La Crosse, Wis. (WKBT) -

Beginning in September, the Coulee Region Farm2School Program will supply locally grown ground beef local schools for lunch.

The School Districts of West Salem and Bangor bought nearly 3000 pounds of raw, locally raised hamburger for this school year. The beef was raised by Paul Larson at Sun Ray Dairy in Mindoro, Wisconsin and was processed at Craig’s Meats in Mindoro.

“It is really about finding a balance between nutrition, physical activity, sustainability and the preservation of the local economy. We hope to continue our partnership with Sun Dairy for many years and look forward to expanding our local purchases in the future,” said food service director for West Salem and Bangor, Kerri Feyen.

The Coulee Region Farm2School Program is entering its fifth year of providing local fruits, vegetables, and now ground beef to schools in the local area.

“We are thrilled to see more and more local items making their way into school meals- schools have really branched out: dairy products, grains, frozen fruits and veggies during the winter, and now local meat,” said Farm2School coordinator with La Crosse County Health Department, Maggie Smith.

Coulee Region Farm2School works with schools in Onalaska, Holmen, West Salem, Bangor and La Crosse School District, as well as La Crescent-Hokah in Minnesota. Funding for the program is provided through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Transform Wisconsin project and the Wisconsin Partnership Program from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

For more information, contact Maggie Smith at (608)785-9792 or email her at masmith@lacrossecounty.org. For more information about the nutrition program at West Salem and Bangor School Districts, contact Kerri Feyen at (608)786-3078 or email her at feyen.kerri@wsalem.k12.wi.us.