More Minn. schools serve up locally grown foods

Published On: Sep 15 2013 04:54:20 PM CDT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

More Minnesota schools are serving up locally grown foods this year, thanks to farm-to-school initiatives at the state and local levels.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says more than 145 school districts covering half the state's student population are participating.

The state's Farm to School Grant Program helps schools offset the cost of kitchen upgrades and equipment needed to prepare, serve and preserve locally grown foods. As a result, the department says, students are getting more healthy fruits, vegetables and other locally grown products in their lunches, while they're learning about agriculture, health and nutrition.

Agriculture Commissioner Dave Fredrickson will join other officials and farmers at schools in Hopkins on Monday and Minneapolis on Tuesday to discuss how schools and farmers have benefited from the grant program.