Local farmers back bill to keep homegrown food in student lunches

Posted at: 01/18/2013 8:44 AM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Local farmers are backing a bill to keep fruits and vegetables on students’ plates next school year – and to make sure some of that produce comes from New Mexico farmers.

Sen. Pete Campos is again sponsoring a bill to make sure $1.4 million worth of local produce makes its way to New Mexico schools, an initiative he first submitted in 2008.

Gina Meyers, who works with the Albuquerque Downtown Market, says this helps the environment by reducing carbon footprint – if food is produced, purchased and delivered locally, it’s more environmentally efficient.

As for the farmers, producing food for schools keeps their sales going year-round, going back into the economy.

“Markets can only do so much for a farmer,” Meyers said. “We’re open May until November, so then you have 6 months out of the year where a farmer doesn’t necessarily have a venue to sell his food.”

Some parents also support the initiative.

“I would like to see even more healthy foods in kids lunches, especially my daughter,” mother Maria Hernandez said. “I’ve seen the menu and it’s like chicken nuggets and stuff like that… and if it is fruit, it’s from a can.”