A change is coming for a popular program helping students
to get healthy meals at school.
News 8's Sarah Thamer is here to explain..Sarah?
Despite some other local media reports...the Wisconsin
Department of Agriculture will not be suspending its
farm to school program.
I spoke with department officials today and they said
the program is currently without a coordinator but
it will still be funded.
the coulee region farm to school program is going
Its partnership with gundersen
and mayo health systems...will
help sustain the program's services.
Each year, almost 89 million lunches are served in
schools across wisconsin.
But not all of them
are necessarily healthy and farming...aims
to change that.
It beneifits the la crosse area in a multitude of
The farm to school program is currently allowing nearly
half a million sutdents in the state to benefit from
Of course we're benefitting the local farmers by getting
the produce into the schools, but it's also benefitting
the kiddos who get to try new fruits and vegetables
and just our local community.
And thanks to local efforts, the program in la crosse
is able to provide six school districts in the county
with farm to tray opportunities.
So coulee region farm to school started with a lot
of federal grant programs, and we've since weaned
off the grant programs and now we're funding it at
a local level.
And farm to institution specialists say La Crosse's
partnership with local school districts and area medical
centers, has allowed schools in the coulee region
to continue to bring healthy meals into their cafeterias.
Because the la crosse program has been around for
so long, and have such embedded support, they're really
really in a good position to sustain themselves for
a long time and I think that a lot of other programs
throughout the state arent necessarily working with
the same capacity.
The Wisconsin Deptartment of Agriculture will not
be moving forward on filling a coordinator postion
for the state's farm to school program.
The department is waiting until the 2017-2019 budget
is more clear.
Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System
will each kick in 30-thousand-dollars during the next
The La Crosse County Health department is also providing
the program with another 30-thousand-dollars.