Program to encourage Alaska produce in schools

A new grant program is encouraging Alaska school districts to buy produce and seafood grown in the state.

The state commerce department, in a news release, said all Alaska school districts are eligible for a portion of the $3 million in funding set aside for the program.

Districts are to be reimbursed for buying products harvested in Alaska, including grains, livestock, fish, poultry, milk and fruits and vegetables. The department says reimbursement is based on enrollment and the education funding formula. Reimbursement ranges from about $22,000 to $642,000. The latter is for the Anchorage School District.

Commerce Commissioner Susan Bell says the program will benefit students who are served healthy foods, as well as the economy and help to build a sustainable healthy food system.