Indiana Grown and the Indiana State Department of Health recently unveiled a new resource guide that will help increase schools’ access to fresh, local food products.

“With the large number of school corporations in Indiana, we see tremendous business potential for local farmers and producers to provide homegrown products to local schools,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “Our hope is that the buyer’s guide connects farmers, buyers and schools and makes it easier to get healthy, local produce into Indiana school cafeterias.”

Five area farms are included in the guide: Kestler Farms, 565 State Road 229, Batesville, meat; Michaela Farm, 3127 State Road 229, Batesville, produce; Doll’s Orchards, 21134 Tony Road, Batesville, produce; Beneker Family Farms, 10007 St. Peters Road, Brookville, meat; and Lobenstein Farm, 29703 Post 464 Road, St. Leon, produce and meat.

Partnering with Purdue Extension, the new guide will be the only resource of its kind in the state and will help food service directors find school-ready products grown or raised by local farmers. The project was announced last October as part of the Indiana Grown for Schools initiative and is funded by a farm-to-school grant awarded to ISDH.

“We are fortunate to have a year-long supply of farm-fresh products from our local Indiana growers, and by having this resource for the schools in our state, children can have easier access to fruits and vegetables,” said state health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG.

Persons may visit www.ingrown4schools.com for more information about the Indiana Grown for Schools program.

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