Minnesota to Increase Local Food in School Meals

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service announced it has signed a $3.4 million cooperative agreement with Minnesota to increase purchase of nutritious, local foods for the state’s school meal programs. Minnesota is the first state to enter into a cooperative agreement under the program. Through the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will purchase and distribute local and regional foods and beverages for schools to serve children through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. With this funding, MDA expects to increase the number of Minnesota schools engaging in local food procurement; increase the amount of local food purchased by schools; and create new partnerships between schools and Minnesota food producers, specifically underserved farms and small businesses. Funds will be sub-awarded to schools through a competitive Farm to School grant program that will reimburse schools for local food purchases.