USDA Announces Additional Grants through Farm to School

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday announced grants for 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program.

"In rural and urban communities across the country, farm to school programs teach students where food comes from, while providing healthy foods that are grown locally on farms and ranches across the nation," said Vilsack. "These programs also create new market opportunities for local farmers and ranchers interested in partnering with nearby school districts -- and by helping to create an even more diverse and thriving agriculture sector, farm to school efforts hold potential to create new jobs in rural areas."

Selected projects will serve more than 13,000 schools and 2.8 million students, nearly 45 percent of whom live in rural communities. Projects are diverse across the board. For a complete list of FY2014 Farm to School grant recipients, click here.

USDA's Farm to School Program is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which authorized USDA to provide grants and technical assistance to help schools gain better access to local foods. It is also a core element of the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative, which coordinates the department's work on local food systems.

Collectively these policies and actions are helping to combat child hunger and obesity, while improving the health and nutrition of the nation's children. For more information on the Farm to School program, please visit www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool.

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