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Farm-to-school grants awarded in 37 states

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Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California are among 37 states with school districts to receive grants in the USDA's first-ever round of farm-to-school grants.



The grants, announced Nov. 14 by USDA, are designed to help school districts purchase locally grown food and expand educational opportunities in gardening and food nutrition.



In all, the USDA awarded 68 projects a total of $4.5 million.



In Oregon, School District 1J in Multnomah County and the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition received $99,961 and $92,244, respectively.



In Washington, Walla Walla Public School No. 140, Cheney Public Schools and the Washington State Department of Agriculture received $96,000, $45,000 and $95,539, respectively.



In Idaho, Jefferson Joint School District No. 251 and Lawrence County School District received $40,670 and $45,000, respectively.



Five school districts and a community alliance received grants in California.



"By increasing purchase of local farm products, schools provide lucrative market opportunities for farmers and ranchers, expand access to fresh foods for school children, and stimulate community economic development," Helen Dombalis, policy associate with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, said in a prepared statement.



--Mitch Lies



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