...The research that has been conduced to date has taken a limited approach to addressing the complex economic issues related to farm-to-school programs. The majority of economic impact studies on this subject thus far have only examined the positive impact of additional local spending. They have not accounted for decreased expenditures to the current supply chain or for the potential for increased costs to the community in the form of higher lunch prices. Further, these economic impact studies have not thoroughly examined the feasibility of providing certain food items to the schools.
This report answers the question “What is the potential economic impact of farm-to-school programs in Central Minnesota” in a comprehensive manner. It addresses the issue of what foods are available and can be used in schools. It looks at variability in the pricing structure. It considers various realistic scenarios under which the food would be provided to the schools. Finally, it takes into account economic realities such as decreases in payments to current school lunch suppliers and increases in the cost to provide lunch.
- Authors: Brigid Tuck, Monica Haynes, Robert King, & Ryan Pesch (Extension Center for Community Vitality & U of M Dept of Applied Econ)
- Published: June 2010, MISA, Univ of Minnesota
- Intended audience: academics/economists, community planners & policy makers (w/ background or interest in economics)
- Goals / purpose: To investigate the impact Farm-to-School programs have on a local economy.
- Methods - How would someone know they could trust this?
- Methods include direct interviews w/ farmers & foodservice directors already part of program (not exactly clear how these are incorporated in the analysis)
- Details economic models of various scenarios
- From 1 (not very well)–4 (very well), how well does this source of food knowledge:
- Engage an adequate range of perspectives and types of knowledge? (2)
- Translate between diverse perspectives? (3)
- Address conflicts across perspectives? (3)
- Generate useful information for those affected by the issues addressed? (3)
- Include an adequate range of relevant stakeholders throughout the knowledge-creation process? (3)
- Help users of this knowledge source learn from each other? (3)
- Allow users of this knowledge source to put what they learn into action? (2)
- Consider the larger context as necessary? (4)
- What is useful, meaningful, surprising, or a problem? Questions?
- It seems like a very detailed economic analysis that could be helpful in planning, not for foodservice directors but nice for community policy.
- What do you think could or should be done with this source of knowledge?
- What has already been done?
- How should we keep track of what this knowledge does as it circulates in the world?
- What connections would you like to see made to other information / people / organizations?