Senator Perdue introduces act to use local produce in school lunches
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Last week, U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Farm to School Act of 2019, which would expand partnerships between farmers and school districts to encourage schools to use more locally-grown produce in students’ meals.
The legislation builds upon the existing Farm to School program and would provide $15 million in grant-based funding to Georgia schools. The act would help schools programs procure more local foods, establish school gardens, and educate children and families on the importance of healthy foods.
“The Farm to School program connects schools with local farmers and provides hands-on opportunities for kids to learn where their food comes from,” said Senator Perdue. “Studies have shown that when local food is served in schools, students consume 30% more fruits and vegetables. The Farm to School program is an important first step toward improving child nutrition, while also supporting our agriculture community and growing the economy."
Supporters of the measure say it has many benefits such as
- Addressing hunger issues for students in Georgia
- Encouraging healthier eating habits among children
- Adding health-centered lessons to school curriculum
- Supporting local farmers
- Improving local economy
As of 2014, only 93 Georgia school districts and 1,615 Georgia schools participated in Farm to School activities.
“The farm to school movement is a dual solution to helping address hunger in America,” Hungry children cannot learn. Providing security to our children goes beyond having roofs over their heads. It means having food on their plates. It also means offering healthy choices to help form healthy lifestyles," said Senator Leahy.
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