/ Modified jan 21, 2014 9:57 a.m.

Survey: TUSD Spent 38% of Meals Budget Locally Last School Year

Between 2011-12, school district spent twice the state average on Arizona products; plans to purchase more local food in future.


Tucson Unified School District spent 38 percent of its $7.8 million budget for school meals on Arizona products during the 2011-12 school year. That’s more than twice the state average, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The results were part of the USDA survey that tracked school’s participation in the Farm to School program, which encourages schools to buy local.

TUSD supplies 30,000 meals daily according to its Food Services Director Shirley Sokol.

“Although we always look for the best price, as long as the services are available at bid prices that work for our system, we hope to continue to increase our local spend in the state of Arizona,” Sokol said.

More than half of Arizona schools surveyed said they will purchase more local food in the future. Over the last three years, TUSD has increased the amount spent locally by three percentage points.

“When you add up other products that food services works with the in the local community and in the state, such as packaging, equipment parts and services procured from local vendors, we really become am integral part of the Arizona economy," Sokol said.

In coming months, TUSD will serve a dish with bok choy grown in Yuma, but the recipe is a secret until it hits the cafeteria.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona