Oregon Farm to School Program Gaining Support


April 13—The Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities
Committee of the Oregon House of Representatives heard testimony
earlier this month about the benefits of passing legislation that
lawmakers and experts hope will improve cafeteria menus for students,
create new jobs and pump millions of dollars into the Oregon economy.
Lawmakers heard testimony from a panel of economists, garden educators,
health experts, farmers and school food and food manufacturing
professionals.


In the testimony, economists said that the bill, HB 2800, would help
sway school foodservice directors to purchase more items locally. "The
catalytic effect of trade substitutions [found after the bill is
enacted] could provide a healthy return on investment," according to
information in a press release. "Advocates of HB 2800 predict $100+
million in economic development during the biennium and creation of as
many as 477 new jobs in the state of Oregon."


HB 2800 would
provide grant money for food and garden-based education. School
foodservice departments would also receive money-15 cents for every
lunch served and 7 cents for every breakfast served-to purchase
Oregon-grown products.


For more information about the bill, visit ecotrust.org/farmtoschool.