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Local Farm-to-School Initiatives
BTCS Receives $90,000 Grant to Enhance Local Farm-to-School Initiatives
Posted on 05/30/2023
Farm to Table EventThe BTCS Department of School Nutrition has been awarded a $90,000 grant through the Local Food for Tennessee Schools program, administered by the Tennessee Department of Education. This initiative, which is part of the cooperative agreement between the USDA and Tennessee, aims to encourage healthier eating habits among students and foster closer relationships between schools and local farmers. The grant program will provide more than 4.1 million dollars to increase the availability of nutritious, locally sourced food in school meal programs across the state.

"The goal of the program is to improve child nutrition and build new relationships between schools and local farmers,” said Jennifer Burleson, director of school nutrition for BTCS. “We want to provide the freshest foods possible to our students. By taking advantage of our locally grown supply, we know that the produce is fresh, and we are supporting local farmers and local economies.”

The funding will be available for a period of three school years, enabling the school district to make significant strides in sourcing local and nutritious food options for students. BTCS has already established valuable partnerships with local suppliers, demonstrating its commitment to supporting the local economy. Some of the notable partnerships include Fleenor Farms, H&H Meat Market, Scott’s Strawberry and Tomato Farms, and The Big Red Apple Shed. Through these collaborations, the school nutrition department has already procured a variety of fresh and wholesome products, including beef, strawberries, apples, tomatoes, and other miscellaneous produce.

In addition to promoting healthier eating habits and supporting local economies, the Local Food for Tennessee Schools grant program aligns with the broader national objectives of the USDA—seeking to enhance the quality of school meals while creating a positive impact on the local community. The BTCS Department of School Nutrition is grateful to the Tennessee Department of Education and the USDA for their support and investment in the well-being of our students. With the $90,000 grant and the valuable partnerships established, we are confident that this program will significantly contribute to the improvement of child nutrition and the growth of local economies.
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