Text: H.R.5456 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/28/2010)

 
[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 5456 Introduced in House (IH)]

111th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5456

  To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to award 
   competitive grants to assist eligible entities in implementing or 
                   expanding farm-to-school programs.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 28, 2010

   Ms. McCollum (for herself, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Latham, Mr. 
 Ellison, Mr. Lujan, Mr. Kagen, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Putnam, Mr. Michaud, 
 Mr. Al Green of Texas, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Carnahan, Mr. Moore of Kansas, 
    Ms. Pingree of Maine, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Kind, Mr. 
 Loebsack, Mr. Van Hollen, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Walz, Mr. 
    Holt, Mr. Perriello, and Mr. Moran of Virginia) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and 
Labor, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to 
      be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to award 
   competitive grants to assist eligible entities in implementing or 
                   expanding farm-to-school programs.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Farm-to-School Act of 
2010''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Farm-to-school programs facilitate the purchase of 
        local food for school meals and offer a spectrum of both 
        immediate and long-term benefits to child health, small- and 
        medium-sized agricultural producer income, and community 
        economic development.
            (2) Farm-to-school programs of varying scale are 
        operational in over 8,900 schools in 42 States around the 
        country.
            (3) Though successful models of farm-to-school programs 
        exist around the country, many schools and small- and medium-
        sized agricultural producers that would like to implement a 
        farm-to-school program or scale up their existing program face 
        barriers in the form of program planning, implementation, and 
        technical capacity.
            (4) One-third of children in the United States are now 
        obese or overweight. Over the past 3 decades, obesity rates 
        have quadrupled in 6 to 11 year olds and tripled in 12 to 19 
        year olds, according to the most recent data from the Centers 
        for Disease Control's National Health and Nutrition Examination 
        Survey.
            (5) Childhood obesity rates are disproportionately high 
        among low-income and minority populations. Among Mexican-
        American children and adolescents ages 2 to 19, 38 percent are 
        obese or overweight. For African-American children, this rate 
        is close to 35 percent. A study of American Indian second-
        graders in Arizona, New Mexico and South Dakota found that over 
        20 percent of the children were overweight and 29 percent were 
        obese.
            (6) Communities with high levels of poverty have less 
        access to fresh fruits and vegetables than higher-income 
        communities. A study of nearly 700 neighborhoods in the United 
        States found that low-income areas have access to half as many 
        supermarkets as the wealthiest areas.
            (7) Increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is 
        one of six major strategies to prevent and control obesity, 
        according to the Centers for Disease Control.
            (8) According to survey data from the Department of 
        Agriculture, only 2 percent of children nationwide meet the 
        daily food servings as recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid.
            (9) The national school lunch program established under the 
        Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et 
        seq.) has potential to provide fresher and healthier foods to 
        millions of children in the United States. Approximately 60 
        percent of students in the United States are eligible to 
        receive free or reduced-price school lunches. In fiscal year 
        2008, 30.9 million children consumed free or reduced-price 
        school lunch on a daily basis.
            (10) Farm-to-school programs can increase children's daily 
        intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Farm-to-school programs 
        in Oregon and California have demonstrated that children in 
        schools with an active farm-to-school program increased their 
        average consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by one or 
        more servings per day.
            (11) Farm-to-school programs are popular among children and 
        can increase school lunch participation. Studies of 9 farm-to-
        school programs found that schools that participate in a farm-
        to-school program have seen an increase in student 
        participation in the school meal program ranging from 3 percent 
        to 16 percent for all meals.
            (12) Farm-to-school programs can benefit small- and mid-
        sized agricultural producers by providing access to consistent 
        markets and the planning and organization skills to expand to 
        other institutional customers.
            (13) Farm-to-school programs can benefit local economies. A 
        2009 study of farm-to-school programs in Oregon found that for 
        every one dollar invested in farm-to-school programs, the yield 
        in economic activity in the local community was $1.87.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Farm-to-school program.--The term ``farm-to-school 
        program'' means a program that connects schools and small- and 
        medium-sized agricultural producers for the purposes of--
                    (A) serving locally produced, healthy foods 
                (including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, 
                fish, and poultry, and grains) in school cafeterias;
                    (B) improving student nutrition;
                    (C) providing educational opportunities for 
                students in the areas of nutrition, health, and local 
                agricultural food production; and
                    (D) supporting local and regional agriculture and 
                the growth of rural communities.
            (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Agriculture unless otherwise specified.

