The announcement by USDA of the latest round of Farm to School Grant awards demonstrates a pressing need for more support for farm to school, as the demand for programs that benefit healthy kids, local farmers, and the nation’s schools continues to far surpass available funding.
Although Congress already missed an opportunity to expand this program when they allowed the Healthy, Hunger Free Act of 2010 to expire at the end of September, there is still a small window of time for Congress to produce a revised Child Nutrition Act. The reauthorization must include increased support for farm to school programming across the country, as proposed by Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH).
To delay the child nutrition bill any longer -- especially into a presidential election year when action on the delayed bill would be less likely -- would be reckless and extremely challenging for the schools and farmers counting on the expansion or the introduction of farm to school in their communities. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) hopes Congress will seize this opportunity to expand children’s access to nutritious food from local and regional producers, increase educational opportunity to learn about nutrition, food, and agriculture, and improve opportunities for local producers and their communities.
Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition