Matthew Cartwright

08/02/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/02/2019 15:28

Rep. Cartwright Announces Funding For Farm To School Program in Monroe County

Tannersville, PA- On Friday, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) announced nearly $30,000 in federal funds to plan and establish a Farm to School program in Monroe County, an initiative that will increase local students' access to fresh food and help them create healthy nutrition habits from a young age. The funding will be administered by the Pocono Mountains United Way and was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm to School Grant Program.

'Increasing access to locally-produced food in schools can boost our local farm economy and improve our students' overall nutrition,' said Rep. Matt Cartwright, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. 'I've introduced bills to ensure students have access to healthy food across Northeastern Pennsylvania, and I will continue to advocate for federal funding to support smart programs like Farm to School in our district. I commend the Pocono Mountains United Way for their initiative.'

This year, the Pocono Mountains United Way was one of 126 groups across 42 states to receive the Farm to School grant. The group will receive $29,720 to plan and develop the Farm to School program in Monroe County.

'Monroe County encompasses four rural school districts, 30 buildings, and approximately 25,523 students,' saidMichael Tukeva, President and CEO of the Pocono Mountains United Way. 'Currently, 52% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. This grant will assist in developing a county-wide plan focused on community collaboration to increase local food purchasing in school cafeterias, while providing students with immersive education in the classroom and in school garden settings. This grant will position our community for future success in the areas of food and nutrition.'

Background:

  • The USDA Farm to School Program is a nationally-competitive award given to school districts, nonprofits, and other groups to increase students' access to fresh, local food. The grants range from $20,000 to $100,000, and they fund equipment purchases and experiential learning activities, including planting school gardens, offering taste tests to children, and organizing field trips to local farms and food producers. Aside from the program's immense educational value, it also helps local economies by providing farmers, food processors, and manufacturers with a stable, long-term source of revenue.
  • On April 1st, 2019, United Way of Monroe County and Pocono Alliance merged to become the Pocono Mountains United Way. The group is headquartered in Stroudsburg, PA.