U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food & Nutrition Service – FY23 Farm to School Grant
The Farm to School Program aims to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in the USDA Food and Nutrition (FNS) Child Nutrition Programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Funds support activities such as training, operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, and developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Priority is given to projects that:
• Make local food products available on the menu of the eligible school.
• Serve a high proportion of children who are eligible for free or reduced price lunches.
• Incorporate experiential nutrition education activities in curriculum planning that encourage the
participation of school children in farm and garden-based agricultural education activities.
• Demonstrate collaboration between eligible schools, nongovernmental and community-based
organizations, agricultural producer groups, and other community partners.
• Include adequate and participatory evaluation plans.
• Demonstrate the potential for long-term program sustainability.
The current Farm to School grant includes three tracks – Turnkey, Implementation, and State Agency – to support a variety of projects and implementation stages, as detailed below.
Turnkey grants: The Turnkey grant is a new opportunity intended to streamline and simplify the application process by requiring that all grantees must engage in specific, prescribed activities. Applicants may apply to one of the following Turnkey projects (see solicitation for more details on each): (1) farm to school action plan development, for entities who have never received a Farm to School grant before; (2) agricultural education curriculum development and delivery; and (3) edible gardening, focused on developing food-producing gardens based at schools and/or CACFP/SFSP sites. To streamline the application process, required activities are fully specified within the solicitation and Turnkey applicants submit a simplified proposal narrative.
Implementation grants: An implementation grant works well for eligible entities with prior farm to school experience, helping scale up or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. Examples of activities include training and technical assistance, supply-chain development, evaluation activities, conducting a regional farm to school institute, creation of promotional materials or campaigns, and formation of networks or coalitions. Eligible entities proposing projects of national or multi-State scope may apply for Implementation grants that exceed $100,000, up to $500,000.
State Agency grant awards: Grants are intended to help State agencies improve access to local food served in eligible child nutrition programs (CNP) by incorporating local procurement and agricultural education activities. Eligible State agencies include any State-level agency working to promote farm to CNP activities, such as State Departments of Education, Health, or Agriculture.
Amounts: Award ranges are dependent upon grant type, as follows:
· Turnkey grants: Offers the choice between three project types in amounts up to $50,000 over a period of 12 or 24 months.
· Implementation grant: Awards range from $50,000 to $500,000 over a period of 12 or 24 months.
· State Agency grants: Awards range from $50,000 to $500,000 over a period of 12 or 24 months.
Match requirement: 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:
• Implementation grants and Turnkey (Action Planning; Edible Garden; Agricultural Education Curriculum): Schools or institutions that participate in CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program), SFSP (Summer Food Service Program), NSLP (National School Lunch Program), and/or the National School Breakfast Program; local agencies; Indian Tribal Organizations; agricultural producers; and nonprofits.
• State Agency grants and Turnkey (Producer Training): State agencies (Departments of Education Agriculture, Health, etc.).
Priority is given to:
• Applications that serve a high proportion of children (at least 40 percent or more) who are eligible for free or reduced price meals.
• Applications from Indian Tribal Organizations and entities serving tribal communities.
• Applications from small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to medium-sized agricultural producers.
• Projects located in or targeting Opportunity Zones.
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