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

Deadline: December 13, 2019

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) establishes a farm to school program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.

Designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools, grants can help new farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts. Grants are intended as one‐time infusions of funds to help grantees accomplish farm to school objectives that will be sustained in the long term. 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 funding tracks available:

  • Planning grants: Planning grants are intended to increase the amount of local food in eligible schools by providing funding for the development of an Action Plan designed to initiate or expand farm to school programs. They are intended for eligible entities that are just getting started with farm to school activities. Planning grants should focus primarily on goals and activities that lay a solid foundation for launching or scaling farm to school work.
  • Implementation grants: Implementation grants are intended to increase the amount of local food in eligible schools by providing funding for eligible entities to scale up or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. Implementation grants are appropriate for eligible entities with established partnerships, a defined farm to school objective or objectives, and/or past success implementing farm to school activities. Applicants may focus on a relatively discrete set of schools as direct recipients of project activities, or may provide products and services that have national, regional, or statewide relevance and scope.
  • State Agency grants (new): State Agency grants are intended to increase the amount of local food served in eligible schools by funding State agencies to support and grow farm to school efforts in their states. Eligible State agencies include any State‐level agency working to promote farm to Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) activities in eligible schools, such as State Departments of Education, Health, or Agriculture. The State agency does not need to administer the CNP in order to be eligible for this track; however, the State agency applicant must include a letter of support from the relevant CNP‐administering State agency. Eligible State agencies are not eligible for any other grant track.

Schools, school districts, Indian Tribal Organizations, producers, and nonprofit organizations that have received Implementation, Training, or Support Service grants through the Farm to School Grant Program in the last three funding cycles (FY 2017, 2018, or FY 2019) are not eligible to apply in FY 2020; however, former Planning grantees may apply for the Farm to School Implementation grant after the active Planning grant has been completely closed out. State agencies that received a Farm to School Grant in any prior year are eligible to apply for the State Agency track in FY 2020, and State agencies with active farm to school projects may still apply to the State Agency grant track. Eligible applicants who received an award in a fiscal year prior to 2017 are encouraged to propose projects that differ from previous awards to the same applicant organization.

Amount: Award ranges are dependent upon grant type, as follows:

  • Planning grants: Awards range from $20,000‐$50,000 for a period of 12 months
  • Implementation grants: Awards range from $50,000-$100,000 for a period of 12 or 24 months
  • State Agency grants: Awards range from $50,000-$100,000 for a period of 12 or 24 months

A 25 percent cash or in‐kind funding match is required to receive a Farm to School Grant award.

Eligibility: Dependent upon grant type, as follows:

  • Planning grants: Schools and/or school districts, nonprofit organizations, Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs), agricultural producers, and local agencies
  • Implementation grants: Schools and/or school districts, nonprofit organizations, ITOs, agricultural producers, and local agencies
  • State Agency grants: State agencies (Departments of Education, Agriculture, Health, etc.)

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=321407

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