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New Funding Allows Schools To Purchase Locally Grown Food

Rachael McDonald

All Oregon school districts now have access to funds allowing them to purchase locally grown food. The Oregon Legislature voted to provide an additional 3.3 million dollars to the Farm to School Program.

Eighty percent of the total funding will be accessible for any school district to buy food. The rest will be part of a competitive grant program for farm, food and garden based education.

Farm to School program director Megan Kemple says some Lane County schools currently participate in farm education programs.

Kemple: “We currently work in four schools with high need and so students in those schools get a field trip to a local farm, an opportunity to tour the farm and taste things in the field and to harvest food and take it back to school to make a snack or meal in the classroom.”

Kemple says an additional program provides resources for students’ families to access locally grown foods from food stands and farmers markets. The funding will allow all students who participate in USDA meal programs to purchase locally grown food.

The Farm to School program now has a total of 4.5 million dollars for school districts to purchase food grown in Oregon.

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