Farm to School and Kids Eat Local acts would provide more local foods on lunch trays

Each day, 29 million students participate in the national school lunch program. The Center for Rural Affairs and Nebraska Food Council advocate for the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization, with inclusion of the Farm to School Act and Kids Eat Local Act, to bring responsible food choices into schools.

In spring 2019, Congress signaled an attempt to build a new Child Nutrition Act. This legislation is traditionally revised every five years and, while most program authorizations are permanent or extended through annual appropriations, a new Child Nutrition Act has not been reauthorized since 2010.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the first Farm to School grants to provide schools and organizations opportunities to bring production and nutritional education programs to classrooms. During the 2013-2014 school year, nearly $790 million worth of local food was purchased from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors, a 105 percent increase from the 2011-2012 school year.

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