Home Bensalem Times $500,000 available to improve childhood access to healthy, local foods

$500,000 available to improve childhood access to healthy, local foods

The Farm to School Grant Program also increases agriculture education opportunities for children in grades PreK-5

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced the opening of the 2020-21 PA Farm Bill’s $500,000 Farm to School Grant Program to improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agriculture education opportunities for children in grades PreK-5.

“The future of Pennsylvania agriculture relies on developing an agriculture literate society, and that begins with our very youngest Pennsylvanians,” said Redding. “It’s so important that we talk to young kids about where their food comes from and foster an appreciation for the role of agriculture in their everyday lives.

“The best way to do this is to improve childhood access to nutritious, local foods, which is exactly what this $500,000 Farm to School Grant Program is here to do.”

The program aims to enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early childhood education sites.

Any school district, charter school or private school with PreK classes, kindergarten or elementary through fifth grade – regardless of offering in-person, virtual or hybrid instructional models – is eligible to apply for up to $15,000. Eligible applications should include:

– A list of Pennsylvania farmers who have agreed to supply products from their farms
– Nutrition and agriculture education, including integration into regular classroom subjects
– Training of teachers and other educational staff on nutrition and agriculture education
– Inclusion of parents, caregivers and community groups in educational activities
– Field trips to Pennsylvania farms or other direct agricultural experiences which teach children about sources of food and Pennsylvania agriculture

For 2019-20, Morrisville Borough School District was awarded $11,137. Projects included a community farm; and school and food initiative program with Snipes Farm, including classroom lectures, experiential learning and procurement of fresh food.

The PA Farm to School Grant Program is now open and accepting applications through March 30.

Visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill for more information.

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