Program helps Florida schools buy local produce

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has unveiled a new program to increase the amount of locally grown produce available to Florida schools.

The "Farm to School" program is designed to help Florida school district food service officials locate local farmers who want to sell fresh produce directly to schools.

"Every year, Florida schools spend millions of dollars for fresh produce," Bronson said. "The Florida 'Farm to School' program is intended to keep more of those dollars within the state. It also promotes healthy eating habits among students and assists local farmers."

A new Web site:, helps interested Florida schools and farmers find each other so they can do business. The Web site provides a list of schools with contact information and the items they are interested in purchasing, along with a list of farmers and the food products they can provide.

"Incorporating locally grown products into school meals supports local economies, reduces transportation costs, and helps to preserve farms and farmland," Bronson said. "We hope this program helps facilitate more commerce between our schools and farms."

School district food service officials and farmers can visit the Web site and submit their information to be posted online.

TAGS: Vegetables
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