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West Michigan farmers and schools work to bring farm fresh foods to local campus cafeterias

 Directors of school food services in West Michigan want to buy fresh foods from local farmers to serve in their campus cafeterias, but they say area farmers need to be more aggressive with meeting their needs.

In a recent panel discussion sponsored by Michigan State University's Farm to School program, Paul Baumgartner and other school food service directors agreed more education and cooperation was needed to help bring local foods to the schools' menus.

According to excerpts from the story:

"Everybody talks about farm-to-school. Where are the farmers?" said Baumgartner, director of nutrition services at Grand Rapids Public Schools. "Nobody's knocking on my door. I've got demand, but where's my pea grower?"

"(We're) always thinking six months in advance," Baumgartner said. "Right now, I'm thinking about summer programming. This is the time to talk about (next school year). Don't come to us in the fall."

Read the complete story here

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