Bill would have schools buy from local farms

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(Host) The Vermont House is backing legislation that encourages local schools to purchase more of their food products from neighboring farmers. The bill is a top priority of the House Agriculture committee.

Last year, schools in Vermont spent $13 million buying food products for their breakfast and lunch programs. Approximately five percent of this money was used to purchase fresh products from local farms.

The legislation makes $140,000 available to schools in the form of mini-grants to help them buy local products. It also calls on schools to development nutritional education programs that highlight the health benefits of fresh food products.

Royalton Representative Rosemary McClaughlin strongly supported the legislation:

(McClaughlin) “This bill will help bring local food to our school children while supporting sustainable agriculture in Vermont. The goal is to engage Vermont youth in becoming lifelong consumers of fresh nutritious food. At a time when huge issues loom over us and solutions are hard to come by, when Vermont spends $140 million in annually on health conditions that can be traced to poor nutrition, I believe this preventative approach will have far reaching and long term results.”

(Host) The measure comes up for final approval in the House on Friday.

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