September 29, 2011
In November 2010, Congress approved a resolution introduced by Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) to officially designate October as National Farm to School Month. The passage of House Resolution 1655 demonstrates the growing importance and role of Farm to School programs as a means to improve child nutrition, sustain local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.
USDA’s Farm to School website has recently made updates to its resource pages. The “Implementing Farm to School Activities” page offers information on getting involved in the various aspects of starting and operating a successful Farm to School program. The food safety page includes information for producers on meeting food safety requirements and standards such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Finally, there is now an interactive map of the U.S., which allows visitors to the site to easily identify their Farm to School contacts with their State governments.
During the 2010 Child Nutrition Reauthorization, NSAC successfully advocated with the Community Food Security Coalition, National Farm to School Network, and other partners for $40 million in mandatory funding for a new Farm to School competitive grants program. Funding for this program will begin in Fiscal Year 2013 (which starts October 1, 2012). To keep up with the latest information from USDA about the status of this program, visit USDA’s Farm to School grants page. The information about the new program is currently available under the section “Future USDA Grants.”
To sign up for updates from USDA about Farm to School programs, visit their list serve update page.