Officials at the New Hampshire Farm to School program say the number of farmers selling produce and products to schools has tripled to 60 in the past three years.
A new survey shows that 60 farms and more than 300 schools are participating in the program — which began in 2003 with orchards selling apples to schools. Apples and tomatoes remain the most popular items purchased by schools, but have been joined by blueberries, cucumbers, corn, beef, eggs, fish and maple syrup.
Program coordinator Stacey Purslow says cost and lack of refrigerated storage space remain barriers.
Purslow says 40 percent of the approximately 300 schools in the program spend between $100 and $500 at local farms each fall. Twenty-six percent spent more than $1,000.