Program helps Hawaii schools buy local produce

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's small local farmers sometimes have a hard time selling produce to the state's large school district.

West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering funding to help qualifying schools buy locally grown produce.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is for schools that serve kindergarten to sixth grade where at least half the population qualifies for free or reduced lunch. The schools can use the produce for morning and afternoon snacks.

About 80 Hawaii schools are already participating, and 32 of those are on the Big Island.

Glenna Owens of the Hawaii Department of Education will meet with farmers on the Big Island next week to explain the program.

Farmers in the program work with participating distributors who sell the produce to schools.

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