Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Ron Dancer and Parker Space that establishes a clearinghouse website for farmers to offer produce and dairy products to schools and food banks for their food programs was released today by the Assembly Women and Children Committee. The legislation is part of a series of bills receiving bipartisan support known as the “Farm to School” program.
“This bill provides a conduit between New Jersey’s farmers, schools and food banks,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. “Connecting the state’s agriculture industry with those who provide nutritional meals puts students in a better position to learn, helps hunger-based organizations reach more people, and provides an opportunity for farmers to market their products. Fighting hunger is an ongoing challenge and the Farm to School program helps in that effort while supporting our highly-regarded agriculture industry.”
The bill, A-2644, which would take effect one year after its signing, stipulates that the Department of Agriculture will work in consultation with the Department of Education and the Department of Health to develop and implement the web-based clearinghouse.
“We know that many students and schools can benefit by having a centralized website where there are opportunities to purchase produce or dairy items,” said Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “There are students who come to school hungry and will be helped by eating a nutritious meal. The agriculture industry in New Jersey is well-known for the quality products it supplies. Creating a clearinghouse facilitates a way to link schools and food banks with the farming community.”
Assembly Democrats Robert Andrzejczak and Gilbert Wilson also sponsor the bill.