USDA Announces People's Garden School Pilot Program

April 8, 2011 - 09:36

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Washington State University will develop and run the People's Garden School Pilot Program, which will serve an estimated 2,800 students attending 70 elementary schools in Washington, New York, Iowa and Arkansas.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Washington State University will develop and run the People's Garden School Pilot Program, which will serve an estimated 2,800 students attending 70 elementary schools in Washington, New York, Iowa and Arkansas.

"School gardens hold great promise for educating our kids about food production and nutrition," said Vilsack. "Learning where food comes from and what fresh food tastes like, and the pride of growing and serving your own fruits and vegetables, are life-changing experiences. Engaging kids in our efforts to end childhood hunger and curb childhood obesity is critical if we are going to succeed."

The $1 million pilot program is authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The schools selected to participate in this pilot come from urban, suburban and rural communities and have at least 50 percent of their students qualified to receive free or reduced-price school meals. The initiative is part of the USDA People's Garden Initiative, which establishes community and school gardens across the nation to help unite neighborhoods in a common effort and inspire simple solutions to challenges facing our country -- from hunger to the environment.

Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about USDA's Food and Nutrition Service and nutrition assistance programs.

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