Just In: USDA Farm to School grant applications available

USDA request for applications (RFA) are now available for the new Farm to School grant program. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is in its first funding cycle for grants planning or implementing new or expanded Farm to School programs. USDA expects to award up to $3.5 million to support access to local foods in eligible schools.

Read all about the grant process and download the RFA here.

According to the USDA, grant funds will be made available on a competitive basis, subject to availability of Federal funds. Applicants are encouraged to first submit a letter of intent and then apply for either a planning grant or an implementation grant. Planning grants are expected to range from $20,000 – $45,000 and represent approximately 25 percent of the total awards. Implementation grants are expected to range from $65,000 – $100,000 and represent approximately 75 percent of the total awards. Both grant types require a minimum 25% investment match with up to 75% of funding from Federal monies available.

Important dates:
May 15, 1 p.m. EST – Webinar (implementation grants)
May 17, 1 p.m. EST – Webinar (planning grants)
May 18 – Letter of Intent Deadline (suggested)
June 15 – Applications Due

This new funding mechanism offers an exciting opportunity for schools to participate more fully in accessing fresh, locally grown foods for students. A healthy win-win for communities and students!

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