Oregon’s Farm to School and School Garden programs may get a boost next school year. A bill to increase funding by over four million dollars passed through a legislative committee last week.
Lawmakers heard from 12 stakeholders of farm to school programs. They passed the bill unanimously to the Ways and Means committee, which will now decide the level of funding. Megan Kemple is with the Farm to School Network. She says the bill will allow all school districts in Oregon to participate through a non-competitive process:
Kemple: “What’s likely to happen is that school districts that maybe don’t have grant writers or resources will automatically be eligible and able to participate and so, we’ll have school districts like Junction City or Crow-Applegate-Lorane or Cottage Grove.”
The programs help schools purchase locally grown food and incorporate educational activities such as school-based gardens. Kemple says Oregon is a nationwide leader in the farm to school movement.