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USDA Awards over $70 Million in Grants, Increases Usage of Local, WELL BALANCED MEALS for Kids

Washington, D.C., July 25, 2022 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it really is awarding a lot more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects in the united states. Additionally, for the very first time, the department is empowering states with $60 million in non-competitive grants to build up stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs on the next four years. Both actions can help more kids nationwide eat healthy, homegrown foods.

Farm to School escalates the quantity of locally produced foods served through child nutrition programs, while also educating children about how exactly their foods are harvested and made. Various child nutrition operators can take part in farm to school, from states and tribal nations to schools and community organizations.

The expansion of Farm to School is more important than ever before for the kids, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. When schools and local producers interact, children reap the benefits of higher-quality foods on the plates and program operators have stable sources for the merchandise they want. Vilsack added farm to school can be an investment within the next generation and something of several ways the department is advancing nutrition security the consistent, equitable usage of healthy and affordable foods that promote well-being.

The 123 projects funded by the fiscal year 2022 competitive grants will serve a lot more than 3 million children at a lot more than 5,000 schools in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Further, USDA acknowledges that lots of folks have been historically underserved and marginalized through unfair food systems. The projects selected by the department reflect its commitment to transforming food systems to become more equitable through Farm to School:

  • Around 62% of students served by these projects meet the criteria free of charge and reduced-priced school meals.
  • 40% of projects serve rural areas or economically disadvantaged areas.
  • Nearly 30% of organizations are led by Black, Indigenous, and folks of Color, with projects serving those same communities.
  • Seven projects are tribal nations serving Native American communities.

Because the USDA Farm to School Programs inception in 2013, the department has awarded nearly $75 million in Farm to School Grants, funding a lot more than 1,000 projects across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. These projects reach over 25 million students in nearly 60,000 schools. To find out more on what your community will get associated with Farm to School activities, please go to the FNS website.

Additionally, as announced last month, the departments $60 million non-competitive grants for states allows them to raised assist program operators in purchasing and using more local foods in meals for kids between Fiscal Years 2023-2026. The resources may also expand agricultural education for children. More info concerning the distribution of funds is just around the corner.

States and school districts with strong Farm to School programs have already been more resilient when confronted with recent supply chain disruptions, in comparison to operators lacking relationships with local producers, said Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. The Farm to School program has a right to be at the forefront of long-term solutions that operators can lean to ensure nutritious, local products are always at your fingertips.

When schools source foods locally, it supports American farmers and strengthens the economy. USDA surveyed school food authorities nationwide in the 2019 Farm to School Census. Based on the findings, in school year 2018-2019, school districts purchased nearly $1.3 billion in local fruits, vegetables, along with other foods, totaling approximately 20% of most school food purchases.

USDA touches the lives of most Americans every day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming Americas food system with a larger concentrate on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring usage of healthy and nutritious food in every communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and investing in equity over the Department by detatching systemic barriers and creating a workforce more representative of America. For more information, visitwww.usda.gov.

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