Local Foods Fund (formerly the Local Produce Fund)

The Local Produce Fund is now called the Local Foods Fund, with significant changes signed into affect in July 2021. Please review the Fund details below, and e-mail Robin with any questions! We have significant funding available for SY2022, so please take advantage of this great opportunity!
 

When funds are available payments, will be made as first received, first paid. E-mail Robin Kerber at robin.kerber@maine.gov for information on receiving ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT through a Child Nutrition Local Foods Training.

2021 Local Foods Fund Update

This guidance contains three parts of importance:

  • The Law
  • DOE Guidelines
  • Claim form for the Local Foods Fund 

20-A  §6602. SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE PROGRAMS 

12. Local Foods Fund. The Local Foods Fund is established within the department. The fund is authorized to receive revenue from public and private sources. The fund must be held separate and apart from all other money, funds and accounts. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year must be carried forward to the next fiscal year. The fund must be used to match $1 for every $3 a school administrative unit pays for produce, value-added dairy, protein or minimally processed foods purchased directly from a farmer, farmers' cooperative, local food hub, local food processor or food service distributor in the State, to a maximum state contribution of $5,000 per school administrative unit in fiscal year 2021-22 and subsequent years or $5,500 per school administrative unit if funding is received and the school administrative unit sends a food service employee to local foods training administered by the department under subsection 13.

 

All foods purchased using the fund must be grown or produced in the State.

 

At the end of the fiscal year, the school administrative unit may provide the department with receipts documenting purchases pursuant to this subsection during that year. For purposes of this subsection, "minimally processed" means only the washing, cleaning, trimming, peeling, slicing, drying, sorting, refrigerating, freezing and packaging of food items or a combination of those activities. Reimbursement or partial reimbursement to school administrative units may only be made up to the amount available in the fund. Failure to reimburse does not constitute an obligation on behalf of the State to a school administrative unit. The department shall apply for federal grant funding to provide state contributions in excess of $5,000 per school administrative unit in fiscal year 2021-22 and subsequent years pursuant to this subsection if applicable grant funding is available. The department may accept grant funding from hospitals and other sources to provide state contributions in of $5,000 per school administrative unit in fiscal year 2021-22 and subsequent years pursuant to this subsection.

 

Local Foods Fund Simple Guidelines

  • Cannot be for produce offered through the FFVP.
  • Minimally processed as defined in law.
  • Receipts are paid first in first out, until the money is gone by using the Local Foods Fund claim form (linked above).
  • Items being requested for reimbursement must be listed on the claim form.
  • To be reported under “other income” on claim form.
  • Requests will be processed in the same timeframe as the monthly claim form; the 8th of each month.
  • Receipts do not have to be originals.
  • Districts have a maximum of $5000 per year for SY2022 or $5500 if district participates in local foods training offered by the department
  • Cover note must be attached to refund request.
  • DOE reserves the right to decline or prorate receipts to provide support to as many districts as reasonably possible.
  • DOE Child Nutrition staff will notify districts, through the list serve, when funds are no longer available.