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Texas kicks off annual Local Products Challenge

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Staff Writer |
Sid Miller
Food event   Participating schools get access to TDA materials

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced that October 1 marked the start of the Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) annual Local Products Challenge.

The month-long event encourages Texas schools to incorporate more local products into school meals and teach children about the healthy foods produced in the Lone Star State.

More than 140 school districts and charter schools have pledged participation in the 2016 challenge. Participating schools will earn TDA recognition and provide more than 2 million Texas children with increased access to local foods and Texas agriculture.

The annual Local Products Challenge supports TDA’s goal of increasing the amount of farm fresh purchases made by partners in federal nutrition programs administered by TDA.

The event has grown each year, from 37 participants during the inaugural challenge in 2013 to more than 140 this year.

Challenge participants regularly report continuing to buy more Texas products after the challenge is over. This means Texas students are enjoying more local products in school meals all year long.

Participating schools get access to TDA materials to promote local foods and strengthen connections with local agricultural producers.

When students enjoy nutritious school meals made with Texas products, they develop healthy habits that can benefit entire communities. It has been shown that for every $1 spent on local food, $2.16 of economic activity is generated.

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