As students at Leverett and Erving elementary schools dig into their vegetables this fall, they may be getting a taste of local farms thanks to a new collaboration of the Franklin County Community Development Corp. and the Hampshire Regional Council of Governments.

HCOG’s Purchasing Cooperative and the CDC have announced a Pioneer Valley Vegetable Venture for 16 school cafeterias and organizations around western Massachusetts, one that will offer locally grown fruits and vegetables for their menus.

The co-op links schools and other bulk food buyers as far apart as Williamstown and Petersham with local farms and processors. They are all to be part of a purchasing bid in a contract with Thurston Foods through next July 1. Thurston is a wholesale food distributor in Connecticut that serves the Northeast.

Read the rest of the story at the Greenfield Recorder.