A new report from the USDA shows that the department’s Farm to School Grant Program, established and funded through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, has helped 12,300 schools improve their meal options with local ingredients, affecting 6.9 million students, while expanding market opportunities for farmers and ranchers in their communities.
USDA has awarded 221 grants in 49 States, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands through the Farm to School Grant Program over the past three years. Half of funded projects included expanding healthy menu options offered in the cafeteria; 46 percent included training for food service staff about menu planning, meal preparation, and cooking with local and regional foods; and 65 percent included nutrition education activities.
In addition, 40 percent of farm to school grants were awarded to rural schools or districts, and 38 percent distributed in StrikeForce states and territories to address challenges associated with rural poverty.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]