Key issues • Maine

Department of Agriculture praises Maine programs to keep students fed

The head of the Department of Agriculture says the rest of the country should model itself after Maine when it comes to making sure kids are fed in schools.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Maine Tuesday, joining Governor Janet Mills and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree at Gorham Middle School.

The state recently extended free meals to all students.

“Maine is more than the model, it’s the Mecca. It’s the Mecca of local and regional food support for farmers and connecting them to schools, to other institutional purchasers,” Vilsack said. “It’s a Mecca in terms of its commitment to young children and their nutrition.”

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