SEC. 4. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) farm-to-school programs should be recognized as a 
        proven effective strategy that can provide immediate and long-
        term benefits to child health, small- and medium-sized 
        agricultural producer income, and community economic 
        development; and
            (2) the Federal Government should partner in assisting 
        schools and local educational agencies with planning, technical 
        assistance, and implementation of farm-to-school programs.

SEC. 5. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are to--
            (1) establish the Federal Government as a partner in 
        assisting communities with planning, technical assistance, and 
        implementation of efficient, cost-effective farm-to-school 
        programs; and
            (2) facilitate a sustained commitment to farm-to-school 
        procurement in communities by linking local small- and medium-
        sized agricultural producers, schools and institutions, State, 
        local and tribal government agencies, institutions of higher 
        education, parents, community and tribal organizations, and 
        other community stakeholders

     TITLE I--COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAM FOR FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

SEC. 101. COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAM FOR FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAMS.

    (a) Amendment.--The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act 
(42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 19, the 
following:

``SEC. 19A. FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAM.

    ``(a) In General.--From the amounts appropriated under subsection 
(l), the Secretary shall provide assistance, through competitive 
matching grants and technical assistance, to eligible entities to 
implement or expand farm-to-school programs, and for related 
activities.
    ``(b) Eligible Entity.--For purposes of this section, the term 
`eligible entity' means--
            ``(1) a school, including a charter school;
            ``(2) a local educational agency;
            ``(3) an institution of higher education;
            ``(4) a nongovernmental, community-based, or tribal 
        organization;
            ``(5) a State, regional, local, or tribal government 
        agency; or
            ``(6) a partnership consisting of 2 or more of the entities 
        described in paragraphs (1) through (5).
    ``(c) Regional Balance.--In awarding grants under this section, the 
Secretary, to the maximum extent practicable, shall ensure--
            ``(1) geographical diversity; and
            ``(2) participation of urban, rural, and tribal 
        communities.
    ``(d) Types of Grants.--A grant under this section may be--
            ``(1) an implementation grant to support the initial costs 
        of implementing a new, or expanding an existing, farm-to-school 
        program;
            ``(2) a training and technical assistance grant to support 
        the training and access to resources and information necessary 
        to conduct a successful farm-to-school program; or
            ``(3) a planning grant to support the cost of conducting 
        research, identifying resources, and developing partnerships to 
        design a successful and sustainable farm-to-school program.
    ``(e) Grant Amounts.--A grant awarded under this section to an 
eligible entity shall not exceed--
            ``(1) in the case of an implementation or training and 
        technical assistance grant, $100,000; and
            ``(2) in the case of a planning grant, $25,000.
    ``(f) Grant Duration.--A grant under this section shall be awarded 
for a period--
            ``(1) in the case of an implementation or training and 
        technical assistance grant, not to exceed 2 years; and
            ``(2) in the case of a planning grant, not to exceed 1 
        year.
    ``(g) Cost Sharing.--
            ``(1) In general.--The amount of a grant awarded under this 
        section shall not exceed 75 percent of the cost of the 
        activities carried out under the grant.
            ``(2) Non-federal support.--An eligible entity receiving a 
        grant under this section shall provide support of at least 25 
        percent of the cost of the activities carried out under the 
        grant in cash or in-kind (including, facilities, equipment, 
        training, or services provided by a State, local, and tribal 
        governments, institutions of higher education, and private 
        sources).
    ``(h) Use of Funds.--
            ``(1) In general.--An eligible entity receiving a grant 
        under this section shall use such funds to implement or expand, 
        make plans to implement or expand, or provide training and 
        technical assistance to an eligible entity in accordance with 
        paragraph (2) for the purposes of implementing or expanding, a 
        farm-to-school program, by--
                    ``(A) establishing effective relationships among--
                            ``(i) schools and local educational 
                        agencies;
                            ``(ii) distributors; and
                            ``(iii) small- and medium-sized 
                        agricultural operations or groups of such 
                        operations;
                    ``(B) facilitating the development of enterprises 
                to minimally process, as defined by the Secretary, 
                distribute, aggregate, store, and deliver locally or 
                regionally produced agricultural food products to 
                support community development and the income of small- 
                and medium-sized agricultural operations;
                    ``(C) acquiring appropriate equipment to implement 
                or expand a farm-to-school program;
                    ``(D) developing school fruit and vegetable gardens 
                for educational and food production purposes; and
                    ``(E) supporting training and education activities, 
                including supporting the planning of experiential 
                nutrition education activities and curriculum that--
                            ``(i) promote healthy food education in the 
                        school curriculum; and
