The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it has awarded more than $12 million in farm-to-school grants this year.
A record 176 grantees will use the funding to expand access to fresh, local foods and provide hands-on educational opportunities for students, according to the USDA. The grants will serve over 1.4 million children at more than 6,800 schools located throughout the country.
The department also released data showing the growth of farm-to-school programs over the past couple of years. Almost two-thirds (65%) of school districts and local entities responsible for school meals said they participated in farm-to-school activities during the 2018-2019 school year, according to the data shared.
Over half (57%) of those respondents said that they had started their farm-to-school program within the past three years.