Quantity demand and latent demand for local foods among public institutions in Lee and Russell Counties, Alabama
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Institutional food service operations have shown an increased interest in locally grown foods in the last two decades and are providing business opportunities for farmers and distributors as well as potential benefits for the community. Farm to school, farm to hospital, and other farm to institution programs have proliferated around the United States. Alabama is no different as farmers markets increase and agrotourism increases, we can see that the public has an interest in local foods and supporting local farms. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss the results and implications of a study assessing public institutional food service operations in Lee and Russell Counties, Alabama. An interview script and qualitative research methods were used to highlight demand themes and subthemes found across public institutions and answered two questions: (1) were local foods in public (quantity demand) and (2) would local food be in public institutions if it were available (latent demand)? Results showed that there was an insignificant amount of quantity demand but a significant amount of latent demand.