Farm to School Grant Program
Section 18 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act was amended to create a Farm to School Program to:
- Distribute grant funding to improve access to local foods in schools;
- Provide training and technical assistance to improve access to local foods in schools; and,
- Disseminate research and data on existing programs and opportunities for expansion.
On an annual basis, USDA awards competitive Farm to School grants to be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Farm to School Grant Program was appropriated additional funding. In FY 2019 and FY 2020, Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) will release approximately $7.5 million to help reach more communities seeking to incorporate local products into the school meal programs, integrate agricultural education into the classroom, and cultivate and expand school gardens.
NEW! The 2020 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications is Now Live
The Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2020 Farm to School Grant Program is now online and available through Grants.gov. This year, FNS seeks to award up to $10 million to schools, school districts, nonprofits, state and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan, and implement farm to school activities. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 will be available for approved proposals in FY 2020. All interested applicants are encouraged to visit the grant announcement.
NEW! The Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications is Now Live
The Office of Community Food Systems is pleased to announce the new Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications (RFA). This new grant for fiscal year 2020 will support the creation and dissemination of information on farm to school program development, and provide practitioner education and training, and ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. The Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding at least two grants with a combined total of $150,000, to eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations working regionally to promote farm to school activities and support practitioners. More information can be found online at Grants.gov with the RFA.
The Farm to School Grantee Report is Now Available
OCFS is pleased to announce the release of a new report Cultivating Opportunity: An Overview of USDA's Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 Farm to School Grantees' Growing Achievements. This report highlights Farm to School program trends and best practices from Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 Farm to School Grantees. This report also features baseline data provided by grantees which is used to assess the impact of the grant program on the growth of the Farm to School movement nationwide.
FY 2019 Farm to School Grantees
USDA’s Farm to School Grants fund school districts, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, 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.
Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the Farm to School Grant program will be supporting 126 grants serving more than 5,400 schools and 3.2 million students, nearly 64 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced price meals. You can learn more about our FY 19 grant projects and the great work being done by visiting our FY 2019 List of Awardees.
For all questions pertaining to the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, please email Farm to School. Subscribe to our E-letter to receive information and updates from USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems.