EUGENE, Ore. — October is National Farm to School month and River Road Elementary students are celebrating with a tasting table, an offering of local fruits and vegetables.
There is a push to serve more local produce at school cafeterias and last year, the Oregon legislature approved $200,000 for a pilot program. It’s enough to fund produce at about two to three school districts and help supplement farm to school programs.
Just last month, state representative Brian Clem requested $5 million to expand the program.
“If this larger bill were funded. Schools all over Oregon would be eligible to be reimbursed for any Oregon products that they purchase and serve in school lunches. What this does is keep Oregon dollars in Oregon,” said Megan Kemple, Farm to School.
In 2011, Lane County School purchased more than 57,000 pounds of locally grown produce valued at about $54,000.