Tuesday, November 17, 2015

USDA funds farm to school efforts

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $4.8 million in grants for 74 projects spanning 39 states that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program.

USDA's Farm to School Grants fund school districts, state and local agencies, tribal nations, agricultural producers, and nonprofit organizations in their efforts to increase local foods served through child nutrition programs, teach children about food and agriculture through garden and classroom education, and develop schools' and farmers' capacities to participate in farm to school. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 are distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.

For the 2016 school year, grants will serve more than 5,211 schools and 2.9 million students, nearly 40 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. In Colorado, funded projects include:

Chef Ann Foundation Boulder, Colorado Grant Type: Support Service; $95,656 
The Chef Ann Foundation will create free, accessible tools to support school district implementation and expansion of farm to school practices. This national project will support scratch cooking, local procurement, nutrition education, and other farm to school operations. The Chef Ann Foundation will develop scalable farm to school recipes and menu cycles for preschool and K-12 age groups.

Colorado Farm to School Task Force Denver, Colorado Grant Type: Training – State 
The Colorado Farm to School Task Force, in partnership with the Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment, will conduct trainings to increase the number of Colorado’s fruit and vegetable producers available to sell to Colorado schools. The training consists of a Producers’ Intensive Farm to School Getting Started training and a farm to school mentorship program that matches seasoned producers currently selling to schools with producers interested in selling to schools.

For a complete list of 2016 Farm to School Grant recipients, please see the 2016 Farm to School Grants summary page.

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