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Farm-to-School Legislation proposed by the Washington Environmental Council

Proposed legislation would:

*** Spend $2 million to get more Washington-grown fruits and vegetables into at least 75 schools serving low-income students,

*** Hire two full-time employees in the state Ag Dept to connect schools and growers,

*** Spend $250,000 to research how farms could collectively process, package and distribute products in quantities that large cafeterias need,

*** Allow schools to buy Washington-grown produce, meat and dairy products without formal bids, as long as prices don't "reasonably exceed" other choices,

*** Adopt goals and policies encouraging state agencies, universities and schools to buy local food when available and comparable in price,

*** Spend $830,000 to allow more low-income families and seniors to buy nutritious food at farmers markets,

*** Spend nearly $1 million on a pilot program allowing food banks to buy from local farmers.

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