In celebration of National Farm to School Month this October, federal lawmakers introduced a bill to expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program. Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (D- U.S. Virgin Islands) and Congressman Marc Molinaro (R-NY) introduced the Farm to School Act to increase funding for the farm to school program from $5 million to $10-15 million.
“The increased demand for Farm to School programming tells us that more people are beginning to understand the connection between local foods and healthy young minds. Through the Farm to School Grant Program, participating schools, nonprofit organizations, and local, state, and tribal governments can help schools offer locally grown, fresh food to students,” said Congresswoman Plaskett.
In addition, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution to recognize the benefits of farm to school activities for kids, families, producers, and communities; including support for policy improvements to farm to school programs in legislation and renewing child nutrition programs. The Senate encourages the promotion of farm to school in schools, early care and education settings, and amongst farmers and farm groups, local businesses, nonprofit institutions, churches, cities, and state governments.
Let your legislators know that their constituents are farm to school stakeholders who appreciate their support! For more information on how to thank your legislators for the Senate’s action and to share how farm to school and farm to ECE benefits your community, visit The National Farm to School Network.