skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Disadvantaged MN Farmers to See New Business with School Meals

play audio
Play

Friday, August 26, 2022   

Farmers of color in Minnesota are expected to see new opportunities to get their products into school lunch programs. Their advocates said a major funding boost from the federal government paves the way for producers who may have struggled to reach customers.

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $3.5 million expansion of a program to help the state facilitate purchasing locally grown foods for school cafeterias.

Nikki Warner, communications director for the nonprofit food hub Good Acre, said she likes the program's emphasis on working with the state's increasingly diverse group of farmers, including Hmong, Latino and Black producers.

"BIPOC farmers -- not just in Minnesota, but across the country -- have faced more barriers to participating in wholesale markets, even direct markets, you know, like at a farmers' market," Warner pointed out.

She noted it is especially timely because some farmers markets have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. The Minnesota Farmers Union said the program offers not only a bigger market for independent farmers, but also helps them earn a fair price for their products in an era of market concentration.

As for providing healthier options for students, Warner hopes the expansion is just the beginning. She said there is a lot of potential to be unlocked in making school lunch programs more resilient.

"You can't just sell a school a thousand pounds of butternut squash and expect it to go well," Warner emphasized. "There's a lot of staff buy-in, the equipment, the culinary training, the recipe development."

While Minnesota was the first state to receive the expanded funds, it is expected other states have applied and will make similar agreements. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture said it hopes to release applications for Farm to School grants next month, and have contracts signed with schools by early 2023.

Disclosure: The Minnesota Farmers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Health Issues, and Rural/Farming Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A typical New Hampshire child care worker earned roughly $32,500 in 2023 while the federal poverty guideline for a family of four last year was $30,000, according to the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A persistent child care worker shortage across New Hampshire is leaving families with few options. The state is currently short more than 7,000 …


Social Issues

play sound

The child welfare system in Pennsylvania faces a staffing crisis affecting children and families throughout the system. The Child Welfare Resource …

play sound

Work is being done in rural areas across Texas to make sure students are prepared for the workforce even if they intend to stay put after graduation…


Census data show more than 100,000 North Dakotans have some college credits, but no degree. Unpaid tuition or other school debt is cited as one reason why it's hard for these individuals to re-enroll. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

This summer, colleges and universities will have to comply with a new federal rule and not withhold students' transcripts over unpaid tuition and …

play sound

Recent data ranks Columbus as the most polluted major city in the U.S., highlighting concerns about common pollutants, like smog and vehicle …

During a pregnancy, speak to a health care provider if something doesn't feel right. (Prostock-studio/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

While Black Maternal Health Week is wrapping up, health disparities for pregnant Black women continues to be an issue. From April 11-17 this year…

Social Issues

play sound

Kentuckians have less than a week to register to vote in next month's primary election. If folks miss the April 22 deadline, residents can still …

Environment

play sound

The chair of the Federal Trade Commission will be in rural Iowa this weekend to hear from farmers and other residents about the proposed sale of Iowa …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021