May 18 2015

CHARLOTTE, NC – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) toured Patterson Farm in Rowan County to learn more about local agriculture’s involvement in school meals and visited Tuckaseegee Elementary School in Charlotte to receive input from students and administrators on school nutrition programs. The visits were part of a fact-finding mission to learn about the best ways our agriculture communities can work with our local schools to improve childhood nutrition. After the visits, Senator Tillis released the following statement:

“When addressing the issues and needs of proper childhood nutrition, we should look to parents, students, and cafeteria staff in our schools, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. While big government nutrition programs are well-intentioned, they’re lacking flexibility and being forced upon our schools at the local level in a manner that’s simply counterproductive. Children are throwing away their food and going home hungry, which is a problem that should be nonexistent. 

“Today I saw first-hand how North Carolina is a true leader in farm-to-school programs, but there’s still a clear need to implement commonsense regulatory reform that allows for more flexibility in the schools, while better utilizing our agriculture communities. In addition to reforms, it will be imperative to study best practices and replicate them across the country to ensure our children are receiving nutritious foods that meet sensible health and food safety standards.  After meeting with students and receiving their input on school lunches, it’s abundantly clear that fresher, more appetizing foods will help prevent empty stomachs and provide our children with the nutrition they need to do well in school.”

Below are several photos from the Senator’s visit to Patterson Farm and Tuckaseegee Elementary School. Additional photos can be found here

Senator Tillis meets with students at Tuckaseegee Elementary School in Charlotte, NC

Senator Tillis meets with cafeteria staff at Tuckaseegee Elementary School in Charlotte, NC

Senator Tillis and North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler meet with Patterson Farm Proprietors, Randall and Doug Patterson, in Rowan County, NC

Senator Tillis and Commissioner Troxler tour the fields of Patterson Farm in Rowan County, NC