Institutional Food Service
Institutional food service can be defined as entities that provide meals at institutions including schools, colleges and universities, and hospitals, as well as correctional facilities, public and private cafeterias, nursing homes, and day-care and senior centers. Interest lies in their potential roles in sourcing food from regional farmers, ranchers, and processors, thereby contributing to the development of regional food systems through farm to institution (FTI) or farm to cafeteria programs, of which farm to school (FTS) is the best known case. These programs combine local food procurement and experiential education to forge closer ties between farmers and consumers.
These programs are large in number. As of March 2013, the National Farm to School Network estimated there were more than 12,000 FTS programs, existing in all 50 states and reaching 5.7 million schoolchildren. Programs and organizations such as the National Farm to School Network, Real Food Challenge, and...
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