Through strategic partnerships with Chicago Public School’s (CPS) food service provider Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality and Whole Foods Market, FamilyFarmed.org has helped develop local food procurement programs that provide healthy lunches to urban children. In the past three years Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality has purchased over $7 million in food from local farmers in the FamilyFarmed.org network. This innovative program includes a preference for fruit and vegetable farms using Integrated Pest Management techniques and produce grown without the use of organophosphate pesticides.
CPS recently purchased 1.1 million pounds of antibiotic-free chicken sourced from an Indiana Amish farmer, the largest purchase of its type in the US. School Food FOCUS and Pew Charitable Trust are now taking this concept national. In addition, FamilyFarmed.org is also working with Chicago Public Schools to develop a program to develop a food safety manual and training for school garden operators. This will be completed in 2012 and then be rolled out nationally in 2013.