Farm to school is broadly defined as a movement that connects K-12 schools with local farms and the main objective is to serve healthy meals in the school cafeterias, improve students’ nutrition and provide education opportunities in the fields of agriculture, health and nutrition and all this is done by giving moral and financial support to local and regional farmers. Vast majority of farm to school grants is available through the U.S Department of Agriculture. If your school or organization is engaged in this movement, it can receive funding directly from USDA.
However, there are many private and nonprofit organizations also that offer financial assistance to groups and associations that have taken the responsibility of educating children and making them aware of nutrition and health. The main intention of these programs is to help children adopt healthy and nutritional way of living as early as possible in life. This is not done by giving lectures or providing nutritional food to students, but also by taking children to field trips, engaging them in school gardens or other activities that can give them food related education.
If you are planning to start such program or need funding for your existing one, you will have to look for government grants for farm to school programs. There is assistance available at state and local level also. Do not overlook them because you never know which of these funding programs would select your organization for the financial assistance. So, search for the farm to school grants funded by private resources also and see whether you are eligible to apply for them or not.
It is advisable to apply for the grant programs for which you and your organization qualify because only then there will be chances of receiving the grant money in support of your program. Remember, grants are available for schools in both, rural and urban environments. So, select the right category of program and apply for it only after reading and understanding the guidelines. Grants are available for training, developing school gardens, purchasing equipments, supporting operations, developing partnerships and implementing farm to school programs.
Go through the eligibility requirements and the program guidance and information thoroughly. By visiting the legitimate website of the government you will be able to find the different categories and their respective descriptions regarding farm to school grants funding available through the federal government. You can get your questions answered by sending email to inquiry as well.