The Agriculture Dept. (USDA) launches the $5 million 2017 Farm-to-School Grant Program (CFDA Number: 10.575) (Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-FNS-F2S-2017) to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs and get healthy, locally grown food into school cafeterias.
Deadline: Dec. 8.
“Bringing the bounty of America’s farms into schools and onto breakfast and lunch trays is one of the best ways we can ensure students are receiving nutritious and delicious meals at school,” said Kevin Concannon, USDA under secretary for Food Nutrition and Consumer Services. “Supporting these programs through the annual Farm to School Grants is a win-win for America’s schools, farmers, producers, communities, and children.”
Eligibility: Governments, schools, colleges, farmers and nonprofits; Funding: $5 million in 75 awards (a 25% match is required).
Farm to school programs help form healthy habits and support local economies, Concannon said. The local foods offered through farm to school programs help school meal programs fulfill the updated school nutrition standards with appealing and diverse offerings.
According to the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census, schools with robust farm to school programs report reductions in food waste, higher school meal participation rates, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables. In addition, in school year 2013-2014 alone, schools purchased more than $789 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers.
USDA’s Farm to School Grants may be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.
The Farm to School Grant Program was authorized in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. To date, USDA has funded 300 projects in all 50 states, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since its inception in FY 2013, more than $20 million has been awarded through the Farm to School Grant Program. This year, awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: planning, implementation, support service, and training.
DoEd will distribute: Support Service- $65,000 – $100,000 Implementation- $65,000 – $100,000 Planning – $20,000 – $45,000 Training Grants State- $15,000 – $25,000 Training Grants – Regional/National -$25,000 – $50,000.