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School Lunches may soon Contain Local Fruits & Veggies

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

DOTHAN, AL--Tonya Grier is already working on the fall lunch menus for Dothan City Schools.

"We have a meal pattern that's sent out by U.S.D.A. that tells you what must be included in terms of food groups," explained Child Nutrition Program Director Tonya Grier.

Choosing what the kids eat takes awhile but that food may soon travel a shorter distance.
The Farm to School procurement Act, requires the State Agriculture Department and the State Department of Education to investigate the potential for schools to purchase local farm products.

"We've tried to sell to schools before but it was a lot of loopholes that you had to go through."

David Bell owns bell farms in Dothan. He says with this new law he'd consider selling to schools again because it'll give them another outlet for their produce.
He says this idea will most likely change the way farmers grow produce.

"Now we can grow more of a fall crop and a bigger fall crop because we know we got an outlet to sell it to the schools," added David Bell.

Grier says buying from local farmers is a good idea but there are some issues that may need to be ironed out.

"The biggest thing is that they be able to get it to us at our individual sites."

Another concern is being able to provide the amount each school needs.
Which Bell says one farmer may not be able to do.

The law also calls for schools to provide training to lunchroom staff on how to prepare the fresh food.


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