On October 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened its FY 2022 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. The Farm to School Grant Program, administered by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), seeks to bring locally or regionally produced foods into schools, including sourcing local agriculture for school meal programs, providing hands-on learning activities and consolidating food-related education into standards-based classroom curriculum. FNS expects to award approximately $12 million in Farm to School Grants during this cycle. Eligible entities, including local government agencies, must submit their application by January 10, 2022.
Since 2012, the Farm to School Grant program has provided approximately $5 million in competitive grants each year to increase local food procurement for school meal programs and to expand educational activities related to agriculture and food. Along with schools and other community stakeholders, county government agencies are among the entities eligible to apply for funds to expand and implement existing farm to school initiatives. County agencies can also apply for turnkey grants, which have simplified application requirements and support four predefined activities: Action planning, edible gardening, agricultural education and producer-focused training projects.
More information about the Farm to School Grant Program is available here, and a list of Fiscal Year 2021 grantees can be found here. Counties interested in applying for the program can find additional resources here.
NACo supports the Farm to School Grant Program and other initiatives that promote access to healthy food in schools while supporting local agriculture.