Kennedy Announces Implementation of Innovative Farm to School Law
New law creates incentives for schools to stock their cafeterias with healthy, locally produced foods
HARFTFORD, CT—Beginning October 1st, school cafeteria lunches may start serving more Connecticut-grown fruits, vegetables and other local products, thanks to a new law introduced and championed by Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford). Kennedy’s new “farm-to-school” initiative gives a preference for Connecticut-grown products when purchasing food for school cafeterias.
“Only 5 percent of all food purchased by our school cafeterias comes from our local farms, despite Connecticut’s large and diverse agricultural economy. This solution is a classic ‘win-win': it sparks more business for our local farmers and serves healthier, nutritious food for our students,” said Senator Kennedy.
“Giving preference to locally-produced food benefits Connecticut’s farms, economy and schools. Connecticut has hundreds of farms producing fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and a variety of animal products. Purchasing goods from these farms supports Connecticut’s farmers and the state’s multimillion dollar agriculture industry. It also ensures that students in Connecticut public schools have access to fresh, locally grown foods during the school day. We are grateful to Senator Kennedy for all he is doing to help local farmers,” said Nelson Cecarelli, owner of Cecarelli Farms in North Branford, when the bill passed earlier this year.
This bill incentivizes food service companies bidding on contracts with local boards of education to develop relationships and contracts with Connecticut farmers. Local boards of education will begin giving preference to companies who purchase and serve Connecticut-grown products. This will make it advantageous for food service companies to purchase from Connecticut farms.