Young girl carries tray of food in cafeteria

Understanding How Michigan Institutions Define Local Food


December 6, 2016 - Megan Thompson, Kathryn Colasanti, <>

This brief summarizes results of an informal survey by the Michigan Farm to Institution Network trying to better understand what Michigan institutions consider “local” as it relates to food procurement. We found that though institutions use a range of different definitions (or a combination of definitions), there is substantial overlap, and over half of surveyed institutions use a definition that includes “grown or raised in the state of Michigan,” which aligns with the definition used by the MI Good Food Charter and the Cultivate Michigan campaign. We hope that by establishing some common understandings of what “local” means, we can help make local food more accessible and easier to identify and source.

This brief is authored by:

  • Megan Thompson, Data Manager, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
  • Kathryn Colasanti, Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
  • Colleen Matts, Farm to Institution Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems




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