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
The Vermont Farm to School grant program includes three different grant opportunities: Planning & Pilot Grant, Implementation Grant and Universal Meals Grant.
Funding awarded through these 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 Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets offers three Farm to School Grant opportunities and the Milk Cooler Sponsorship Program. The Application period for 2017 grants has closed. Check back in September 2018 for the next Request for Proposals.
To review the Request For Proposals for the 2017 grant cycle, please visit the following links:
2017 Farm to School Planning & Pilot Grant RFP
2017 Farm to School Implementation Grant RFP
2017 Universal Meals Grant RFP
- The Planning & Pilot Grant provides schools with financial and technical assistance to create a farm to school action plan, develop a strong network of supporters from the school community and roll out their action plan.
- The Implementation Grant provides schools with more susbstantial financial assistance to further develop and expand their current farm to school programs by investing in personnel, infrastructure, and supplies.
- The Universal Meals Grant is a new pilot component of the Vermont Farm to School Grant Program that provides schools with technical and financial assistance to create more sustainable school meal programs and increase equitable access for all students to fresh, healthy school meals.
- The Milk Cooler Sponsorship Program ensures Vermont students have access to fresh, nutritious dairy products. This program helps schools pay for a milk cooler with funds made available through the Vermont Dairy Promotion Fund, supported by Vermont’s dairy farmers. Up to $1,000 is available to each school toward purchase of a new milk cooler. Funds are released in late fall.
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.
- 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
- Frequently Asked Grant Program Questions
- Vermont FEED Farm to School Rubric
- Three Step to Starting & Strengthening Your Vermont Farm to School Program
- 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
- Two-page Summary
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)
- 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 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)
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.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-505-1822
If you have any questions about the Universal Meals Grant Program, please email Jennie Porter at email@example.com or call 802-661-8201