HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - More locally-grown produce is headed to area school cafeterias, thanks to a new grant.
The Food Bank of North Alabama and its partners recently won a Farm to School program grant from the US Department of Agriculture.
The $100,000 award will help connect local farmers with schools, providing more healthy fruits and vegetables to students across Alabama.
Officials say it's a win for the state's children and its farmers.
In Alabama, an estimated one out of three children is overweight or obese, while the state has lost more than 2,000 farms in five years.
Speaking about the award, Kathryn Strickland, Executive Director of the Food Bank of North Alabama, says, "it will enable us to support local farmers with our food purchases and at the same time promote healthy eating in schools."
Strickland says one way the grant will do that is by helping more farmers get the food safety certifications needed to sell their produce to schools.
The Farm-to-School initiative involved a collaboration of: Alabama Department of Education, Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Food Bank of North Alabama, Alabama Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, Alabama Farmers Federation, TotalCom, Huntsville City Schools, Madison City Schools, Madison County Schools, Cullman County Schools and Birmingham City Schools.