Vermont Farm to School Program

The request for applications for the 2018 Vermont Farm to School grants are now live! Scroll down for more information. 

VAAFM will hosted two webinars for potential applicants. We strongly encourage someone from your team to watch the appropriate webinar, as it will cover details of this RFA and tips and tricks for navigating our online grants management system.  
 
Want to learn more about how our grant program impacts Vermont Schools? 
 
 
 

 

Inroduction to the Vermont Farm to School Program

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 Program contributes to multiple goals of the Vermont Farm to Plate Strategic Plan and the Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Plan. Moreover, by increasing equitable access to fresh, nutritious foods for all Vermont students, regardless of their income or background, and by creating new economic opportunities for Vermont producers and processors, the Vermont Farm to School Program’s mission is also well aligned with the strategic goals put forth by the 2017 State of Vermont Administration.

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.

Click here to learn more about the 2017 Vermont Farm to School Grant Awards Ceremony!

 

Vermont Farm to School Program Grant Opportunities  

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is pleased to announce the release of two new Farm to School grant opportunities for 2018. New this year, both Farm to School grant opportunities are available to childcare providers as well as schools! Click on the links below for the Requests for Applications.

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.

NOTE: 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 Applications. 

Additional Opportunity:

Through a special collaboration between the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, New England Dairy and Food Council, and Shelburne Farms, we are excited to share the applications for the Dairy in the Classroom Grant Program! 

Dairy in the Classroom is a program offered to PK-3rd grade teachers in Vermont schools and funded by Vermont Dairy farmers. The program was designed by Virginia Holiman to increase students’ appreciation and knowledge of dairy farming, dairy products and healthy eating.

For more information and to apply, visit http://www.newenglanddairycouncil.org/schools/farm-to-school/

 

Additional Information

Vermont Farm to School Program Resources: 

Partner Resources: 

NEW REPORTS: 

 

Farm to School Support

There are resources and organizations around the state that may be valuable resources For your farm to school program. 

Questions? Contact Us! 

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.zipparo@vermont.gov or call 802-505-1822

If you have any questions about the Universal Meals Grant Program, please email Jennie Porter at jennifer.porter@vermont.gov or call 802-661-8201