Farm to School Grant Program
Application Deadline: Jan 12, 2024
USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
Offers funding and technical assistance to schools and other eligible entities to plan, implement, expand, and maintain farm to school programs. Promotes collaboration between schools, local agricultural producers, and other community partners, with the goal of increasing access to local foods in schools and providing educational opportunities on topics related to local food and nutrition.
Funding is awarded through the following tracks:
- Turnkey - Action Planning Grants support the development of a written farm to school action plan to be submitted at the end of the grant period.
- Turnkey – Agricultural Education Grants focus on connecting students with their food and/or preparing them for careers in agriculture through thoughtful and relevant agricultural education.
- Turnkey – Edible Garden Grants support efforts to develop or improve food-producing gardens based at schools and/or Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites.
- Implementation Grants seek to improve access to local foods in eligible schools by supporting comprehensive farm to school programming that includes local procurement and agricultural education efforts
- State Agency Grants support statewide efforts to increase the amount of local food served in eligible schools and facilities participating in Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) and to promote agricultural education.
Additional information regarding required program objectives and activities for each funding track can be found in the program guidance.
Funding priorities in fiscal year (FY) 2024 include:
- Applications that serve a high proportion of children, at least 40% or more, who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals
- Applications from Indian tribal organizations and eligible entities led or staffed by American Indians and Alaska Natives that serve tribal communities.
- Applications from eligible entities led or staffed by Black/African Americans that propose projects to serve Black communities.
- Applications from eligible entities led or staffed by people of color that propose projects to serve communities of color.
- Applications from small to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small to medium-sized producers
- Projects operating in and serving eligible schools/sites located in rural areas, which is defined as an area where the school participating in the project, or the location of the site participating in the project is located in the attendance boundary of a school with a locality code of 41, 42, or 43 using the National Center for Education Statistics Tool to determine urban/rural classification.
Amount of Funding
Award amounts for each of the 3 funding tracks are as follows:
- Up to $50,000 for Turnkey grants
- $50,000 - $100,000 or $100,001 - $500,000 for Implementation grants
- $50,000 - $500,000 for State Agency grants
Project period: 24 months
Estimated number of awards: 150
Estimated total program funding: $12,000,000
Applicants must provide matching funds of at least 25% of the total project budget. Matching funds can be cash and/or in-kind contributions and must be from non-federal sources.
Who Can Apply
Applications may be submitted by:
- Schools, school districts, and non-school based sites that operate the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs, CACFP, and/or SFSP
- State agencies
- Local agencies
- Indian tribal organizations
- Agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers
- Nonprofit entities
Eligibility varies depending on the track through which the applicant is seeking funding. Additional information regarding eligibility for each of the 3 available funding tracks is available in the funding announcement.
What This Program Funds
Capacity Building • Equipment • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing
Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the online application process can be found in the funding announcement.
For programmatic or technical
Past awards communities received in FY 2023 can be found on the program website.
Rural communities who have received funding include:
- Chatham School District in Angoon, Alaska received funding to extend farm to school programming to the remote, rural city of Gustavus. The program aims to enhance school-to-home connections, address child hunger and nutrition, create a generation of growers, support food sovereignty for isolated communities, and link classroom learning with necessary skills for life in remote areas.
- Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska used grant funds to provide technical education, farmer mentorship, and mini-grants for programs focused on specialty crop production at 8 rural schools. Topics will include greenhouse production, poultry raising, beekeeping, and orchard development. The goal of the program is to give students the tools to become beginning farmers.
- Hub on the Hill, Inc. in Essex, New York was awarded funding to expand participation in their food hub's farm to school program, which provides minimally processed food to schools in northeastern New York. The project will establish a farm to school delivery route and offer training to cafeteria staff to increase access to more local foods.
Topics This Program Addresses
American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians • Community Planning and Coalition Building • Health and Wellness • Schools