Congressman Antonio Delgado, NY-19, has co-sponsored the bipartisan Small Farm to School Act, an eight-state pilot program where public schools would be reimbursed at a higher rate for sourcing school lunches from small farmers under the National School Lunch Program.
“Our family farmers are essential to our way of life in upstate New York, and we should be looking for every opportunity to support our small businesses and farmers, while helping our young people access more nutritious food,” said Rep. Antonio Delgado, member of the Agriculture Committee. “The Small Farm to School Act which would reimburse schools at a higher rate for sourcing their school lunches from local farms and incentivize partnerships between our upstate producers and public schools to help get more locally grown foods into schools.”
The legislation was co-sponsored with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, WI-05 and has drawn support from the NY Farm Bureau, the National Farm to School Network, the National Young Farmers Coalition and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
“New York Farm Bureau supports efforts to increase access to locally produced food, including this legislation which would provide additional reimbursement for local school districts that purchase New York products,” said New York Farm Bureau president David Fisher. “It’s a win-win for both farmers who are able to sell their goods to local school districts and for the students who will have fresh, nutritious products to eat.”
Rep. Delgado’s Small Farm to School Act would create an eight-state pilot program to provide an increased reimbursement rate for school lunches that include a locally-grown, unprocessed food component from a small farm. Specifically, the bill would provide a $0.05-per-lunch subsidy when a component of the meal is sourced from a small, local farm. The cost of the subsidy would be split evenly between the federal government and the participating state. The Small Farm to School Act authorizes $20 million annually for the pilot in eight states.