USDA Food and Nutrition Service is Accepting Applications for the Farm to School Grant Program

November 20, 2017

The purpose the program is to assist entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in schools. Designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools, grant funding can help new farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts. Funds support a wide range of activities from training, planning, and developing partnerships to creating new menu items, establishing supply chains, offering taste tests to children, purchasing equipment, planting school gardens, and organizing field trips to agricultural operations.

There are three grant tracks:

Planning Grants: Planning grants are intended for eligible entities that are just getting started with farm to school activities. Planning grants should primarily focus on goals and objectives that lay a solid foundation for launching or scaling up farm to school work. Key activities for a planning grant proposal include (but are not limited to): collecting data; engaging stakeholders; identifying gaps in knowledge and resources; and pinpointing and developing solutions for obstacles that hinder farm to school programming for a particular community. The project duration is 12 or 24 months.

Implementation Grants: Implementation grants are intended for eligible entities to scale up or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. Applicants may focus on a relatively discrete set of schools as direct recipients of project activities or may provide products and services with a national, regional, or statewide relevance and scope. As such, eligible activities may include: training and technical assistance, supply-chain development, evaluation activities, curriculum development, creation of promotional materials or campaigns, and, formation of networks or coalitions, among other activities. The project duration is 12 or 24 months.

Training Grants: Training grants are intended to support eligible entities to conduct state, regional, and national level trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains and/or increase trainees’ knowledge and capacity related to local procurement, food safety, school gardens, culinary education, and/or integration of agriculture‐based curricula. Applications that have a specific emphasis on developing supply chain relationships between local producers and school food buyers will also be considered. The project duration is 12 months.

Applicant Eligibility for

  • Planning and Implementation Grants: Eligible schools, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers, and non-profit entities are eligible to receive planning and implementation grants.
  • Training Grants: Only state and local agencies, Indian Tribal Organizations, small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers, and non-profit entities are eligible to receive training grant funds.

Funding Levels: Approximately $5 million is available. Planning and Training grant awards range from $20,000 to $50,000, and Implementation grant awards range from $50,000 to $100,000.

Match: A 25 percent cash or in-kind funding match of the total budget is required.

The grant is due December 8, 2017 and the estimated award date is May 2018.

The full Request for Concept Proposals can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison & Company’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530.893.4764.

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