USDA offers 5 million in grants to further Farm to School Programs

The US government is starting to hear the call for healthy, whole food choices in school lunches, finally.

Last week the USDA Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that they will be focusing on their farm to school lunch programs across the country. The USDA will be investing more funds to farm to school programs nationwide with the hope of improving the health and well being of all students. The Farm to School Grant Program is on of the USDA’s programs that supports connections between local agriculture producers and eaters! The grant helps implement farm to school programs and offer access to local food to eligible schools. The grant also supports efforts in agriculture and nutrition education through field trips to farms and cooking classes.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan says, “School cafeterias are great places to champion U.S. agriculture and to teach students where their food comes from. More and more, schools are connecting with their local farmers, ranchers and food businesses each day and these programs are a great way to bring more local offerings into school cafeterias and support U.S. producers as well. As we struggle with obesity and associated diet related diseases, farm to school programs give us one important tool to help our kids make lifelong healthy eating choices.

Grants ($5 million in all) to support of expanded farm to school food programs are administered by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Schools who are eligible and want to participate need to submit grant proposals by June 15, 2012.

If you’d like to learn more about this program or gather information to hand off to your child’s school, visit the USDA Farm to School website.

All Images by USDAgov