12.02.14

Chairwoman Stabenow Applauds New $5 Million Investment to Bring Local Food to School Cafeterias

USDA Announcement Will Expand Innovative Farm to School Programs, Improve School Meal Options

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded USDA’s announcement to invest $5 million in a variety of farm to school programs across the country. This funding comes through USDA’s Farm to School Program, which helps schools source healthy school foods like fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy. The Farm to School Program also educates students about how food grows through school garden programs and farm visits. Sen. Stabenow led the effort to expand support for family farmers by creating new opportunities to sell locally grown and organic products in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Today’s announcement is terrific news for local economies, students, farmers and families,” said Stabenow. “As I visit schools with local farm to table programs, I continue to be impressed to see students enjoying broccoli and pineapple from salad bars, while learning about how their food is grown. Farm to school programs give needed support to local farmers, while educating and encouraging students to eat healthy. Whether it’s teachers, students, parents or farmers, everybody wins when local food makes it to cafeterias close to where it has been grown and produced.”

USDA’s Farm to School Grants help schools respond to the growing demand for locally sourced foods and increase market opportunities for producers and food businesses, including food processors, manufacturers, and distributors. These grants will also be used to support agriculture and nutrition education efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms, and cooking classes.

82 projects will reach 4,800 schools and 2.8 million students as a result of today’s announcement.

A full list of awarded projects can be found by clicking here.