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USDA awards SD $85K grant for new school food service equipment

South Dakota received $85,265 in grants from the USDA to help schools purchase kitchen equipment.

Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack announced Monday that the department is awarding $25 million in grants nationally to help schools purchase kitchen equipment to provide school lunches and breakfasts.

The Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project -- a collaboration with The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation -- recently released a report on school kitchen equipment needs that shows 88 percent of school districts in the U.S. need at least one additional piece of kitchen equipment. The report also notes that 55 percent need infrastructure upgrades to serve healthier meals that meet science-based nutrition standards.