2009 and 2010 NSLP Equipment Assistance Grants In 2009, USDA received a one-time appropriation of $25 million for equipment assistance to eligible school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Due to the overwhelming need for equipment in schools, a second one-time grant of $10 million was appropriated in 2010. As mandated by the legislation, the 2010 equipment grants went to school food authorities that participated in the NSLP and that did not receive equipment grant awarded in Fiscal Year 2009. The majority of these grant funds were used to update and enhance school cafeteria equipment, which in some cases allowed schools to begin using or processing local produce. /li>
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Wellness Grants The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Wellness Grants provided $8 million to State agencies who administer the child care portion of the CACFP to develop and implement programs promoting the health and nutrition improvement of children in child care settings. State agencies were required to award no less than 50 percent of those funds via sub-grants to child care institutions to promote the health and nutrition improvement of children in child care settings. Funding was used for equipment and gardens.
Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center Grants The purpose of the grants were used to establish and support a Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center to increase access to healthy affordable foods, including locally produced agricultural products, to underserved communities. The Centers provide training and technical assistance for food enterprises and awarded sub-grants to eligible entities for healthy food enterprise development. Several of these grants supported Farm to School infrastructure needs, season extension options, curriculum development to connect farmers to students, and training programs.
National Research Initiative (NRI) The National Research Initiative (NRI) Competitive Grants Program at USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) was charged with funding research, education, and extension activities to address key problems of national and regional importance in biological, environmental, physical, and social sciences relevant to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities. The 2008 Farm Bill did not reauthorize this program, however the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (ARFI)supports the same type of projects as NRI.
People's Garden School Pilot Program In 2011, the People’s Garden School Pilot Program was awarded to Washington State University (WSU) to develop school gardens in 70 high-poverty schools located in various urban, suburban, and rural areas in New York, Iowa, Arkansas, and New York involving an estimated 2,800 students. In partnership with Cooperative Extension staff, 4-H Clubs, and Master Gardener programs in each state, WSU worked with schools to provide youth-led garden projects during the school year as well as throughout the summer, and will work with school food service providers to incorporate fresh garden produce into the school meals and snacks.
People's Garden Grant Program The People's Garden Grant Program was designed to facilitate the creation of produce, recreation, and/or wildlife gardens in urban and rural areas, which will provide opportunities for science-based informal education and micro-sub-grant support for smaller local projects.
Risk Management Education Cooperative Marketing Grant USDA's Risk Management Agency has partnered with educational institutions and community based organizations to provide farmers and ranchers (especially minority, limited resource and traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers) with information on new ways to manage risk. This program funded risk management strategies related to production (e.g., crop insurance, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training, etc.), marketing, legal, human, and financial issues, which enabled farmers to sell to school districts.