1. Home
  2. Agriculture World

USDA Expands Use of Local Foods in School Meals through Cooperative Agreement with Oregon

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that it has struck a cooperative agreement with Oregon worth more than $2 million to improve their purchasing of nutritious, local foods for school meal programmes.

Shivam Dwivedi
The Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program allows states to strengthen ties with local farmers
The Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program allows states to strengthen ties with local farmers

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) will purchase and distribute local and regional foods and drinks for schools to feed children through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs through the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program (LFS).

These goods will be healthful and unique to their region, with the purpose of improving child nutrition and forging new connections between schools and local farmers. "This cooperative agreement to support Oregon schools is another another example of how USDA is striving to establish a more resilient food system based on local and regional agriculture," said Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

The Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program allows states to strengthen ties between local farmers, ranchers, food businesses, and schools, while also providing students with access to nutritious foods unique to the area they live in, thereby strengthening connections across local communities." "Strengthening partnerships between local producers and schools is a long-term plan to ensuring our children always have access to nutritious foods in school," said Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

The USDA is committed to providing schools all the tools they need to put children up to learn, grow, and thrive through this programme and many other activities to assist school lunch programmes." ODE will use the LFS funding to expand the ODE Farm to School grant and provide possibilities for school districts to be compensated for foods that are not reimbursable through the ODE Farm to School Grant.

""I'm excited to see how the USDA is continuing to innovate for children and schools," said Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education. "Through promoting a fair and resilient food chain, the Local Food for Schools programme will assist to enhance our local food system. This programme will assist Oregon in addressing the issues presented by supply chain interruptions induced by the pandemic."

The LFS cooperative agreements will give groups the freedom to build food purchasing programmes and form relationships with farmers and ranchers that best match their local needs, account for seasonal harvests, promote supply chain resiliency, and fulfil the needs of schools in their service region. Furthermore, the programme will expand sales prospects for historically underrepresented farmers and processors.

The Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act authorizes the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program. AMS is excited to continue signing partnerships under this unique programme. The Local Food for Schools cooperative agreement programme is one of many ways the USDA is supporting school lunch programmes this school year and, in the long run, improving our food system.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters