Local schools  eligible for farm to school program grant

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has opened the application for the new Farm to School Purchasing Grants, intended to help those operating or wanting to start a farm to school program.

Information about this new grant program and links to the application can be found at agr.wa.gov/farmtoschool under “Grants.” The application period closes on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

The Washington State Legislature provided $5 million in the 2021-23 state budget for these grants and to expand WSDA’s Farm to School program. The grant is being administered in partnership with Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

The Farm to School Purchasing Grants not only support farm to school efforts, but also local farms of different sizes, production scales, and crop types from around the state. One goal of the grant program is to strengthen Washington’s food at the regional level, while helping to ensure that more locally-produced food is consumed by the people of Washington state. 

The grant is available to school districts, child care centers, and summer meal program operators that sponsor a USDA child nutrition program (NSLP, CACFP child care, SSO/SFSP), Tribal compact schools, and Tribal early learning centers. It is meant to help these operations buy Washington-grown foods for their child nutrition programs.

Grants are available in ranges from $1,000 to $300,000 depending on the annual rate of meal participation in their programs.

For more information, visit agr.wa.gov/FarmToSchool or email [email protected]. The grant program is part of WSDA’s Focus on Food Initiative, ensuring safe, nutritious food is effectively produced and distributed throughout our state.