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USDA Awards Pasadena Unified Local Food Grant

The Pasadena Unified School District recently announced the acceptance of a federal grant aimed at providing school food originating from local farmers.

The Farm to School Program, delivered through the United States Department of Agriculture, awarded the district $44,486 for a planning grant which would reportedly aid 18,965 students at 31 school sites, district officials said in a written statement.

The district will use the planning funds increase the accessibility to fresh fruit and vegetables. A stakeholder group, consisting of parents, area formers, city and community agencies will develop a implementation plan by August 2014.

“In rural and urban communities across the country, farm to school is teaching students where food comes from and how it gets to their plate, and encouraging them to make healthier food choices in the cafeteria and at home,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Farm to school programs are an investment in the health of our nation’s children and in the vibrancy of rural economies.”

The grant, in addition to providing increase market opportunities for locally grown food, also provides market opportunities for food processors, manufacturers and distributors, officials said.

The Farm to School program is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and provides grants and technical assistance for schools.

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