Florida Officials Award Grants to Help Locally Grown Food Reach Students

Posted at 3:25 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 18:14:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The Florida Department of Agriculture has announced that they will be funding grants to several districts in an effort to increase the amount of locally grown food given to students.

School districts that purchase at least ten percent of what they serve from Florida farms are eligible for the grants as part of the department's Farm to School Program.

They said the goal is to get fresh and healthy food to kids at a more affordable cost to school districts, while also supporting the bottom line of local farmers and ranchers.

Department of Agriculture spokesperson Kinley Tuten said with the variety of produce readily available in Florida, there's no reason student shouldn't be able to partake in the fruits of the state's labor. 

"Our fresh fruits and vegetables in Florida are world class. So, why go anywhere else when they are right in your back yard? It cuts down on transportation, keeps things fresh, and delivers nutrition right to the students," explained Tuten.

The grants range from $25,000 to $75,000 and were awarded to six Florida school districts this year, including Orange, Osceola, Sarasota, Alachua, Marion and Hendry counties.