local food

Low-income customers' dollars will get twice the value on money spent on fruits and vegetables at several local farmers markets.
Courtesy SNAP 2 It! Program, via St. Louis Farmers Market Association

A new program at several local farmers markets will give low-income customers double the value for money spent on fruits and vegetables.

The Missouri Agriculture Department is hoping Farm-to-School value-added grants will bring more locally produced food into schools.
Stephanie Lecci

The Missouri Department of Agriculture will soon announce the winners of competitive grants aimed at increasing the amount of locally produced foods in school, while growing local businesses.

The Farm-to-School Value-Added grants will go to businesses that either buy or process foods from local farmers, or are food producers themselves. The applicants must already have a relationship with schools, either directly or through a distributor. 

via Flickr / Mark Hadley

Farms surrounding St. Louis now dedicate much less land to growing fruits and vegetables than they did 80 years ago.  According to a report released Wednesday by the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, only one tenth of 1 percent of the cropland surrounding St. Louis is dedicated to produce. Commodity crops such as corn and soybeans take up the vast majority of the agricultural land within a 100-mile radius of the city.

Michelle Volansky / Courtesy Sauce Magazine

In our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine, host Steve Potter discussed the production and sale of local foods in St. Louis with Sauce Magazine executive editor Ligaya Figueras, Fair Shares CCSA co-founder Sara Hale and Fields Foods co-founder Jeffrey Randol.