USDA Awards First Grants to Increase Local Foods in Eligible Schools: 68 Projects Support Nearly 2 Million Students
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced more than $4.5 million in grants for 68 projects, spanning 37 states and the District of Columbia, to connect school cafeterias with local agricultural producers.
“When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs and economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities,” Merrigan said. “Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about where food comes from and how it is produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating choices.”
The first-ever USDA Farm to School 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. Grants will also be used to support agriculture and nutrition education efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms, and cooking classes.
We heard last Friday that our district received one of these coveted grants in what we’re told was a very competitive grant cycle. (Thank you Susi!) This means, among other things, that I will be the Farm to School Grant Coordinator for the next year, starting December 1st. And you can be sure I’ll be sharing all that I learn here (and there, and everywhere). Here’s what I’ve learned so far: it’s very exciting to get a cutting edge federal grant in your little country school district.
I love getting great news like after not checking my email for 2 days! Go Julian Elementary 🙂
We need to talk!!!!
Thank you! Does your garden already do farm to school in your school lunch program?
No we do not. I’d be interested on learning how that works though as well as at your program. How intricate is it to set one up? We are based in CA as well.
That’s what I’m going to find out this year, so I’d be happy to share anything I learn. Stay tuned!
way to go, Trish!!
Thanks Jen! My friend and colleague Susi wrote the lion’s share of the grant, so I share this with her! It’s really amazing how one little step in one direction can lead you places you wouldn’t have expected…..Now, to do it!
Wow!! This is a real gift to Julian, and Tricia and Susi deserve all our congratulations and many pats on the back and high fives. You rock!
We thank you, humbly and with gratitude! It has taken me all week to digest this, and I think I may be swallowing for a long time!
Julian????? Apple Pie, Daffodils, Apple Day Festivals, Old Time Melodramas!! And now on the map—Julian Elementary School Garden. What an accomplishment!! So proud of my daughter!
Sooooo sweet Mom! Thank you!
TRULY! Who would have thunk it? So much to learn and share in the coming year. Maybe we should follow Jeff’s suggestion and have kids document the process photographically? (See you later today—looking forward to sifting through KWC with you.)
This is huge, Tricia (and Susi). Congratulations! Your work inspires us all. Blessings.
Massive. Got any ideas? Spill them to me this weekend!
One amazing little country school doing really big things…..WOW…..dad
It’s really cool. We saw yesterday that all of the schools are posted on-line. Five in California: Lemon Grove, Lynnwood, Chico, Ventura and US! Gonna rest during Thanksgiving to hit the ground running in December!
WOOHOO!!!! That’s so awesome sis!
Kinda crazy, huh???? Did you see I posted some of your pictures?? Go whales!