Tillis visits Patterson Farm in two stop trip

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., on Monday toured Patterson Farm in western Rowan County.

His Monday visit was the second in as many months to Rowan County. A news release said his visit to Patterson Farm was focused on local agriculture’s involvement in school meals.

Tillis also visited Tuckaseegee Elementary School in Charlotte. A news release said his visit to Patterson Farm and Tuckaseegee Elementary School was a part of a fact-finding mission to learn about the best way for agriculture communities can improve childhood nutrition in local schools.

After the visit, Tillis released a statement saying that parents, students and cafeteria staff should guide discussion on proper childhood nutrition, not lawmakers.

“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,” Tillis said. “Children are throwing away their food and going home hungry, which is a problem that should be nonexistent.”

During his two stops in the Piedmont, Tillis said he saw first-hand that North Carolina is a leader in farm-to-school programs.

“There’s still a clear need to implement common sense regulatory reform that allows for more flexibility in the schools, while better utilizing our agriculture communities,” Tillis said. “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.”