Published: Sep 24, 2010 5:30 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 23, 2010 10:24 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Farmers in Florida are about to get some much needed help after a rough season last winter. The Collier School District is about to pump $800,000 into local farms.

Their new Farm to School program has the district purchasing produce from local Florida growers, instead of out of state.

The new business means growers can recoup from the harsh freeze earlier this year.

"For our farm we've got about 40 jobs added for all the schools we're serving to," Paul Allen with South Bay based RC Hatton Farms tells WINK News.

Townsend Foods, a Naples based distributor, beat out some top names to be awarded the distribution contract from the district.

"If we'd not gotten the bid we would have probably had to let go of three people," Dan Garrett with Townsend explains.

The program also means Collier school kids will be getting fruits and veggies at their peak freshness, retaining more nutrition.

Farmers are getting started with this program right away. Parents can expect locally grown produce on their child's plate within the next few weeks.