The USDA is celebrating National Farm to School month.
This week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted important strides made in offering healthy, local food to millions of school children through USDA’s Farm to School, emphasizing the program’s role in creating economic opportunity for America’s farmers and ranchers.
In the 2011-2012 school year, more than 38,000 schools participating in program activities purchased and served more than $350 million in local food to their 21 million students, according to the USDA’s first-ever Farm to School Census. More than half of the participating schools said they plan to purchase even more local foods in future school years.
An investment in the health of America’s students through farm to school activities is also an investment in the health of local economies, Vilsack said. The whole agriculture system benefits when schools invest their food dollars into their local communities, Vilsack added.
The results of the Farm to School Census are available online.