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October Is Farm to School Month!

Nine years have passed since the USDA Farm to School Grant Program was successfully launched in 2010, and school food service providers still find it tough to access locally grown foods. Despite increased connectivity to farmers, logistical and cost hurdles still keep many schools from sourcing local. 

With all the abundance of summer harvests, many growers would love to grow for schools. Caitlin Frame, who co-owns the Milkhouse in Monmouth, ME, has had success. “I find that to be the most exciting thing that we’re doing right now – trying to get our yogurt into school systems.” But it hasn’t come without challenges. It is kind of hard to track down the right people at these schools,” Caitlin says.

For farmers who face other structural barriers, selling to schools is even more complicated. It is time to prioritize beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers in farm to school initiatives. Now is our chance!

Congress is beginning to draft the next Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR), and they need to hear from you! This is our opportunity to make it easier for schools to source local food and provide funding for innovative projects like school gardens and seasonal vegetable taste-testing that help kids learn where food comes from.

The Farm to School Act of 2019 (S. 2026, H.R. 3562) and Kids Eat Local Act (S.1817, H.R. 3230) were both recently introduced. These bills offer Congress a blueprint for supporting farm to school work in the next CNR – and they include provisions that prioritize grant applications where beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers are active participants. They need your support!

Call your Senators and Representative today!

Step 1:

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 244-3121.

Step 2:

Leave a message for your senators and Member of Congress like this:

“Hi, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent and a ____ [farmer, parent, teacher, etc.]. I’d like to ask [your legislator’s name] to co-sponsor two complementary bills that will help bring healthy, local food into our schools: the Farm to School Act of 2019 (S. 2026, H.R. 3562) and the Kids Eat Local Act of 2019 (S.1817, H.R. 3230). This issue matters to me because ____ [tell your story!]. Thank you!”

Join Hazon as we urge Congress to support farm to school in the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization of 2019!