06/25/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/25/2019 10:02
Washington, D.C. - Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced the Local School Foods Expansion Act, legislation to improve child nutrition by expanding access to locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables for school meal programs.
'Farm-to-school programs effectively support our family farmers, reduce energy use, help maintain open land, and provide healthy food and educational opportunities for our students,' said Welch. 'This commonsense legislation will expand access to locally-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables to even more schools and communities.'
'Supporting student success means doing everything possible to promote the health and well-being of our children. Nutrition is key,' Wyden said. 'Every child deserves access to fresh and healthy foods, no matter what. Congress can help realize this future by making it easier to get locally-grown fruit and vegetables in our schools.'
The Local School Foods Expansion Act directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a program for at least 15 participating states and school food authorities to purchase locally-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables with existing National School Lunch Program funds. The legislation expands a successful pilot program Welch and Wyden included in the 2014 Farm Bill that was shown to help schools buy and serve a wider variety of fresh produce.