Community Food Systems

Farm to School Grant Program

Last Published: 03/28/2016

Welcome

Thank you for your interest in the Farm to School Grant Program! On this page you will find an overview of the program, information about available funding and past awards, resources for current grantees and more.

Overview

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.

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 schools or school districts to further develop and provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.

Implementation grants are intended to help schools or school districts scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.

Planning grants are for schools or school districts just getting started on farm to school activities and are intended to help these entities organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by embedding known best practices into early design considerations.

Training grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities to support trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or trainings that provide technical assistance in the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and/or integration of agriculture‐based curriculum.

Planning awards range from $20,000 - $45,000; implementation and support service awards range from $65,000 - $100,000; training awards range from $15,000 - $50,000. Matching funds of 25% are required for all four grant types.

Grant Awards to Date

Congratulations to the 74 projects that received a 2016 Farm to School Grant award! Nearly $5 million in grants were awarded to projects spanning 39 states to fund school districts, state and local agencies, tribal nations, agricultural producers, and non-profit 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.

For a complete list of 2016 Farm to School Grant recipients, please see the 2016 Farm to School Grants summary. To read more about the grant announcement, please see the November 17, 2015 press release.

Hungry for more? Don't miss this photo gallery showcasing the great work of USDA Farm to School grantees, and read about past funded projects on our Grant Awards page.

Grantee Resources

Current grantees can access the resources needed to manage the grant life cycle here. Can't find what you are looking for? Let us know!

FY 2016 Grantee Resources

Available Farm to School Grant Program Funding

The request for applications (RFA) for FY2016 funding closed May 20, 2015. You can find archived versions of the RFA and application materials on the FNS Grant Opportunities page. Below is the anticipated schedule for FY2017:

September 2016: Release FY2017 request for Farm to School Grant applications
November 2016: FY2017 Farm to School Grant applications due
May 2017: Announce awards

We will continue to keep you updated on the USDA Farm to School Grant Program through our E-letter and our website.

Other Funding Sources for Farm to School

Click here to view a chart that outlines other USDA programs that support farm to school initiatives. For additional information, please check out the Sustaining Your Program training module.

FY 2013-2015 Summary of Grant Awards

This report, which provides an in-depth look at our first three years of grant-making, summarizes findings from an analysis of select data from projects funded during fiscal years (FY) 2013 -2015. It combines both quantitative data about planned activities derived from coding used during the proposal review process and qualitative stories about completed activities primarily from grantee progress reports.

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act tasked USDA with supporting farm to school efforts through grants, training, technical assistance, and research. We’re pleased to support these programs, and feel confident the grantees whom we fund are establishing models that can be emulated and built upon by districts nationwide.

Contact Us

For all questions pertaining to the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, please contact us via email at farmtoschool@fns.usda.gov. To receive information and updates from USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems, please sign up for our E-letter.