New Bill Aims At Expanding Local Farms, Getting Fresh Produce Into Schools

By Denise Yost
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new jobs bill would allow local farmers to expand their markets and get fresher food into school cafeterias.The local farms, food, and jobs act would allow more farmer’s markets to accept supplemental nutrition assistance program money and senior coupons.

It would also give farmers whole crop insurance, and allow local schools to purchase locally-grown food instead of buying pre-packaged items.

Bryn Bird owns Bird’s Haven Farm in Granville, and said that demand for fresh produce in schools is growing.

“The parents want to know that their kids going to school are getting the most nutritious lunches that they have available, and I think the schools see it as a win-win economically. It’s local tax dollars going back into the schools, and keeping those dollars again going back into farms,” Bird said.

Sen. Sherrod Brown said the new legislation will cost $120 million each year, nationally, but it will save $20 billion over ten years by eliminating farm subsidies paid to larger farms.

Watch video here.