Food Policy Team
This year, the Food Policy Team is working on a year-long project in partnership with the Mississippi Farm to School Network. Our goal is to get a sense of the road blocks and hurdles which stand in the way of the Farm to School movement in Mississippi, and how state legislation can aid the process. The project involves conducting interviews with Mississippi citizens, such as farmers, school workers, and members of local government, in order to discern the needs and problems unique to the area. We have also been conducting interviews with individuals involved with Farm to School efforts in other parts of the country, both in states with particularly successful Farm to School programs, and states that are geographically similar to Mississippi. Furthermore, we have been collecting information on state and local laws, programs, and grants relating to the Farm to School movement in Mississippi as well as throughout the country.
Our research and interviews have brought to light many different strategies employed by states to increase local food consumption in schools, including interagency councils, farm directories to connect schools and farmers, and creative grant and funding programs. We will ultimately use our research to write a paper suggesting policy changes which incorporate the best practices used in other states, tailored to fit unique cultural and environmental features that affect Mississippi’s Farm to School program.