School lunch menus in Oregon increasingly feature locally grown or processed foods that are high quality and culturally relevant to students, thanks to a state local food incentive program that now purchases from close to 500 Oregon food businesses. For 2023-2025, the Oregon Farm to Child Nutrition Program will disburse up to $7m to sites including public schools and tribal and early-care centers to buy Oregon-grown and/or -processed food, and $3.6 million for school gardens, farm visits and cooking classes, and grants to help farmers and other food producers scale up to meet school needs. From 2019 to 2021, the grant empowered more than 144 districts and other entities to incorporate Oregon food into their menus, while helping many small regional businesses that provide local benefits but can’t compete on price and scale with large corporations.

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