August 3, 2011
Have you heard of the 'Farm to School' program?
An exciting and innovative effort from Ecotrust and partners like the Oregon Departments of Education and Agriculture, Kaiser Permanente, and the Northwest Health Foundation, it focuses on increasing the amount of healthy, regionally-sourced foods served at school, stabilizing markets for regional food producers and helping children understand where their food comes from.
The program recently took a big step forward when Oregon State Legislature unanimously passed House Bill 2800, the Farm to School and School Garden Bill.
The bill appropriates $200,000 to the Oregon Department of Education to run a competitive grants pilot program in two Oregon school districts. Most of the funding will reimburse the school districts for purchasing Oregon foods, while just over 10% will support school garden teaching activities. This kind of investment in school food provides significant economic benefit to the state. Want to learn more? Read The Impact of 7 Cents.
The Farm to School program helps to promote children's health and academic achievement; combats obesity, hunger, and climate change; supports Oregon farmers and food processors; and promotes economic development and community food security.
This bill will help to have kids excited to eat fruits and vegetables from their school cafeteria! Congratulations to all who worked on this effort.
Photo courtesy Ecotrust Food & Farms