Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Local food and school gardens in fed regs

On June 30th 2004 President Bush signed in to law the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act . The bill includes Farm to Cafeteria legislation under Section 122, entitled "Access to Local Foods and School Gardens", and includes language that focuses on encouraging local food production benefiting public schools, including school gardens. From the legislation:

The Secretary may provide assistance, through competitive matching grants and technical assistance, to schools and nonprofit entities for projects that (A) improve access to local foods in schools and institutions participating in programs under this Act and section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1773) through farm-to-cafeteria activities, including school gardens, that may include the acquisition of food and appropriate equipment and the provision of training and education; (B) are, at a minimum, designed to (i) procure local foods from small- and medium-sized farms for school meals; and (ii) support school garden programs; (C) support nutrition education activities or curriculum planning that incorporates the participation of school children in farm-based agricultural education activities, that may include school gardens; (D) develop a sustained commitment to farm-to-cafeteria projects in the community by linking schools, State departments of agriculture, agricultural producers, parents, and other community stakeholders .

There has yet been no funding for this section, but hope is there for the upcoming Farm and Food Bill discussions.

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