown along with the local food movement, from 2 in the nation in 1996 to 2,051 in 2009 (National Farm to School Network). There are several Maine Farm to School Programs including Downeast Farm to School, and Maine Farm to School Coordinator Ken Morse is a collaborator with GROWashington-Aroostook on the Maine Food Data Consortium.
Like Community Supported Agriculture where individuals purchase an up-front or on-going share of a farm's harvest Downeast Farm to School created the School Supported Agriculture (SSA) Program in 2010. School Supported Agriculture builds on the strengths and existing capacity of Maine’s Downeast farms and seeks to increase farm sales to local schools and to establish lasting partnerships between schools and farms.
Other Downeast Farm to School projects:
Though schools, hospitals, and large retailers may wish to purchase local food they find it difficult for multiple reasons. The single and most effective solution that is growing in Maine and across the country is food hub development to create a large, consistent and reliable supply of local and regional food.