School gardens, local food would gain support in bipartisan bill
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree has signed on to an effort to increase funding for important farm to school programs. The bill would triple funding for an already successful USDA program that puts more local food in schools and helps schools support food-based educational programs like school gardens, cooking classes and farm field trips.
"Maine is already doing a great job on this front," said Pingree. "Over 40 percent of schools have a garden and over 80 percent are buying some local food. But the demand is much higher than the available funding, and with a little help these programs could expand."
Pingree is cosponsoring the H.R. 1061 Farm to School Act of 2015, which was introduced by Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH).
Some of the provisions of the bill include:
"Getting local food into schools is a win for everyone. Kids get fresh, healthy meals and our local farm economies get a boost, which keeps more money and jobs in our local communities," Pingree said.