PA Farm Bill Farm-to-School Grants: $500,000 Available to Schools for Healthy, Local Foods

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,

PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding is inviting schools and childhood education centers to apply for $500,000 in PA Farm Bill Farm-to-School Grants. Up to $15,000 per school is available for projects aimed at improving access to healthy, local foods and increasing hands-on learning experiences for children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

“Introducing children to fresh, locally produced foods changes lives,” Secretary Redding said. “Children in turn introduce their families to fresh foods and make connections between their food and people who raise it for them. Their habits change, their minds are fed, and their career possibilities expand. Farm-to-School grants are a solid investment in feeding minds and feeding our future.”

The Pennsylvania Farm Bill Farm-to-School Grant Program was created to help families and local producers of fresh, healthy food connect with each other. The program does this by changing food purchasing habits in schools. In doing so, the program increases access to markets for local farms and exposes children early to agriculture, agriculture careers, and healthy food choices.

All school districts, schools, charter schools, private schools, or centers that participate in a Federal Child Nutrition Program are eligible to apply for the program. Once accepted, schools will receive funding to purchase locally-grown produce and serve it in their cafeterias. The program is an excellent way for Pennsylvania children to learn about where their food comes from and how it affects their bodies and the environment.

Projects identify local farmers to supply fresh, in-season products to support educational programming, or cultivated their own school gardens. In addition to improving student access to local, nutritious foods, funded projects provide hands-on agriculture education experiences.

Grant applications must be submitted online through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications are due by 5:00 PM on October 14, 2022.

Full grant guidelines are published in the September 10 edition of the PA Bulletin.

Find a map of previous PA Farm Bill grant recipients in your area and details of other PA Farm Bill grants and initiatives to grow and sustain Pennsylvania agriculture at agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

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