Department of Agriculture giving $500,000 grant to help with childhood nutrition and education

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pa. Department of Agriculture announced they’ve approved about $500,000 in Farm to School Grants to fund projects improving access to healthy and local foods and increasing learning for kids in pre-k through fifth grade.

“Agriculture and nutrition are essential elements for children to learn, grow and succeed,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Farm to School increases healthy, local food offerings in schools while supporting Pennsylvania farmers. It also facilitates experiential learning opportunities that are growing future generations of agriculturalists and consumers. Investing in Farm to School is investing in the future.”

This grant hopes to enrich the connection between the community and fresh produce and their producers by changing purchasing and learning practices at schools. Any school district, charter school or private school with pre-k, kindergarten or elementary level grades were eligible.

They approved 47 projects identifying local farmers who’ll supply fresh, in-season products to support programming or have plans to start a school garden. In addition, the students will gain valuable education experience with various hands-on projects.

The following Midstate schools will receive some of these grants:

  • Gettysburg Area School District, Adams County
    • Franklin, James Getty and Lincoln Elementary, and Vida Charter School
    • Each will get $13,250
  • Saint Patrick School, Cumberland County ($5,240)
  • Steelton Highspire School District ($15,000)
  • Cocalico Area School District, Lancaster County ($1,000)
    • Adamstown Elementary
  • Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County (13,942.58)
  • West Perry School District ($8,800)
  • To view more about the winners and the projects their grants will fund, click here

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“The Farm to School grant program is a win-win, providing students with nutritious meals while creating new opportunities for Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry to thrive,” Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega said. “Ensuring that learners can access healthy food will improve educational outcomes and social-emotional experiences all across the commonwealth.”

The Pa. Farm Bill was signed by Gov. Wolf as an investment to Pa. agriculture to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers and inspire future generations.

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