Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, and ranking member Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, reintroduced the Farm to School Act to expand the Farm to School Grant Program. The program promotes the use of home-state agriculture products in school cafeterias. The bill would increase school eligibility and reduce barriers for farmers to participate. It also would allow broader use of agriculture and aquaculture products, and it would restrict the amount of program funding that can be used for administrative costs. Cochran says, “School children across the country can have greater access to locally-grown meat, fish, and produce, which can be particularly beneficial for students in underserved and rural areas.” The bill also raises the program’s authorization total from $5 million to $15 million and increase the maximum grant award to $200,000. The bill has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee, which both Cochran and Leahy are members of.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.