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New micro-grants to support locally grown food

As part of the 2018 Farm Bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, a new grant program is available to support locally grown food, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Schatz says the provision was authored by him and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

“This new federal money will give people the resources to start a garden or build a business that promotes locally grown food,” said Schatz in a news release. “The farm bill also invests in Native Hawaiian education and creates more opportunities for new farmers and ranchers.”

The new program would offer grants of $100 to $5,000 to individuals and grants of $100 to $10,000 to tribes, religious organizations, food banks and other non-profits and federally-funded educational facilities, as well as local governments in Hawaii and Alaska. The grants may be used to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food, whether it be through small-scale gardening, herding or livestock operations.

The bill also reauthorizes an education grant program to Native Hawaiian and institutions serving Alaska Natives of $10 million every year for five years.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said in an earlier press release that she amended the Farm Bill to provide relief to farmers affected by the Kilauea eruption and that she also teamed up with Murkowski to provide the small grants to individuals, food banks, schools and other nonprofits to promote food security.

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