Funding Details

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Farm to School Grant Program

Sponsored by US Department of Agriculture
Contact:US Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
3101 Park Ctr. Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22302

Phone: 202.720.0092
Description:While individual farm to school programs are shaped by their unique community, geographic region, and scope, the term ‘farm to school’ is generally understood to include efforts that connect schools with local or regional farmers, food processors, and manufacturers in order to serve local or regionally procured foods in school cafeterias. The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.

In addition to procurement activities, farm to school programs often include food, agriculture, and nutrition-based educational efforts including standards-based curriculum and a whole host of hands-on experiential activities, such as school gardens, field trips to local farms, and cooking classes. For example, students might dissect vegetables in science class, run farm stands using school garden produce to learn business skills, or practice data visualization techniques using plant growth measurements, all contributing to a holistic approach to learning centered on food, agriculture, and nutrition. To embed farm to school activities into school culture, promotional and outreach efforts often aim to keep farm to school activities front and center in both the school and broader community. In this funding round, USDA is soliciting applications for four types of grants:
• Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
• Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
• Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and nonprofit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives, and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.
• Conference/Event grants are intended to support conferences, events, and trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains or that provide technical assistance to the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and integration of agriculture-based curriculum.
Eligibility:Private, Public
Award(s):Planning grants are expected to range from $20,000 to $45,000, and Implementation and Support Service grants are expected to range from $65,000 to $100,000. It is estimated that Planning grants will represent approximately 25 percent of the total grant funding awarded during this award cycle, while Implementation and Support Service grants are expected to represent approximately 75 percent.
Deadline(s):The Request for Applications (RFA) for the fiscal year 2016 Farm to School Grants is expected to be announced in February 2015.
Focus:Community Involvement, Environmental Education, General Education, Native/Tribal American, Vocational Education
Grade Level(s):K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Content Area(s): Health
21st Century
Themes and Skills:
Environmental Literacy, Health Literacy
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