JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri is offering grants to help get more locally produced food into school meals and snacks.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced in a news release that applications will be accepted through October 31. To qualify for competitive grants of up to $200,000, applicants must purchase or process food from small farmers or produce food themselves.
Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce said the goal is to increase the amount of Missouri-made food served to students and benefit Missouri farmers.
Legislation signed into law in July authorized the program.
The effort comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires schools to serve healthier meals, featuring more fruits and vegetables. Schools must meet the requirements to receive federal reimbursements for serving free and low-cost meals to low-income students.