Monday, March 16, 2015

USDA releases RFAs for Farm to School grants

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the release of a request for applications for the USDA's Fiscal Year 2016 round of Farm to School grants. Designed to increase the availability of local foods in eligible schools, these grants help new farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts, facilitating stronger connections between local and regional producers and school cafeterias.

Four different kinds of grants are available:
  • Planning grants for schools or school districts just getting started on farm to school activities
  • Implementation grants for schools or school districts seeking to augment or expand existing farm to school efforts. 
  • Support service grants are intended for nonprofit entities, Indian tribal organizations, state and local agencies, and agriculture producers or groups of producers to evolve farm to school initiatives.
  • Training and technical assistance grants, such as local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and integration of agriculture based curriculum.

  • Proposals for planning, implementation, and support service grants are due at 11:59 p.m. EST, May 20, 2015. Letters of intent for training grants are due at 11:59 p.m. EST, April 30, 2015. To assist eligible entities in preparing proposals, USDA will host a webinar related to the application process on March 25, 2015, 1:00 EST.

More information about the grant program, upcoming webinars relevant to applicants, and sample grant applications can be found on-line at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school-grant-program.

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