Lawmakers Propose More Locally Grown Food for Missouri Schools

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers want to require more locally grown foods in schools across the state. 

Right now, many schools do not get much, if any, food from local farmers. House minority leader and bill sponsor Jacob Hummel, D-St. Louis City, said the farm-to-school program would be an effective way to promote healthy eating at school. If the bill goes into effect, an employee from the Department of Agriculture would act as a liaison between school districts and farmers.

Many school districts across the state support the idea, but have concerns about how well the program would work logistically.

Terri Ferguson is the director of food services for the Jefferson City School District. She said the district had a partnership with a local farmer until about two years ago when the farmer became unable to supply enough food for the district. Ferguson testified in favor of the bill at the House Agriculture Policy Committee hearing Tuesday.

"The farm to school program can be very successful, it's just finding the right person and dealing with somebody that can supply us with what we need, when we need it," she said.

The bill still has a long way before it becomes law. The bill passed out of the committee Tuesday but must still go through the House and Senate chambers to make it to the governor's desk.