This proposal attempts to solve two problems: First, people with food allergy restrictions are challenged to find fresh, healthy choices meeting their nutritional needs. Second, small farmers continue to seek ways to improve economic viability. This grant proposal builds on our current SARE research FNC19-1175 which explored the struggles two small local school districts faced meeting the needs of their students diagnosed with food allergies. Our work developing menu items free of the top 8 allergens using locally-sourced vegetables, fruit, proteins and value-added products shows real promise for both local farmers and schools. We are requesting a second grant that would take our research a step further by finding other customers both in and outside of school communities while refining the business challenge of making the processes more cost effective through use of scale and bulk ordering.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Identify crops and products Kansas City Food Hub farmer/owners will have available for value-added allergy-free meals.
- Identify needs in our local communities for allergy-free menu items.
- Refine and test standardized recipes created with our 2019 SARE grant (FNC19-1175).
- Increase scale of production beyond 2019 grant and take advantage of bulk pricing of materials to make prices competitive.
- Continue to test recipes among our clients using fresh, processed, and preserved products.
- Market products both inside and outside of school communities thereby increasing viability of our farmer members. Target research audiences include: other institutions such as nursing homes and day cares …