U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie B. Raskin, David Trone and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) recently announced $2.9 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for Maryland schools to purchase local foods and beverages for school meal programs.
The federal dollars come from the USDA’s Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program. Through the program, the Maryland Department of Education will buy local and nutritious foods from area farmers and processors to use in school lunches. Meals will vary depending on each school district’ s regional specialties.
“Maryland’ s farmers and producers not only provide the food on our kitchen tables, but they also help drive our state’s economy,” said the lawmakers. “This program will help instill an early appreciation for our Maryland’s essential agriculture, while providing healthy options to fuel young minds.”
The Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program was authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. The program will prioritize historically underserved producers and processors in Maryland.