Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Farm to School program served 21 million, spent more than $350 million on local food in 2011-12

Schools that participated during the 2011-12 school year in the Farm to School program purchased and served more than $350 million in local food, according to the U.S. Deprtment of Agriculture, which Tuesday released its first-ever Farm to School census. The program served 38,000 schools and 21 students, with 43 percent of public school districts using the program, and another 13 percent having committed to launching one in the near future. (USDA photo)

The program "is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which authorized USDA to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, to improve access to local foods in schools," according to the USDA. "It is also a core element of the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative, which coordinates the department's work on local food systems. In mid-November, USDA will announce approximately $5 million in Fiscal Year 2014 Farm to School grants to help school districts across the country further develop their farm-to-school programming." (Read more) To view state-by-state information on the program click here.

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