Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a federal grant of $100,000 that will go to the Poughkeepsie City School District to establish a farm-to-school initiative. The primary goals of the initiative are to develop routine procurement of local foods, and to enhance foods systems education in Poughkeepsie. The goals will be accomplished by incorporating regionally produced foods into school meals. The funding is being allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Senator Gillibrand worked hard to include the farm-to-school initiative as part of the Healthy, Hunger Free Schools Act that passed in 2010.
“Connecting our own local farms with local schools is good for the health of our children, and good for our local economy,” said Senator Gillibrand, the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in four decades and a leading advocate for improving child nutrition. “Farms of the Hudson Valley region are growing some of the highest quality produce. And when we serve our students healthy, nutritious food that’s grown right in our community in the lunchroom, we can strengthen their abilities in the classroom and strengthen our economy.”
The program in Poughkeepsie City Schools will provide students with the opportunity to eat fresh foods while learning about the nutritional advantages of eating balanced meals. At each stage in the project, there will be collaboration between Hudson Valley farmers, value-added processors, distributors, school administrative staff, families, students and community stakeholders.