Farm to School Grant Program
The Vermont Farm to School Grant Program, now in its tenth year, works to improve nutrition among Vermont’s children by connecting food producers to their local schools, as well as providing enriched educational experiences and curricula. The grant program was established through the 2006 Rozo McLaughlin Act. Farm to School grant funding, allocated by the Vermont legislature, enables Vermont schools to engage students in their local food system by incorporating local food and farm education into their cafeterias, classrooms and communities. As of January 2016, the Vermont Farm to School Program has reached 120 schools, impacting more than 30,000 Vermont students.
This year, 7 implementation grants and 6 planning grants were awarded to 11 schools and 3 school districts and supervisory unions, impacting a total of 24 Vermont schools and more than 5,000 students.
Our Farm to School Program page can be accessed here.
This grant program encourages schools and school districts to:
- Serve food to Vermont students that is as fresh and nutritious as possible
- Maximize the use of fresh, locally grown foods
- Educate students about healthy eating habits through nutrition education while making the connections between farming and the foods that students consume
- Increase the size and stability of farmers’ direct sales market
- Increase school meal participation by increasing the selection of foods available to students.
“Farm to School programs are a vital tool we can use to promote agricultural literacy in schools so that, from an early age, students understand the value of nutrition, develop healthy eating habits, and appreciate where their food comes from,”
– Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets offers three Farm to School Grant opportunities. The 2017 Request for Proposals for each grant opportunity will be posted here on September 30, 2016.
The Planning & Pilot Grant provides schools with funding and technical assistance to support the planning and piloting of Farm to School Programs.
- This year’s Request for Proposals: 2017 Farm to School Planning & Pilot Grant
The Implementation Grant provides schools with funding to put their Farm to School plans into action and create robust, resilient adn self-sustaning programs.
- This year’s Request for Proposals: 2017 Farm to School Implementation Grant
The Universal Meals Grant is a new pilot component of the Vermont Farm to School Grant Program intended to help schools leverage the neccessary resources to ensure a sustainable transition into offering universal meals.
- This year’s Request for Proposals: 2017 Universal Meals Grant—UPDATED 10/17/16. USE THIS VERSION.
NOTE: New this year, all Farm to School Grant applications MUST be submitted online through WebGrants. Paper applications will NOT be accepted. Instructions for using WebGrants can be found in an appendix in the Request for Proposals.
WEBINAR FOR APPLICANTS: On Wednesday, October 12, 2016 from 3:00 - 4:30 PM, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets hosted a webinar for all potential Vermont Farm to School Grant Program applicants. The webinar covered all of the basics of the 2017 Request for Proposals. You can view the webinar HERE.
- September 30, 2016: Release of 2017 Request for Proposals (posted to this page)
- October 12, 2016: Webinar for potential applicants (3:00 -4:30)
- October 28, 2016: Applications due (submitted online) by 12:00 PM
- Previously funded projects
- Milton Case Study
- Sharon Case Study
- Using Food Hubs to Create Sustainable Farm to School Programs
- Frequently Asked Grant Program Questions
There are organizations around the state that may be valuable resources in your planning and implementation of Farm to School programing and universal meals. Below is a list of such organizations and the regions they support.
- 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)
- Hunger Free Vermont (Statewide) - Specific to universal meals
- Marble Valley Meals (Rutland County)
- Rutland Are Farm and Food Link (greater Rutland area)
- Upper Valley Farm to School (Upper Valley region)
- Vermont Community Garden Network (Statewide)
- Vermont FEED (Statewide)
Vermont Ageny of Agriculture, Food & Markets Farm to School Contacts:
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
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