WASHINGTON, DC — Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman on Tuesday applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s new $6.8 million agreement with Pennsylvania to expand the purchase of nutritious, local foods for its school meal programs.

Through the program, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) will purchase and distribute local and regional foods and beverages for schools to serve children through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The products will be healthy and unique to their region, with the goal of improving child nutrition and building new relationships between schools and local farmers.

“This funding is a game-changer. It will source high-quality food from Pennsylvania’s best-in-the-business farmers and expand nutritional options for our children at school. This is an example of Washington working and delivering for the people of Pennsylvania,” said Fetterman.

According to the USDA, the agreements will allow organizations the flexibility to design food purchasing programs and establish partnerships with farmers and ranchers that best suit their local needs, accommodate environmental and climate conditions, account for seasonal harvests, improve supply chain resiliency, and meet the needs of schools within their service area. Additionally, the program will provide more opportunities for historically underserved producers and processors to sell their products.