Farm To School

FY 2015 Farm to School Grant Program Funds Available

Last Modified: 05/06/2014

The application period for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Farm to School Grant Program has now closed. USDA expects to make award announcements for planning, implementation, and support service grants in November 2014.

Per the request for applications, USDA will confirm receipt of all applications by May 21, 2014. If you do not receive an email, please contact us at farmtoschool@fns.usda.gov.

Awards for conference/event grants will be made in FY 2014 (or prior to October 1, 2014).

Information from the FY 2015 application period can be found below.

On February 19, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of federal funds for the FY 2015 Farm to School Grant Program. See the press release here.

FY 2015 Request for Applications (pdf)

FY 2015 Request for Applications (doc)

Program Description

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:

  1. Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
  1. Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
  1. 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.

  1. 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 hosted four webinars to assist eligible entities in preparing proposals for the FY 2015 Request for Applications. Please visit our Webinar page by clicking here for recordings from these webinars. 

Sample Proposals

To assist applicants in preparing their grant submissions, USDA has shared winning proposals from the FY 2014 round of funding. Each grant application will be unique to the applicant and the community it is intended to serve; the samples below should not be considered as templates or guides. They are illustrative only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to many commonly asked questions can be found here. USDA encourages applicants to scan the FAQ’s prior to contacting USDA with specific questions. Click here for instructions for completing the SF-424. Click here for instructions for completing the SF-424a.

For help determining the rural/urban classification code for the grant coversheet, click here.

Information on Previous Grant Cycles

To see the list of awardees from the first round of funding in FY 2013, click here. For the press release, click here. For a summary report of FY 2013 awardees, click here.

To see the list of awardees from the FY 2014 funding cycle, click here. For the press release, click here.

Contact Us
For all questions pertaining to the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, please contact us via email at farmtoschool@fns.usda.gov. And to receive information and updates about USDA’s Farm to School Program, please sign up for our Farm to School E-letter.