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

School districts can apply for the Farm to School Grant Program by Oct. 1


The 2021-22 PA Farm Bill’s $500,000 Farm to School Grant Program is now open to improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agriculture education opportunities for children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

“Our Farm to School Grant Program works to improve health and nutrition for young children, provide hands-on ag education opportunities, and support local farmers by fostering connections between schools and farms,” said Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Through this program, Pennsylvania schools have the opportunity to address our workforce needs of the future by encouraging agricultural interests in young students while simultaneously improving their access to fresh, local foods.”

Over the past two years, nearly $800,000 has been invested by the state in farm to school programming in Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill.

The Farm to School Grant 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 pre-kindergarten classes, kindergarten or elementary through fifth grade, regardless of offering in-person, virtual or hybrid instruction 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

The 2021-22 Farm to School Grant Program opened for applications on Aug. 16 and the deadline to apply is Oct. 1.

Click here for more information.

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