Farm to School Local Food Purchasing Incentives: Incorporating Additional Values


May 29, 2024 - Cassandra Bull and <>

Local food purchasing incentives (LFPIs) are programs that provide additional funding to child nutrition program operators to directly offset or incentivize local food purchases. As interest continues to rise in local food purchasing incentive (LFPI) policies, the conversations around them are expanding beyond prioritizing purchases based simply on whether they are “local” foods. 

The National Farm to School Network defines values-based purchasing as considering the attributes related to the foods that are purchased and the people producing them. See their resource, "What is Values-Based Purchasing?" here. 

Advocates are also interested in incentivizing other values or attributes related to the foods that are purchased and/or the people producing them. Institutions should consider values-based purchasing not only for the immediate benefits it brings to local communities, but also for its broader societal and environmental impact. 

This resources shares examples of values-aligned purchasing in LFPI programs. This concept paper aims to inspire further conversation and future action. 

This document is part of a resource series on Local Food Purchasing Incentives (LFPIs), produced through collaboration between the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the National Farm to School Network. This project aims to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on LFPIs and provide more information for farm to school advocates and practitioners nationwide. 

Explore other resources in this series at To learn more about states that offer LFPI’s, check out 



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