Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that a total of nearly $250,000 has been awarded to the Cumberland County Food Security Council, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and the Maine School Administrative District 30 to support child nutrition programs for the upcoming school year. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm to School program.
“Since 2013, schools and non-profits throughout the State of Maine have received funding through the Farm to School Grant Program to help incorporate locally-grown and nutritious foods into the diets of Maine students,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This investment will help to ensure that students in Maine will continue to have access to local and healthy foods while supporting Maine farmers and fishermen.”
The funding is allocated as follows:
- The Cumberland County Food Security Council has been awarded $100,000 to increase participation in free and reduced-price meal programs, add processing equipment to facilitate more local food processing, and create an appealing school food brand.
- The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has been awarded $97,391 to increase the amount of local seafood served and consumed in schools.
- The Maine School Administrative District 30 (MSAD 30) has received $48,415 to develop a Farm to School Action Plan to increase local fruit and vegetable procurement and agricultural education for students.
Last year, Senators Collins and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Farm to School Act of 2019, legislation to increase the federal resources committed to helping bring fresh, local foods to schools nationwide. Senators Collins and Brown have also introduced the Kids Eat Local Act, which would make it easier for schools to source “locally grown, locally raised, and locally caught” food and farm products for their meal programs. Senator King is a cosponsor of both the Farm to School Act of 2019 and the Kids Eat Local Act.
The Farm to School program helps procure local foods for free or reduced-price school meals and supports farm to school activities including field trips, hands-on agricultural classes, and food taste tests.