Farm to School Grants Program (FNS)
Max award: Planning, Implementation and Support Service grants are available from $20,000 - $100,000. Matching funds of 25% of the total project is required.
Big idea: To help schools source more foods locally and to provide complementary educational activities to students that emphasize food, farming, and nutrition.
Who can apply: Eligible schools, State and Local agencies, Indian Tribal Organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities.
Possibilities: Applicants are planning programs to bring local or regionally produced foods into school cafeterias; hands-on learning activities such as school gardening, farm visits, and culinary classes; and the integration of food-related education into the regular, standards-based classroom curriculum.
Real example: Portland Maine Public Schools is using a Farm to School grant to update central kitchen equipment, certifications, and training in order to become a large-volume processor of local foods. The project also includes a number of experiential learning activities such as school gardens, after-school agriculture clubs, school curriculum, taste testing, and chef-to-school. The school district will also hold an annual "Local Food Show" open to the public exhibiting the farms, recipes, and student projects related to farm to school.