• Local Food Procurement
    The Kane County Juvenile Justice Center is committing to serve fresher, more locally grown foods to the children under its care
    Each year the Juvenile Justice Center cafeteria serves meals to between 800 and 900 youth. Beginning this year, the JJC will be offering incentives to vendors who commit to sourcing a minimum percentage of preferred unprocessed food items originating from farms in Kane County and neighboring regions.

    The new procurement policy was derived from the planning process and subsequent USDA grant which catalyzed the JJC's Farm to School Program. The program was designed to introduce a population of underserved youth from our communities to healthier food choices. Furthermore, as an accredited year-round school, the JJC looks to build a learning environment that links nutrition and food system lessons with the hands-on experience of growing food. Now, the JJC aims to leverage its purchasing power to sustain a healthier food service and learning environment.

    Qualified vendors can gain a competitive advantage by partnering with Kane County food farmers to fulfill a portion of the JJC's food service needs. When available, the JJC will be seeking fruits & vegetables, meats, and/or dairy items that are grown locally and in-season. The head chef / food purchasing manager has prepared a list of preferred food items that will be made available to interested vendors. Kane County will begin accepting food vendor applications within a month or so.

    How can your farm be a supplier?
    Upon request, interested growers/producers can obtain the JJC's list of preferred local and seasonal food items. Farmers can use the list to determine whether their operation could supply any requested food items.

    To streamline the process of connecting interested growers/producers with prospective vendors, Kane County staff will be generating a prioritized list of farmers with expressed interest in being suppliers. This list will be made available to vendor candidates with discretion to contact those farmers and determine if a sourcing partnership would be feasible. Interested farmers should confirm their interest no later than March 16th to guarantee a spot on the prioritized supplier list.

    For a list of the JJC's preferred food items or to have your farm added to the supplier list as an "interested farm," please contact Matt Tansley, Kane County Planning Division, at tansleymatthew@co.kane.il.us or 630-232-3493.