Salem, Ore. – In 2011, the Oregon Legislature unanimously passed House Bill 2800, which authorized $200,000 in grants to school districts for a Farm to School and School Garden Pilot Program. Eleven school districts were recently awarded grants: Bend-La Pine, Bethel, Centennial, Eugene 4-J, Gladstone, Lebanon, Joseph, North Powder, Ontario, Roseburg, and Sherman. The funds are being used to procure foods grown or processed in Oregon, including meats, grains, seafood, fruits and vegetables. Funds are also being used for food-, agriculture- and garden-based education for students.
This Thursday, February 21, 2013, farmers, processors, and food security advocates will gather in Salem to express their support for expanding the Farm to School and School Garden Program to $5,000,000 per biennium.
These programs teach students where food comes from, help them develop healthy eating habits to last a lifetime, and increase their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, all the while supporting Oregon producers, processors and rural economies.
WHERE: Hearing Room D, State Capitol Building
WHEN: Thursday, February 21 at 8:00 AM
WHAT: The committee will be hearing testimony on HB 2649, which would expand Farm to School and School Garden grants to school districts to $5,000,000 per biennium.
If you are unable to attend, live video or audio recordings are available here:http://www.leg.state.or.us/listn
Ecotrust and Upstream Public Health have been working together to advance Farm to School programs in Oregon since 2006.
Ecotrust’s mission is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world. Over more than 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $800 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. The Ecotrust Farm to School program supports and promotes farm to school programming at local, state, and regional levels, acting as the Lead Agency for the 8-state western region of the National Farm to School Network, co-leading a national farm to preschool initiative, and exploring ways to connect low-income and minority producers and consumers in the food system. www.ecotrust.org
Upstream Public Health acts as a catalyst to drive healthy changes, making Oregon a better place to live, work, study, and play. All Oregonians – whether urban or rural – should have access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. We envision an Oregon where people are living happy healthy active lives and reaching their full potential. www.upstreampublichealth.org