I wanted to pass along some good news for farm to school as part of the
Know Your Food, Know Your Farmer initiative of the USDA! Please read on.
I'm sure there will be more details to come, which I'll share as I see
From: Debra Eschmeyer [email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 12:45 PM
Subject: [COMFOOD:] USDA's Farm to School announcement today as part of
KYF, KYF launch
AGRICULTURE DEPUTY SECRETARY MERRIGAN ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO CONNECT
CHILDREN TO WHERE THEIR FOOD COMES FROM AND PROVIDE MORE LOCAL FOODS IN
SCHOOL LUNCHES New Farm-to-School Tactical Teams Will Assist School
Administrators Transition to Purchasing More Locally Grown Foods as Part
of USDA's 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative'
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2009 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen
Merrigan today announced a new initiative to better connect children to
their food and create opportunities for local farmers to provide their
harvest to schools in their communities as part of USDA's 'Know Your
Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative. USDA's Agricultural Marketing
Service (AMS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will team together
and form 'Farm to School Tactical Teams' to assist school administrators
as they transition to purchasing more locally grown foods. The agencies
will also issue updated common-sense purchasing guidance to schools so
they can buy fresh, locally grown produce for students eating through
USDA's school nutrition programs. Food and Nutrition Service
Administrator Julie Paradis made the announcement on Merrigan's behalf
at the Homegrown School Lunch Week Kickoff in Hanover, Md.
"It is important that our children have access to healthy, nutritious
food and our focus on enabling schools to purchase local produce will
provide opportunities for local producers," said Merrigan. "This will
enable greater wealth creation in communities by allowing producers to
build their capacity by serving local institutional customers like
USDA's Farm-To-School Tactical Teams will soon begin touring America's
school cafeterias to identify challenges and opportunities to help them
transition to purchasing more locally grown foods. The team will work
with local farmers, local and state authorities, school districts, and
community partners to develop Farm-To-School projects and provide
assistance on the best ways to buy more local produce for the National
School Lunch Program. USDA will partner with schools, the U.S.
Department of Education and non-profits to develop and enhance these
resources. Additional information will be made available soon.
This announcement is just one component of USDA's 'Know Your Farmer,
Know Your Food' initiative to help develop local and regional food
systems and spur economic opportunity. By successfully restoring the
link between consumers with local producers there can be new income
opportunities for farmers and generate wealth that will stay in rural
communities; a greater focus on sustainable agricultural practices; and
families can better access healthy, fresh, locally grown food.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a
complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil
Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call
(800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
IATP and Kellogg Food & Society Policy Fellow
National Farm to School Network
Center for Food & Justice, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute,