Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced a new program this week promoting opportunities for nutrition and agriculture education while providing new opportunities for food producers and communities nationwide. The Farm to School Grant Program is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which authorized and funded USDA to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. New investments will assist schools in procuring local foods. Farm to school initiatives can also include agriculture and nutrition education efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms, and cooking classes. According to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), these grants “will help schools respond to the growing demand for locally sourced foods and increase market opportunities for producers and food businesses, including food processors, manufacturers, distributors and other value-added operations.”
USDA will host a webinar related to Implementation grants on May 15th at 1:00 pm EST and a webinar related to Planning grants on May 17th at 1:00 pm EST. For more information on webinars, the farm to school grant program, or USDA's farm to school efforts in general, visit the USDA Farm to School website.
Read the News Release "USDA Announces New Farm to School Program to Improve the Health and Nutrition of Kids Receiving School Meals".
This guest post was provided by Patrick J. Donnelly, AOCS Chief Executive Officer. Thank you Pat for writing and thank you for reading!