Feds Agree to Let Florida Serve School Meals

More Florida grown fruits and vegetables will be available to public schoolchildren next year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday approved the Florida Department of Agriculture’s request to oversee the School Nutrition Program in the state. 

The transfer, which will be reviewed, is for three years.

“Upon granting this waiver we would like to emphasize that school nutrition programs are an integral component of a child’s overall education and must be managed effectively within the educational structure,” wrote Audrey Rowe, USDA administrator.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam made the announcement while visiting Mill Creek Elementary School in Jacksonville on Monday.

“This effort would not have been possible without the dedication of Senator Gary Siplin and Representative Seth McKeel, who are committed to making sure our students are successful in the classroom and have the necessary nutritional building blocks for a healthy life,” Putnam stated in a release. “By directing more fresh fruits and vegetables to our schools, we will help pave the way for healthier eating habits and active lifestyles among our youngest residents, creating a better and brighter Florida for generations to come.”

Under the program, Florida will run the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, and Summer Food Service programs.

The transfer is effective Jan. 1

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