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USDA awards two grants to local farms in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties


SAN FRANCISCO, (KION-TV)- The United States and Drug Administration has awarded $10.7 million to fund 103 projects across the country which include two in Monterey and Santa Cruz County.

The first one was awarded to Local Bounty Inc which is based out of Moss Landing. Local Bounty received an implementation grant of $388,540. The company connects California consumers to sustainable seafood from local fishermen.

Local Bounty represents a network of over 150 small-scale, independent fishermen. The USDA says that their Bay2Tray program connects schoolchildren with local fish, while providing a market opportunity for

Through collaboration with fishermen and local school districts, Local Bounty will launch new value-added products for school menus, develop educational tools for nutrition staff and students, and technology streamlining the supply chain and increasing awareness of local seafood and purchasing

With the grant, the Company is planning to expand the Bay2Tray program to the state of Virginia in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia fisherman and public schools.

The Sustainable Systems Research Foundation received an implementation grant of $99,990 from the USDA. The foundation is based out of Santa Cruz.

The foundation along with Esperanza Community Farm and two schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District will continue to get salads from local farmers.

The project will provide fresh salads to meal-eligible students at Pajaro Valley High School and New School Community Day High School in Watsonville.

Students at both schools will also be taking classes on food supply chains, food preparation, food waste management. There will also be  a series of community based conversations about local food supply, security and justice held at both schools.

The USDA said that nine California organizations received the Leahy Farm to School Grants. The USDA says that grants totaling more than $1.3 million will help Californians eat nutritious foods while supporting farmers and producers in their communities.

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Derrick Ow

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