Monday, December 16, 2013
A flourishing farm-to-school movement is taking root in San Diego County, according to a report released Monday by Community Health Improvement Partners.
The report, which surveyed San Diego County school districts on procurement and programming practices, found that 18 districts purchase local, regional or California-grown products and 11 districts purchase directly from a grower.
“Farm-to-school efforts are an important part of addressing today’s obesity epidemic,” San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts said in a statement. “Getting more local produce into our schools helps ensure county growers thrive. It also ensures that we have local production of the fresh foods that promote our children’s health and academic success. The State of Farm to School in San Diego County Report helps advance this work across San Diego County.”
Fruit and vegetable production in San Diego County was valued at $513 million in 2012. Current studies show purchasing locally produced items can return twice as many dollars to the local economy as conventional purchasing practices.
The report was conducted by the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce, a subcommittee of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative.