Danville schools get more produce through USDA program

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A grant awarded Monday to an Urbana farm will help feed children in central Illinois schools. 

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced Monday a Farm to School Program planning grant in the amount of $47,960 is going to Sola Gratia Farm in Urbana. The money is coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Nutrition Service. 

Sola Gratia Farm is one of three recipients of these grants in Illinois.

The farm plans to partner with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Champaign Unit 4 Schools and Urbana School District 116 to plan a Farm to School program. It will allow students the opportunity to try locally-sourced foods, learn where and who the food comes from and have ongoing access to balanced, healthy meals through school lunch programs. 

“Locally produced foods are an important part of our diets and local economies,” Davis said. "This grant will serve to expose students to food produced in their own communities and ensure they have access to it. The project will have the dual impact of also stimulating the local food economy in Champaign-Urbana by creating new market opportunities for growers."

“USDA’s Farm to School Program is a win-win,” said Brandon Lipps, USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “The grants announced today will help build bright futures for our children by connecting them to where their food comes from, while also nourishing the local economy and supporting American agriculture.”

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