The North Carolina Farm to School program has been in existence since 1997 delivering fruits and vegetables to school systems around the state straight from the farm. Recently, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation awarded a $1.2 million, three year grant to the program to upgrade and expand their transportation of those fruits and vegetables. North Carolina Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler:
“It’s really a godsend. We run these trucks for food distribution so much that they really are getting pretty ragged and we needed to increase capacity for the Farm to School program. Blue Cross has granted us the money to purchase five new tractor trailers.”
CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Brad Wilson explains how their foundation arrived at awarding the grant to the Farm to School Program:
“Our foundation decided that the best way we could assist, is to provide $1.2 million to purchase a key link in the supply chain to get the food from the farm to the schools.”
Five new refrigerated tractor/trailer rigs were purchased with part of the grant money. They’re easy to spot, each is decorated with children’s artwork from the schools that the program serves.
Winston-Salem Students Compete in School Lunch Challenge
High school students from Winston-Salem competed with five other teams to prepare the healthiest school lunch.
The Cooking for Change competition was yesterday at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in Washington.
Winston-Salem's three-student team comes from Parkland, Reagan and Reynolds high schools.
The teams prepared lunches that met high nutritional standards, used common ingredients that can be easily prepared by school food service workers and are affordable and delicious. Other finalists were from Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, Fla., Santa Ana, Calif., and St. Louis.
USDA Forecast Current Food Price Forecast for the Remainder of this Year
Ricky Volpe, USDA economist, giving the current food price forecast for this year:
“We are looking at all food going up 2.5 to 3.5 %. The same figure is true for food at home. We are looking at food away from home, restaurant prices, to increase another 2-3% over the average prices in 2011.”
Online Petition Urges Domino’s Pizza to Change Mind
As the American Farm Bureau Federation was having an Ag Pizza Party - encouraging folks to thank Domino’s Pizza for relying on animal experts to determine the best way to raise farm animals - a customer petition on change dot org collected more than 115-thousand signatures from people in all 50 states asking the chain to stop purchasing pork from suppliers using gestation crates. Feedstuffs reports that a long-time Domino’s customer from Texas decided to launch the petition campaign after seeing undercover video footage of gestation crates from the Humane Society of the United States. While positioned as a meat eater and non-animal rights activist in the online petition - Feedstuffs writes that online searches now show the so-ca lled customer is an HSUS supporter.
CFTC Approves 21 Hour Trading
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has approved the CME Group proposal to expand electronic grain futures trading to 21 hours. Trade will only stop between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Central each day. The new trading schedule started at 5 p.m. on Sunday.