RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's public schools are going local in their cafeterias more than most states. The U.S. Agriculture Department said this week North Carolina is among the country's leaders in buying and serving local food to students.
The information comes from the department's "Farm to School Census" of school districts nationwide.More than 60 percent of the state's 115 districts have been participating in farm-to-school activities, which can include purchasing from local sources and planting edible gardens. Those 73 districts have nearly 1 million children.
Participating North Carolina schools reported directing about one-fifth of school food spending to local sources. The USDA says North Carolina is second only to California in the most dollars spent locally. The USDA's farm-to-school program encourages healthy foods at school lunch tables and helps local economies.