By Associated Press - Monday, January 15, 2018

ORONO, Maine (AP) - The University of Maine System says it has met its goal of purchasing more than 20 percent of its food locally.

The university system and food services company Sodexo set a goal of exceeding 20 percent local food by 2020 and say they’ve already reached 23 percent. The system says it’s on pace to spend about $1.5 million this fiscal year on purchases from local food vendors.

The system says its food vendors include 134 Maine producers, and it says the purchases are supporting employment in 75 communities in the state. The food is either shipped direct to campus by producers or it’s delivered by food distributors.

Commissioner Walter Whitcomb from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says the university system is creating new markets for Maine food producers.

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