Oregon schools to receive $1.2 million for local purchases

State legislature says money will strengthen local economies.

Aug. 1—This fall, Oregon school districts will reap local harvests in a big way, thanks to new funding from the Oregon Legislature.

In the session concluded July 8, the Legislature awarded nearly $1.2 million for Farm to School and School Garden programs for the 2013-15 biennium.

The majority of the funds will directly reimburse school districts for the purchase of Oregon foods, and are expected to strengthen Oregon’s food economy and contribute to local job creation and food security. The remaining portion is for food, garden, and agricultural education. Distributed to school districts through a competitive grant program, funds will be awarded in August so that selected districts can buy and serve local foods as soon as school starts this fall — during the peak of Oregon’s harvest season.