Resolution in Support of Farm to School Programs

NOTE: This resolution has expired.

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All Resolutions Passed at the 2008 Spring Meeting

WHEREAS, Farm to School programs connect schools with local farms to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition and provide health and nutrition education that will last a lifetime; and

WHEREAS, schools buy farm fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, meat, and beans for their menus; incorporate nutrition-based curriculum; and provide students experiential learning opportunities through farm visits, gardening and recycling programs; and

WHEREAS, farmers have access to a new market through schools and connect to their community through participation in programs designed to educate kids about local food and sustainable agriculture; and

WHEREAS, during the past 25 years the rate of overweight children has doubled in the United States; and

WHEREAS, children frequently have access to unhealthful foods and drinks on school campuses, influencing their choices towards eating; and

WHEREAS, only 20 percent of high school students eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables each day, according to the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a decline from 24 percent in 1999; and

WHEREAS, communities are strengthened by the creation of a system linking schools, children, agricultural producers, parents and other community stakeholders to procure local foods for school meals; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress has approved funding for the national Fruit and Vegetable program in the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which would provide grants to states to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to elementary school children; and

WHEREAS, the Farm Bill reauthorized by Congress initially included language mandating the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to “encourage…(the) purchase (of) locally produced foods to the maximum extent possible;” and

WHEREAS, approximately 2,000 Farm to School programs operate in 38 states, providing fresh foods to more than 8,000 schools;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments strongly supports the implementation of a comprehensive, national Farm to School program that helps schools provide staff training, conduct menu planning, locate sources of locally produced food, purchase food, and assists farmers and schools to purchase the necessary equipment to encourage the utilization of locally produced food products; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports the use of federal grants included in the 2008 Farm Bill to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments strongly encourages each state to develop, maintain, support and promote Farm to School programs to ensure that locally produced farm commodities are available for school lunches and snacks.

Adopted this 31st day of May, 2008 at the CSG Spring Meeting
In Lexington, Kentucky.