Local Food Interest by Institutions in Southeast Michigan


February 1, 2013 - <matts@msu.edu>, Kathryn Colasanti

In February 2012, researchers from the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) surveyed metropolitan Detroit institutions to gather information about their interest in local food purchasing. This data was collected for the dual purposes of coordinating food sourcing and distribution and informing Farm to Institution (FTI) outreach and education activities. Survey design and dissemination was coordinated by CRFS with assistance from Eastern Market Corporation, the Food System Economic Partnership and the Ecology Center, all stakeholders in the development of FTI programs in the Detroit metro area.

The sample population of institutions included K-12 schools and school districts, hospitals and colleges/universities within a 60-mile radius (within Michigan) of Detroit. Contact information was obtained from the Michigan Department of Education; the Ecology Center, which coordinates the Michigan Health Care Without Harm campaign; and, for colleges and universities, Google map searches followed up with telephone calls. The survey yielded 98 complete responses. Of these, 11 institutions said they did not have a food service program and seven institutions stated that they had only outside food vendors; each of these 18 respondents were diverted to the end of the survey. The remaining 80 responses were analyzed to produce the results presented below. Among the 80 institutions represented in this report are six hospitals, 23 schools, 42 school districts and nine “other” institutions, most of which are residential child care institutions. No college or university representatives responded to the survey.

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