ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Two Minnesota lawmakers are proposing a bill that would reimburse school districts for feeding students healthy, local foods through farm-to-school initiatives.
Winona Daily News reports that Republican Sen. Mike Goggin and Democratic Rep. Todd Lippert recently introduced the legislation that would also offer technical assistance to growers looking to sell produce to schools.
Supporters of farm-to-school programs say providing locally grown and healthy foods improves child nutrition and helps them develop positive lifelong eating habits.
The initiatives also benefit farmers, who gain access to new, stable markets to supplement their incomes, and boost local communities. According to the National Farm to School Network, every dollar invested in farm-to-school programs generates $2.16 for the local economy.
Lippert says opening up this market can help a farmer grow their business and invest money back into the community.