SACRAMENTO -- Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross says USDA's expansion of funding for a school lunch program is "critical."
USDA says California will receive $10.8 million for its effort to put more farm commodities into school lunches.
USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program helps low-income schools increase the helpings of fresh produce in school lunches. A student is to receive at least $50 worth of produce over a school year.
The program is "a huge step across the 'food desert' that impacts many low-income families," Ross said in a statement.
"Finding ways to give every child access to healthy food is critical," Ross said.
USDA says it expects to distribute $158 million in the coming school year. The extra cash could mean up to 950,000 additional students could be aided in 2011-12, CDFA said.
The program was expanded by the 2008 Farm Bill.
-- Wes Sander