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USDA Awarding $3.5 Million in Farm-to-School Grants

 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details this week about its Farm to School Grant Program, an initiative that will give up to $3.5 million in grants to “support efforts that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.” 

The agency unveiled its request for applications on Tuesday, and interested applicants are asked submit letters of intent by May 18. Final proposals are due on June 15.

Two types of grants are expected to be provided through the program, which is being implemented through the USDA Food & Nutrition Service (FNS). For both types of grants, applicants must provide at least 25 percent of the costs of the grant project; the USDA can only provide up to 75 percent of total funds.

Planning grants will be given to schools that are just beginning to incorporate farm to school programs in their operations. Grants will range from $20,000 to $45,000 and represent about 25 percent of the total awards.

Farm to school programs already in place can apply for implementation grants, which are designed to help scale or further develop ongoing initiatives. Implementation grants are expected to range from $65,000 to $100,000.

Interested applicants can learn more about the grant process during upcoming webinars, scheduled for May 15 for implementation grants and May 17 for planning grants. Applicants also can contact Deborah Kane, national director of the Farm to School Program, at Deborah.kane@fns.usda.gov or Gregory Walton, FNS grant management specialist, at farm2school2013@fns.usda.gov.

Click here to learn more about the USDA Farm to School Grant Program.