New research suggests filling school lunch trays with locally grown foods isn't just good for students' health. It's also good for the local economy.
A new study from the University of Minnesota examined the potential economic impact of farm-to-school programs, focusing on a five-county area of central Minnesota.
It found the potential economic benefit to the region ranged from about $20,000 if each school served one locally grown meal a month to up to $430,000 if they bought large amounts from farmers.
Ryan Pesch, who co-wrote the report, says in that part of Minnesota, $400,000 could support two or three full-time farms.
The analysis focused on foods easily added to school menus, including apples, beef hot dogs, cabbage, carrots, oatmeal, potatoes, sweet corn and wild rice.
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