                            ``(ii) incorporate the participation of 
                        school children in farm- and garden-based 
                        agricultural education activities.
            ``(2) Technical assistance grants.--
                    ``(A) In general.--In the case of an eligible 
                entity receiving a training and technical assistance 
                grant under this section, the entity shall use the 
                funds available under the grant to provide training and 
                technical assistance to an eligible entity that desires 
                to implement or expand a farm-to-school program.
                    ``(B) Training and technical assistance 
                activities.--The training and technical assistance 
                shall--
                            ``(i) be provided under such terms as the 
                        Secretary may require; and
                            ``(ii) include supporting the training and 
                        access to resources and information necessary 
                        for the implementation of a successful farm-to-
                        school program.
    ``(i) Program Proposals.--
            ``(1) Submission.--An eligible entity desiring to receive a 
        grant under this section shall submit a proposal at such time, 
        in such manner, and containing such information as the 
        Secretary may require.
            ``(2) Review panels.--The Secretary shall form review 
        panels to evaluate proposals submitted pursuant to paragraph 
        (1) based on the criteria described in paragraph (3). Such 
        review panels shall include--
                    ``(A) representatives of schools and eligible 
                institutions;
                    ``(B) registered dietitians;
                    ``(C) small- and medium-sized agricultural 
                operations, including socially disadvantaged small- and 
                medium-sized agricultural operations;
                    ``(D) public agencies;
                    ``(E) nongovernmental and community-based 
                organizations with expertise in local food systems and 
                farm-to-school programs; and
                    ``(F) other appropriate parties as determined by 
                the Secretary.
            ``(3) Proposal review criteria.--A proposal shall be 
        evaluated based on relevant criteria determined by the 
        Secretary, and shall include--
                    ``(A) service to schools and institutions with a 
                high proportion of children who are eligible for free 
                and reduced price lunches;
                    ``(B) benefit to local small- and medium-sized 
                agricultural operations, including socially 
                disadvantaged agricultural operations;
                    ``(C) implementation or expansion of farm-to-school 
                programs that can be sustained without Federal funds 
                after the end of the grant period;
                    ``(D) incorporation of experiential nutrition 
                education;
                    ``(E) demonstration of collaboration between 
                schools or institutions, nongovernmental and community-
                based organizations, agricultural operations and groups 
                of such operations, and other community partners;
                    ``(F) evaluation plans that incorporate stakeholder 
                representation; and
                    ``(G) such other related criteria as the Secretary 
                may determine relevant.
    ``(j) Evaluation.--Any eligible entity receiving a grant under this 
section shall agree to cooperate in an evaluation carried out by the 
Secretary.
    ``(k) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to authorize grants under this section for religious worship, 
instruction, or proselytization, or for construction of a facility for 
religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.
    ``(l) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section for 
fiscal year 2011 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years, to remain 
available until expended.
    ``(m) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
            ``(1) Charter school.--The term `charter school' has the 
        meaning give the term in section 5210 of the Elementary and 
        Secondary Education of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7221i).
            ``(2) Elementary school; secondary school; local 
        educational agency.--The terms `elementary school', `secondary 
        school', and `local educational agency' have the meanings given 
        such terms in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary 
        Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).
            ``(3) Farm-to-school program.--The term `farm-to-school 
        program' means a program that connects schools and small- and 
        medium-sized agricultural operations for the purposes of--
                    ``(A) serving locally produced, healthy foods 
                (including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy; meat, 
                fish, and poultry, and grains) in school cafeterias;
                    ``(B) improving student nutrition;
                    ``(C) providing agriculture, health, and nutrition 
                education opportunities to students; and
                    ``(D) supporting local and regional agriculture and 
                the growth of rural communities.
            ``(4) Institution of higher education.--The term 
        `institution of higher education' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
        U.S.C. 1001).
            ``(5) Local food.--The term `local food' has the meaning 
        given the term `locally or regionally produced agricultural 
        food products' in section 310B(g) of the Consolidated Farm and 
        Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1932(g)).
            ``(6) School.--The term `school' means a public elementary 
        school or public secondary school.
            ``(7) Tribal organization.--The term `tribal organization' 
        has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 18 of the Richard B. National 
School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1769) is amended by repealing subsection 
(g).

