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Oregon Farm to School bill would benefit health through job creation, study finds
Date:5/11/2011

WASHINGTONA bill in Oregon that would provide incentives to deliver fresh local food to schools would improve the health of the state's residents and, at the same time, create hundreds of new farm-industry jobs over a five- to 10-year period, according to a study released by Upstream Public Health in Portland.

The researchers received a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to conduct a health impact assessment (HIA) on the Farm to School and School Garden legislation, HB 2800.

An HIA is a study that explores the health impacts of a proposed project, plan or policy in areas that might not otherwise take full account of the health implicationslike education, land use, agriculture or energyand then makes recommendations to maximize the benefits and minimize any potential risks.

"This report is especially valuable because it shows how health impact assessment can help policy makers find unexpected ways to improve health and, at the same time, provide economic benefitssomething that is more important now than ever given the current fiscal climate," said Aaron Wernham, M.D., director of the Health Impact Project.

Farm to School and School Garden Legislation, Oregon HB 2800 , as introduced

The bill would reimburse schoolsequivalent to 15 cents per lunch and seven cents per breakfastfor purchasing Oregon food products and provide competitive education grants to schools to support teaching gardens and cross-curricular nutrition education activities that could help kids learn about local food production and increase their preference for fruits and vegetables. The funding for the program would come from the Economic Development Fund, which is a portion of Oregon's Lottery Fund.

The researchers conducted interviews with stakeholders, reviewed existing research on the health impacts of Farm to School programs and collaborated wi
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Contact: Alex Dery Snider
aderysnider@pewtrusts.org
202-540-6590
Pew Health Group
Source:Eurekalert

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