Federal child nutrition programs are important investments in the health and development of children across the United States, yet they are also great opportunities for small-scale, environmentally-responsible farmers to sell their products into new markets. Congress typically revisits the child nutrition programs every five years and passes a new omnibus bill known as the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act or “Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization” (CNR) for short. Right now, both chambers of Congress are considering two important bills to include in the final omnibus bill for CNR – the Kids Eat Local Act (H.R. 3220 in the House and S. 1817 in the Senate) and the Farm to School Act (H.R. 3562 in the House and S. 2026 in the Senate).
The Kids Eat Local Act will support farm-to-school efforts by making it easier for schools to source locally grown and locally raised farm products for their school meals.
The Farm to School Act will increase the funding available in the USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program – a program that has helped more than 33,600 schools nationwide improve their meal options with local food!