Colorado may pay to get more local food in schools |

Colorado may pay to get more local food in schools

DENVER — A Colorado bill to spend about $5 million to put more local produce in school cafeterias has passed its first test at the Colorado Legislature.

But the bill passed narrowly after complaints that it takes money away from classroom instruction.

The bill sets up a grant program to make Colorado the 17th state to chip in grant money in addition to federal programs to help get more locally grown foods on cafeteria plates. Colorado’s measure would spend about $1 million a year for five years to help farmers make safety upgrades so they can sell directly to schools.

The bill passed 6-5. Some argued that the grant program won’t necessarily help small farmers.

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