The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. New in FY 2015, USDA will make approximately an additional $500,000 available to eligible entities to support conferences, trainings, and events focused on farm to school program development. In this funding round, USDA is soliciting applications for four types of grants:
Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.
Proposals for planning, implementation, and support service grants are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 30, 2014. A 25% cash or in-kind match of the total project cost is required.
Conference/Event grants are open to all interested parties. They are intended to support conferences, events and trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or conferences, events and trainings that provide technical assistance in the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education and integration of agriculture‐based curriculum.
Letters of Intent for Conference/Event grants are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 2, 2014.
Important Dates and Deadlines
February 19, 2014: Request for Applications Released
April 2, 2014: Conference/Event Letters of Intent due via email (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)
April 30, 2014: Planning, Implementation, and Support service proposals due via grants.gov (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)
November 2014: Awards Announced and Funds Available (pending the availability of federal funds)
Webinars to Learn More
USDA will host four webinars to assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. All webinars will be recorded and available via this webpage within 1-2 weeks of initial viewing.
Planning Grant Webinar: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Implementation Grant Webinar: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Support Service Grant Webinar: Thursday, March 13, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Conference/Event Grant Webinar: Friday, March 14 – 1:00 p.m. EST
There is no registration required. Both and Internet connection and telephone line are required in order to view and listen to the webinar. Sound will not come through your computer speakers. To view the webinar via Live Meeting, click here. To listen to the webinar, dial 888-989-7679 and use the passcode 3915580.
Source: Federal Register