The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


USDA makes farm-to-school grants

The Agriculture Department has made more than $4.5 million in grants to connect school cafeterias with local agricultural producers, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today.

The grants will also be used to support agriculture and nutrition education efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms, and cooking classes.

Issued for 68 projects in 37 states and the District of Columbia, the grants will serve more than 3,200 schools and 1.75 million students, nearly half of whom live in rural communities.

“When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs and economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities,” Merrigan said in a news release.

“Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about where food comes from and how it is produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating choices.”