    TITLE II--PARTICIPATION OF SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED AGRICULTURAL 
                  PRODUCERS IN FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

SEC. 201. IDENTIFICATION OF DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS 
              AVAILABLE TO PROMOTE PARTICIPATION OF SMALL- AND MEDIUM-
              SIZED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IN FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAMS.

    (a) Identification of Available Programs.--The Secretary shall 
prepare a list identifying all programs of the Department of 
Agriculture that, without modification or with only minor modification, 
can be used to facilitate the participation of small- and medium-sized 
agricultural operations in farm-to-school programs.
    (b) Covered Programs.--Among the Department of Agriculture programs 
to be considered for inclusion on the list required by subsection (a), 
the Secretary shall specifically evaluate the following:
            (1) The rural development programs of the Department of 
        Agriculture.
            (2) The loan and loan guarantee programs carried out under 
        the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 
        et seq.).
            (3) The Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development 
        Grant Program carried out under section 231 of the Agricultural 
        Risk Protection Act of 2000 (7 U.S.C. 1621 note; Public Law 
        106-224).
            (4) The Farmers' Market Promotion Program carried out under 
        section 6 of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 
        1976 (7 U.S.C. 3005).
            (5) The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program carried 
        out under section 204(b) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 
        1946 (7 U.S.C. 1623(b)).
            (6) The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program carried out 
        under section 101 of the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 
        2004 (7 U.S.C. 1621 note; Public Law 108-465).
            (7) The Community Food Projects Program carried out under 
        section 25 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 
        2034).
    (c) Additional Determination Regarding Value-Added Agricultural 
Product Market Development Grant Program.--The Value-Added Agricultural 
Product Market Development Grant Program may be accessed by small- and 
medium-sized agricultural operations and associations of such 
operations to support farm-to-school programs. The Secretary shall 
promptly clarify the notification of solicitation of applications under 
the program to reflect this determination.
    (d) Submission of Results.--Not later than 180 days after the date 
of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit 
to Congress the list prepared under subsection (a).

SEC. 202. ASSESSMENT OF ECONOMIC IMPACT OF FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAMS ON 
              SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS AND RURAL 
              COMMUNITIES.

    (a) Assessment Required.--The Secretary, acting through the 
Economic Research Service of the Department of Agriculture, shall 
conduct a nationwide assessment of the economic impact of farm-to-
school programs on small- and medium-sized agricultural operations and 
rural communities.
    (b) Content of Assessment.--In conducting the assessment, the 
Secretary shall--
            (1) examine the role that farm-to-school programs can play 
        in establishing profitable new markets for small- and medium-
        sized agricultural operations and facilitating their access to 
        new institutional or direct markets and value-added processing 
        opportunities;
            (2) identify barriers that impede the establishment of such 
        profitable markets for small- and medium-sized agricultural 
        operations; and
            (3) identify strategies for mitigating such barriers.
    (c) Submission of Results.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress the 
results of the assessment required by this section.

                   TITLE III--INTERAGENCY COOPERATION

SEC. 301. INTERAGENCY FARM-TO-SCHOOL EXCHANGE.

    The Secretary of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Secretary 
of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall 
establish an Internet-based forum for the sharing and exchange of 
information on farm-to-school programs nationwide. Information 
available in this Exchange shall include--
            (1) an inventory of all projects funded under the 
        competitive grant program in title II;
            (2) an inventory of existing farm-to-school programs in the 
        United States, which lists--
                    (A) the agricultural producers and schools 
                participating in each program;
                    (B) the number of students served by each program;
                    (C) the annual operating cost of each program; and
                    (D) the main contact for the program.
            (3) information on best practices in farm-to-school 
        programs nationwide; and
            (4) additional information as determined by the Secretary 
        of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Secretary of 
        Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
                                 <all>

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