This blog is part of a series highlighting federal programs that support children, families and communities.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program was created with the purpose of assisting eligible programs in creating a farm to school program to improve access to fresh, local food in schools. Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the Farm to School Grant Program not only promotes the use of farm fresh foods, but also provides education and awareness about healthy eating for children and educators.
There are four grant categories for which an organization can apply:
- Support Service Grants: Intended for local and state agencies, agricultural producers, Indian tribal organizations and other non-profit entities (aka, the “intermediaries”) to further develop and provide support for the Farm to School programs.
- Implementation Grants: For schools to help further develop existing Farm to School programs.
- Planning Grants: For schools who are getting started to develop and structure their Farm to School Program.
- Training Grants: Intended for local and state agencies, agricultural producers, Indiana tribal organizations and other non-profit entities to help in training individuals in technical assistance and the strengthening of local food systems.
Implementation and support service awards range from $65,000 – $100,000; Planning awards range from $20,000 – $45,000; and training awards range from $15,000 – $50,000. Matching funds of 25% are required for all four grant types.
The Farm to School program has already reported success. In the 2011-2012 school year, the Farm to School program helped approximately 40,328 schools, totaling 23,513,237 children across the nation. In Indiana, 655 schools (representing 402,732 children) participated in the Farm to School program in the 2011-2012 school year.
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation reported positive reactions from children, stating that: “A local farmer comes during Farm to School Month in October for a meet your farmer day. The kids were so excited about his visit we double our vegetables sales those days and the days that follow!”
While the FY 2016 grant application deadline has already passed, information about the next grant round can be found on their website or by signing up for the Farm to School Newsletter.
Transform Consulting Group applauds programs encouraging healthy and positive child development as well as school-community partnership. For more information about our program development and grant writing services, contact us today!