The Nutritional Alaskan Foods in Schools (NAFS) program was first funded as a pilot program in fiscal year 2013. The program’s purpose is to encourage every Alaskan school district to purchase nutritious Alaska Grown/caught/harvested foods.The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCCED, DCRA) administer the appropriation and distribute the money to the individual school districts.
For the third year, the Governor and State Legislature have appropriated $3 million dollars for this program through the fiscal year 2015 Capital Bill (SB 119).
The sum of these two amounts equals the total funding available to each school district for reimbursement of purchases under this program. Click here for the list of school districts and their individual allocation amount.
Food items which qualify for reimbursement under this program are:
School districts must enter into a grant agreement prior to requesting reimbursement of funds. Click here for a sample grant agreement.
Each school district is responsible for making its purchases and submitting a Financial Report/Reimbursement Request and supporting documentation to DCCED, DCRA. The request and documentation must detail the quantity purchased, cost, and proof the products were grown in Alaska or caught/harvested in Alaskan waters. Once approved, reimbursement payments will be paid to the school districts up to the amount of the school district’s allocation. School districts will have until June 30, 2015 to purchase items and July 31, 2015 to submit their final Financial Report/Reimbursement Request.
It is up to the school district to ensure the items they purchase are in fact grown/caught/harvested or raised in Alaska. Fortunately the state of Alaska has many high quality farmers, fishermen, and food producers with products that meet the NAFS criteria from which to choose. There are a number of ways to determine if food is grown or raised in Alaska, one of them is to look for the Alaska Grown logo, which is provided to producers who have submitted an application to the Alaska Grown Certification Program and been provided the use of the logo.
How does the Alaska Grown Certification Program work with the Nutritional Alaskan Foods for Schools program?
It works great! The State of Alaska, Division of Agriculture launched the Alaska Grown agriculture products certification program in 1986; it is designed to highlight and promote farm products in the marketplace. Farmers and producers are required to fill out a one-time, no cost application in order to join the program. The application is available online at: http://dnr.alaska.gov/ag/Marketing/AKGrownApplication.pdf
Food offered under the Alaska Grown logo are eligible foods for the Nutritional Alaskan Foods for School program.
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Debi Kruse, Grants Administrator III
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1640
Anchorage, AK 99501