DURHAM, NC – October 11, 2022 – On October 11th, Governor Cooper signed an agreement to provide funding to purchase food from North Carolina’s underserved farmers and producers and to distribute it to local communities and schools. The agreement was between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Mae Wu, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Chief Deputy Commissioner David Smith announced the agreement in Durham, N.C.
Deputy Under Secretary Wu said that the “USDA is excited to partner with North Carolina to promote economic opportunities for farmers and producers and to increase access to locally sourced, fresh, healthy, and nutritious food in underserved communities and in schools.”
The federal government will allocate over $5.6 million for schools to purchase food from disadvantaged farmers and ranchers for the benefit of students and communities. Serving local foods in North Carolina schools will further support the state’s Farm to School program. This will help North Carolina’s schools improve child nutrition through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Funding for the agreement comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (also known as the COVID-19 Stimulation Package) and from the Commodity Credit Corporation (a US government corporation that was created in 1933 to support farm income and prices).
Governor Roy Cooper said that “It’s great to see this collaboration between state and federal government connecting farmers with schools to get students the healthy meals they need.”
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Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org