Local Foods to Local Schools

An increasing number of Maine schools are sourcing food locally and providing complementary educational activities that teach students about food, farming, and nutrition. This farm to school movement not only ensures our children are receiving healthy meals, it supports our local economy and rich tradition of agriculture.

2019-2020 Farm to School Cookbook

The 2021 Maine Farm to School Cook-off

The Farm to School Cook-off is an annual, statewide culinary competition among school nutrition professionals and students, to promote local foods in school meals. This year’s cook-off is following in the footsteps of schools and going with a hybrid model!

  • Round 1- virtual cook-off. Teams will submit videos of their breakfast and lunch meals to be posted on the Child Nutrition website, where voting will take place. The top two teams will advance to round 2.
  • Round 2- final cook-off. The top teams will compete in the Child Nutrition Culinary Classroom in Augusta! We will announce the 2021 Farm to School Cook-off champion. Please note all necessary precautions will be taken, including face coverings and social distancing of teams in the culinary classroom.   

The challenge ingredients for this year’s cook-off, donated from Maine farms, will be eggs for breakfast and parsnips for lunch. Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity!

2021 Cook-off Team Rules and Guidelines


2021 Farm to School



2020 Farm to School Cook-off

Thank you to RSU 54's Team Sonday for their great recipes and videos!

RSU 54 - Breakfast

Team Sonday from RSU 54 created a delicious and fun breakfast using Maine Grains local oats!

  • Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie
  • Banana Octopus
  • Milk
RSU 54 - Lunch

Team Sonday used the local challenge ingredient (ground beef from Common Hill Farm) to create a tasty lunch!

  • Taco Mashup Bowl
  • Mexican Fruit Salad
  • Salsa & Sour Cream
Farm to School Cookbooks

Click Here for the 2019 Maine Farm to School Cook-Off Cookbook!!

 Click Here for the 2018 Maine Farm to School Cook-Off Cookbook!!

Click Here for the 2017 Maine Farm to School Cook-Off Cookbook!!

Click Here for the 2016 Maine Farm to School Cook-Off Cookbook!!

The following resources are provided to help schools in their efforts to increase locally sourced food.

Local Produce Fund

Local Produce Fund was established within the Maine Department of Education. The local produce fund is authorized to receive revenue from public/private sources and the State budget.

Geographic Preference and Buying Local

Geographic Preference Option. When purchasing fresh local foods, school districts must navigate three levels of procurement law – federal, state, and local. Consult FNS memoranda SP18-2011, Procurement Geographic Preference Q&As and SP03-2012, Procurement Geographic Preference Q&As Part II, for common questions on the implementation of the geographic preference option.

School Gardens and Product Usage

Product from school gardens can not be processed and then sold/transferred to the food service program. This includes canning, preserving, etc. Product can be washed, cut and/or frozen. Drying fruit would be considered processing and must be licensed to be done in a commercial kitchen. Home processing of this type is not allowed for School Food Service Department use.

Maine Food Producer Directories

Additional Resources


For more information or questions about Local Foods for Local Schools please contact a Child Nutrition staff member.