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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Farm to School Grant Program

Deadline: May 20, 2015

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. Competitive grants are made for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Types of grants include:

  • Support Service grants: These grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with schools or school districts to further develop and provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.
  • Implementation grants: These grants are intended to help schools or school districts scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
  • Planning grants: These grants are for schools or school districts just getting started on farm to school activities and are intended to help these entities organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by embedding known best practices into early design considerations.
  • Training grants: Training grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities to support trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or trainings that provide technical assistance in the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and/or integration of agriculture‐based curriculum.

USDA considers the following priorities for FY 2016:

  • Projects that include a focus on innovative procurement strategies.
  • Projects that aim to bring local or regional foods into school-based Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) projects that serve children in pre-K settings and school-based Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) sites.
  • Project submissions that reach more than one school.

In addition, service programs (e.g. AmeriCorps, VISTA, local service corps programs, etc.) play a significant role in building farm to school capacity nationwide by placing service members in positions that support a wide variety of farm to school initiatives in communities across the country.

Amount:

  • Planning awards range from $20,000 – $45,000 for 18 months
  • Implementation and Support Service awards range from $65,000 – $100,000 for 12-24 months
  • Training awards range from $15,000 – $50,000 for 12 months

Matching funds of 25% are required for all four grant types.

Eligibility: Eligibility varies by grant type:

  • Support Service Grants: State and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities
  • Implementation Grants: Pre-K-12 School Finance Authorities, non-profit private schools, charter schools, Indian tribal schools, and others that participate in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs, and/or operate USDA’s Summer Food Service Program/Seamless Summer Option or Child and Adult Care Food Program on-site
  • Planning Grants: Pre-K-12 School Finance Authorities, non-profit private schools, charter schools, Indian tribal schools, and others that participate in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs, and/or operate USDA’s Summer Food Service Program/Seamless Summer Option or Child and Adult Care Food Program on-site
  • Training Grants: State and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities

Link: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/f2s/FY2016_FSGP_RFA.pdf

Note: There is a Letter of Intent due April 30 if applying for a Training grant.

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