PA 16-37—SB 76

Environment Committee

Education Committee

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM

SUMMARY: This act requires food service management companies to include in their response to a board of education's request for proposal (RFP) or bid solicitation for a school nutrition program a description of how the proposal 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 bid solicitations posted to the state contracting portal, which the Department of Administrative Services maintains. When a board is awarding a contract, which must be done in accordance with any applicable laws, regulations, or rules, the act requires it to give preference to the proposal or bid that promotes the purchase of local farm products, all other factors being equal.

The act also requires the State Board of Education (SBE), by October 1, 2017, to amend its regulations on nutrition standards for school breakfasts and lunches. The amended regulations must facilitate purchases by boards of education from local farmers to further the state's farm to school program. By law, 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 the amended regulations requirement is effective on passage.

BACKGROUND

Farm to School Program

PA 06-135 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).

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