Community Food Systems

Farm to School Grant Program

Last Published: 12/10/2018

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, 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 Farm to School Grantee Report is Now Available

The Office of Community Food Systems (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 Grant Program

The FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now closed.

The RFA closed December 4, 2018, 11:59pm ET. Late applications will not be accepted.  OCFS anticipates releasing award decisions in late spring or early summer of 2019.

FY 2018 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 2018-2019 school year, the Farm to School Grant program will be supporting 73 grants serving more than 6,006 schools and 2.8 million students, nearly 66 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced price meals. You can learn more about our FY 18 grant projects and the great work being done by visiting our FY 2018 List of Awardees.

Grant Related Resources

Contact Us

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.