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New Bill Allows Alabama Farmers to Sell Produce Directly to Schools

Courtesy of the USDA. Photo by Lance Cheung.

Governor Kay Ivey signed the Farm to School Amendment on Thursday. The bill allows local farmers to sell produce directly to schools, allowing more locally grown produce in school cafeterias.

The Farm to School initiative has spread across the country, connecting local farmers with schools from early childhood to high school. The National Farm to School Network is an advocacy group that supports this type of legislation across the country. With more than 15,000 members, they envision “a nation in which farm to school programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, environment, economy and communities.”

According to Alabama Farm to School, the Department of Agriculture has partnered with various state organizations including the North Alabama Food Bank and the State Department of Education to encourage the partnership between farmers and schools. This partnership has not only allowed farmers to sell more of their produce around the state, but has also increased the quality of food served in school lunches. Proponents of the program hope that it will provide students with healthier food options while improving the environment and local economy as well.