OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM.
This bill requires a food service management company to include in its response to a board of education's request for proposal (RFP) or bid solicitation for a school nutrition program how the RFP or bid is consistent with the state's farm to school program and how it facilitates the purchase of products from local farmers. The requirement applies to RFPs and bids posted to the state contracting portal, which the Department of Administrative Services maintains. When awarding a contract, the bill requires giving a preference to the RFP or bid that promotes the purchase of local farm products.
The bill also requires the State Board of Education (SBE), by October 1, 2017, to amend state regulations on nutrition standards for school breakfasts and lunches. The amended regulations must encourage boards of education to purchase food from local farmers to support the state's farm to school program. SBE must adopt the regulations in consultation with the Department of Public Health, the School Food Service Association, and the Connecticut Dietetic Association.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016, except for the regulations provision, which is effective upon passage.
Farm to School Program
PA 06-135, § 21, established Connecticut's farm to school program to encourage the use of Connecticut-grown farm products in school cafeterias. The law requires the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the state Department of Education (SDE), to run the program to promote the sale of Connecticut-grown farm products by farms to school districts, individual schools, and other educational institutions under SDE's jurisdiction (CGS § 22-38d).