Farm to school Assembly bill package signed into law

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new-jersey Expanding access to nutritious, locally harvested food for school children, a package of five bills sponsored by Assembly Republicans Chris A. Brown and Sam Fiocchi was signed into law Monday, Aug. 25. 

“This is an opportunity to improve nutrition and promote healthy eating in our schools. Students can learn to appreciate the benefits and quality of food grown on local farms,” said Assemblyman Brown, R – Atlantic. “At the same time, the local economy gets a boost and we promote agriculture in the Garden State.”

“Bringing more farm fresh food into school lunchrooms will benefit the local farmers and the economy. We can put just-picked fruits and vegetables in the hands of young children, and help them develop life-long healthy eating habits,” noted Assemblyman Fiocchi, R-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland.

The “Farm to School” package includes:

A-2641 provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns to support the “Farm to School” and “School Gardens” programs. 
A-2642 allows the Secretary of Agriculture to solicit and accept private and public money to support the state’s “Farm to School” program. 
A-2643 establishes the “Best in New Jersey ‘Farm to School’ Awards Program,” to annually recognize the outstanding “Farm to School” programs implemented by a school or school district. 
A-2644 creates a website clearinghouse connecting schools, school districts, food banks and farmers. 
A-156 requires the Dept. of Agriculture to post on the homepage of its website a hyperlink that provides visitors with direct access to the “New Jersey Farm to School” program.

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