Farm to School Grant Program


The Farm to School program exists in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. The program has three tracks: planning, implementation and support service. •Planning grants are for schools or school districts just getting started on farm to school activities and are intended to help these entities organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by embedding known best practices into early design considerations. •Implementation grants are intended to help schools or school districts to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. •Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with schools or school districts to further develop and provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives. Examples of support service projects include: aggregating local food supply to more effectively meet the needs of school districts; testing products or conducting school food market feasibility analyses; developing new local food products or formulations to meet the needs of schools; improving infrastructure to accommodate new ingredients or menu items; forming statewide or regional networks or coalitions of varying kinds; and more.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Cooperative Agreements; Dissemination of Technical Information; Project Grants; Training
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: FY 2014: Planning - $1.2 million; Implementation - $1.4 million; Support service - $2.5 million; Food Corps - $3.5 million.

In FY2013, USDA entered into a two year cooperative agreement with an AmeriCorps program, Food Corps, in order to deliver Congressionally mandated farm to school related training and technical assistance to communities across the country. Food Corps trains service members to implement school garden, local procurement and experiential learning training and technical assistance in schools and school partners. This cooperative agreement was issued ran FY2014-FY2015 and totaled $500,000 over these two years. Fiscal Year 2015: The program intends to award approximately 70 grant awards at the approximate levels: 25% planning, 25% implementation and 50% support service. Awards will be made to all eligible entities and be geographically diverse. Fiscal Year 2016: FY 2016: Planning - $1 million; Implementation - $1.4 million; Support service - $2.5 million; Training - $.7 million.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) amended Section 18 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to establish a Farm to School program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. , Section 243. , Section 243.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Assistance will be used to increase the availability of local foods in schools.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Eligible entities, and therefore beneficiaries, include schools, Indian Tribal Organizations, non profit organizations, schools, producer and producer groups and State and local agencies.
Non profit organizations will be required to submit proof of 501(c) 3 non profit status. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Not applicable.
Award Procedure
All applications that meet the published deadline for submission will be screened for completeness and conformity to the requirements as announced in the RFA package. Grants are awarded by a competitive process via a review panel composed of FNS and other Federal staff that will determine the technical merit of each grant application, provide a numerical score, and make recommendations to selecting officials.

The Foodcorp partnership is executed as a cooperative agreement.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. There is presently no other approval information.
From 30 to 60 days. Applicants can submit appeals directly to the Grant Officer using the contact information provided in the request for application.
There is no additional renewals information at this time.
How are proposals selected?
Criteria for selecting proposals is detailed in the RFA and includes degree to which the project serves a school or school district with a high percentage of free and reduced price meal enrollment; need, readiness and likelihood of sucess; alignment with farm to school program goals; project design and management; sustainability and transferability; and appropriateness of budget plan.
How may assistance be used?
Assistance in improving access to local foods in eligible schools can take the form of: (i) Training; ii) Supporting operations; (iii) Planning; (iv) Purchasing equipment; (v) Developing school gardens; (vi) Developing partnerships; and (vii) Implementing farm to school programs. No more than 10 percent of the grant funds may be used for food purchases in the grant budget. Food purchases are limited to food for educational or development purposes, such as taste tests or the development of new recipes.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. Grant recipients are responsible for managing and monitoring the progress of the grant project activities and performance. Planning grant awardees will submit a mid-term progress report and a final report. Implementation grant awardees will submit progress reports on a quarterly basis throughout the grant term and a final report. The award document will indicate the reporting format and schedule for submitting project performance/progress reports to FNS. Planning grant awardees will submit a mid-term financial report and a final financial report. Implementation and support service grant awardees will submit financial reports on a quarterly basis throughout the grant term and a financial report. As a condition of receiving a grant, grant recipients shall agree to cooperate in an evaluation of the program carried out using grant funds. Upon selection of grant awardees, USDA will provide further guidance and direction regarding evaluation protocols and common indicators. Applicants should expect that evaluation protocols will include both process evaluations (qualitative and quantitative indicators of progress toward the objectives, accomplishment of activities) and outcome evaluations (to determine whether the objectives were met and what impact they had).
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. The single Audit process and compliance supplement.
The grantee must maintain records in accordance with the grant agreement. Such records must be retained for a period of three years after the date of submission of the final report for the fiscal year to which the records pertain.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 25.%. The applicant must provide at least 25 percent of the costs of the grant project as the federal share of costs for this grant cannot exceed 75 percent of the total cost of the project.
This program does not have MOE requirements. No additional information is available at this time.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Planning and training grants will be awarded for a one year time period, with an expected start date at/or near the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1). Implementation and support service grants will be awarded for up to a two year time period, with an expected start date at/or near the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1). Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Matthew E. Russell 1400 Independece Ave., Washington, District of Columbia 29815 Email: Phone: 303 635 9461
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries) FY 14 $5,183,975; FY 15 est $5,000,000; and FY 16 est $5,000,000 - This obligation represents the planning, implementation and support service grants.
FY 2013: Planning - $1.3 million; Implementation - $1.2 million; Support service - $2.3 million; Food Corps - $1.5 million
FY 2014: Planning - $1.2 million; Implementation - $1.4 million; Support service - $2.5 million; Food Corps - $3.5
FY 2015: Planning - $.7 million; Implementation - $1.4 million; Support service - $2.4 million. (Cooperative Agreements) FY 14 Not Separately Identifiable(Exp: Foodcorp Cooperative Agreement); FY 15 est $250,000; and FY 16 Not Separately Identifiable - This obligation represents the Americorp (Foodcorp) Cooperative Agreement.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Planning grants will range from $35,000 - $50,000 while Implementation and support service grants will range from $65,000 - $100,000.

The Foodcorp cooperative agreement is for $500,000 or two years (FY-2014 and FY-2015).
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: San Diego, California
Grant Type: Support Service; $100,000
Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) has worked with school districts from across San Diego County in adopting farm to school practices. CHIP will build upon past experience to accelerate and expand regional participation in farm to school. The San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce serves as the “go to” body for farm to school in San Diego County. CHIP will continue to promote collaboration and leverage activities through the Farm to School Taskforce.

Colonial School District
New Castle, Delaware
Grant Type: Implementation; $100,000
Colonial School District is committed to connecting farms and school leaders to ensure that students have constant access to healthy local foods. This proposal is an opportunity to have students and staff directly engaged in the entire process of planning, growing and processing foods, creating new menus, and placing healthy foods directly into school nutrition programs. The district’s only high school, William Penn, has access to Historic Penn Farm (117+ acres of workable farm land). Here, students will grow crops and supply them directly into school cafeteria breakfast and lunch programs. Fiscal Year 2015: n/a. Fiscal Year 2016: n/a.


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