By The Raleigh Telegram
RALEIGH – Under a new statewide program, local farms are helping to supply more foods to area schools. According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, the “Farm to School” program sales now has exceeded $1.2 million for this previous school year.
The department said that figure marks the first time that the farm sales to school districts has topped one million dollars since the program was started in 1997.
“The Farm to School program has continued to grow each year and this year, we saw 14 new school districts participate,” said North Carolina Agriculture Department Commissioner Steve Troxler in the NC Agriculture Review, a publication of the department. “A strong finish with strawberry and blueberry orders helped push us over the top.”
According to the department, the program helps farmers sell their local produce to school districts, not only to help local growers increase their sales but to help provide fresh vegetables for students.
“I am especially happy that the program is ensuring the freshest fruits and vegetables are being served in school meals,” said Troxler.
On the list of items sold to schools are apples, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, collards, cucumbers, peaches, lettuce, squash, melons, strawberries, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watermelons, and zucchini. The department says the biggest selling items were apples, strawberries, and blueberries.
The program helped match farmers with almost 1,600 students and more than 1 million students, said the agency.
ON THE WEB: http://www.ncfarmtoschool.com
Article Posted: Monday, July 30th, 2012.