TRENTON, NJ – The Assembly Thursday passed two amended bills that bolster the state’s Farm to School” program and promote nutrition for school-age children sponsored by Assembly Republicans Parker Space and Ron Dancer. The bills, approved by the Senate this month, are now on the Governor’s desk.
“Living in the Garden State, we are well aware of the benefits our fresh, nutritious farm-grown produce, and the ‘Farm to School’ program provides a golden opportunity to encourage healthy eating choices in our schools, and assist the local farmers at the same time,” said Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris.
Assembly bill 2641 supports the state’s “Farm to School” and “Farm to Gardens” programs, allowing taxpayers to make a contribution on their income tax forms, and creates a fund in the Department of the Treasury to hold these funds. Annually, the Legislature will appropriate the monies in the fund to the Department of Agriculture to support the two farm-friendly programs.
A-2642 allows the Secretary of Agriculture to solicit and accept private and public money to support the state’s “Farm to School” program.
“These are beneficial programs that help build the foundation for a healthier, more productive next generation,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. “New Jersey residents who appreciate the benefits of fruits, vegetables and non-processed food in a healthy, balanced diet can, by checking a box on their tax return, have a positive impact on our impressionable young people.”
Assembly Republican Alison Littell McHose, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris, is also a sponsor of the bipartisan bill package, which includes a third bill, A-2643, that establishes the “Best in New Jersey ‘Farm to School’ Awards Program” to recognize the outstanding “Farm to School” utilization by a school or school district.
Space, McHose and Dancer sponsored A-156, that supports the “Farm to School” program by requiring the Department of Agriculture to post important information about the program on its website.
All four bills have passed both the Assembly and the Senate, and under the consideration of the Governor.