HARRISBURG – A bill that would revise and reestablish the Healthy Farms Healthy Schools program unanimously passed the House of Representatives today.
Sponsored by Rep. John Hershey (R-Juniata/Mifflin/Franklin), House Bill 1514 would support agriculture education by providing grants up to $15,000 for schools that want to teach young children about nutrition and agriculture.
Hershey said the program provides hands-on experiences for children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, which is a time when they are developing lifelong eating habits. He hopes exposing children to the benefits of a healthy diet helps them develop good habits.
This bill expands opportunities for direct marketing for farmers and visits to farms for schoolchildren. It helps teachers who want to incorporate nutrition and agriculture education into their curriculum.
“It is important children understand where their food comes from, particularly because today’s youth have fewer connections to the farm than in decades past,” Hershey said.
House Bill 1514 is one of several agriculture bills passed Monday by the House. They now go to the Senate for consideration.