2017 is an exciting year for the Vermont Farm to School Program as we celebrate our tenth year of delivering high impact farm to school programming in classrooms, cafeterias, and communities throughout the state. With unflagging support from our partner agencies and organizations, the Vermont Farm to School Program has become the role model that other states and the USDA look to for information and inspiration. Each year, the Vermont Farm to School Program continues to grow and innovate, increasing student access to fresh, nutritious foods, improving nutrition education and agricultural literacy, and expanding markets for local producers.
The Vermont Farm to School grant program was established through the 2006 Rozo McLaughlin Act. Farm to School grant funding helps Vermont schools engage students in their local food system by incorporating local food and farm education into their cafeterias, classrooms and communities.
The goals of the Farm to School grant program are to help Vermont schools, districts, and supervisory unions develop sustainable farm to school programs that:
- Maximize equitable student access to fresh, nutritious, locally grown foods
- Educate students about food systems and healthy eating habits through hands-on experiences
- Support and grow market opportunities for local producers and processors
Funding awarded through Farm to School grants can be used by Vermont educational institutions for a variety of purposes including purchasing cafeteria & garden supplies, covering personnel costs, providing technical assistance and procuring local foods.
The Vermont Farm to School Grant Program also works to improve nutrition among Vermont’s children by connecting food producers to their local schools, as well as providing students with enriched educational experiences and curricula. These grants work to achieve these goals by providing Vermont schools with technical and financial assistance to effectively develop and execute their farm to school programs.
In 2017, 4 Implementation Grants, 5 Planning Grants, and 5 Universal Meals Grants were awarded, impacting a total of 23 Vermont schools and more than 4,800 students. As of January 2017, the Vermont Farm to School Grant Program has supported Farm to School programming in 138 schools. Over the course of 10 years, these grants have helped more than 40,000 Vermont students become more connected to local food, farms and their community.
Ten years is an exciting milestone for this unique and innovative program. We are grateful for the opportunity to share its successes in the following pages and look forward to the next ten years of serving Vermont’s students, schools, farmers, and economy.
The 2018 Vermont Farm to School Grant Application Deadline was November 14, 2017.
1. Vermont Farm to School & Child Nutrition Grant: The VAAFM Farm to School Team is seeking applications from eligible Vermont-based childcare providers and schools to expand and improve food programs and/or to create or expand farm to school programs by integrating the classroom, cafeteria, and community (the 3 C’s of farm to school). Up to six applications will be awarded at $15,000 each, made possible by legislative appropriation and a financial investment of a dedicated partner. The anticipated grant period will be January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019.
2. Vermont Farm to School Milk Cooler & Farm to Childcare Kitchen Equipment Grant: The VAAFM Farm to School Team is seeking applications from eligible Vermont-based childcare providers and schools (for k-12 schools, this is formerly known as the Vermont Milk Cooler Sponsorship program) to purchase equipment that will improve their food programs and/or farm to school/farm to childcare programs. Up to 23 grants will be awarded at $1,000 each to reimburse schools and childcare providers for these purchases. Equipment purchases must be made by February 28, 2018.
Vermont Farm to School Program Resources:
- Complete List of Grantees: 2007-2017
- Milton Case Study
- Sharon Case Study
- Using Food Hubs to Create Sustainable Farm to School Programs
- Vermont School Wellness Policy Guidelines
- Vermont Wellness Policy Implementation Tool
- Attachment C: Standard State Provisions for Grants & Contracts
- Vermont FEED Farm to School Rubric
- Three Step to Starting & Strengthening Your Vermont Farm to School Program
- Farm to Early Care: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Food System Career Profiles (Vermont Farm to Plate Network)
- 2017 Farm to School Legislative Report
- Milk Service in Vermont Schools: Decision Making Criteria, Best Practices and Case Studies
- Milk in Vermont Schools: A Decision-Makers' Guide to Milk Service
- Economic Contribution and Potential Impact of Schools Purchase of Local Foods in Vermont
- Farm to School Economic Impact 2-Pager
- Yourth Risk Behavior Survey: Health Impact of VT Farm to School Grants
- School Health Profiles: Health Impact of VT Farm to School Grants
There are resources and organizations around the state that may be valuable resources For your farm to school program.
- Center for Agricultural Economy (greater Hardwick area)
- Food Connects (southern Vermont)
- Green Mountain Farm to School (Northeast Kingdom)
- Healthy Roots (Franklin and Grand Isle Counties Vermont)
- Marble Valley Meals (Rutland County)
- Northshire Grows (Bennington area)
- Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (greater Rutland area)
- Upper Valley Farm to School (Upper Valley region)
- Vermont Food Bank Gleaning (Chittenden and Windham)
- Vermont Gleaning Collective (Statewide)
- Hunger Free Vermont (Statewide)
- Vermont Community Garden Network (Statewide)
- Vermont Agency of Education Child Nutrition Program (Statewide)
- Vermont FEED (Statewide)
- VT Recycles (Statewide)
- Nutrition & Physical Activity Guidance for Schools and Childcare (Statewide)
- Vermont Farm to School Network Listserv (Statewide)
- Vermont Farm to School Coordinator Newsletter (Statewide)
- New England Dairy Farm to School (Northeast Region)
- National Farm to School Network (National)
- USDA Farm to School (National)
Vermont Ageny of Agriculture, Food & Markets Farm to School Contacts:
If you have any questions about the Planning or Implementation Grants or have general Farm to School Grant Program questions, please email Ali Zipparo at Alexandra.email@example.com or call 802-505-1822
If you have any questions about the Universal Meals Grant Program, please email Jennie Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-661-8201