Maine Universities to serve more local foods | News

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Maine Universities to serve more local foods

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The University of Maine System announced Monday that Maine’s public universities are committing to using more  local growers and producers for a minimum of 20% of their dining hall food costs by the year 2020. 

Back on August 1, a group of Maine food producers and organizations pressed the University of Maine System to serve more locally grown food to students and staff. 

On Monday, The University of Maine System’s team released a request for proposals to local growers asking them to provide dining hall and other food services at six of the system’s seven campuses.  

“The University’s commitment to buying local is going to give family farms like mine better access to the customers it takes to grow our businesses," said Sam Blackstone, Owner of Circle B Farms in Caribou, Maine.  

According to a press release, back in May of 2015 the UMS Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new policy directive providing a preference for local, sustainably produced food.  

“Local food production is part of Maine’s legacy and could be even more important to our state’s future,” said Sam Collins, Chair of the UMS Board of Trustees. "The farmers, fishermen, producers and processors that bring sustainable, local food to our tables are a top priority for University research and spending.  The 20% local by 2020 is a target university leaders expect to hit but hope to exceed.”    

This story will be updated.