Farm to School and Early Childhood: Child Nutrition Implementation Grants

*The 2021 Application Period for this Grant Has Closed*

Program Purpose

The purpose of this grant is to help schools and early childcare providers develop farm to school programs that will sustain relationships with local farmers and producers, enrich the educational experience of students, improve the health of Vermont children, and enhance Vermont's agricultural economy.

For 2021, this will be a one-year grant targeted towards schools and early childhood education organizations with established farm to school programs. 

Schools and early care providers are best able to achieve these goals when they take a holistic approach and incorporate the 3 C’s of Farm to School: Cafeteria (food program), Classroom, and Community. Together, the 3 C’s support healthy children, healthy agriculture, and healthy communities.


The following entities are eligible to apply for this grant:

  • Vermont registered or licensed early care providers, or a consortium of early care providers
  • Independent schools participating in any federal child nutrition programs
  • Individual public schools
  • Supervisory unions or educational districts on behalf of a public school or consortium of schools

How to Apply

Applications will need to be submitted through our online grants management system, WebGrants. Applicants that do not have a WebGrants account will need to request one by filling out and submitting the WebGrants Registration Form. Registration requests are processed in 1-2 business days. It is critical that new WebGrants users allow enough time for their registration request to be processed as they will not be able to fill out or submit an application until their account is created.  

We will begin accepting applications for this grant on February 19th, 2021. 

Download the complete Request for Proposals here.

The deadline to apply is March 19th, 2021 at 12 noon.

Grant Overview

The Vermont Farm to School and Child Nutrition Grant provides a combination of financial support and technical assistance to help schools and early care providers develop robust farm to school programs that:

  • Increase the use of local foods
  • Help teachers, administrators, and staff promote healthy eating habits
  • Strengthen connections between schools/early care providers and the Vermont agriculture community
  • Increase the number of Vermont children participating in child nutrition programs

Financial Support

Each grantee will receive $10,000 in funding, disbursed in three payments. Payments will be made upon the grantee’s completion of specific deliverables. Recently consolidated school districts may be eligible for larger awards, up to $15,000.

Technical Assistance 

The technical assistance component of this grant is designed to build strong and lasting farm to school programs. It does this through the 3 C approach, which focuses on integrating farm to school activities throughout the Cafeteria, the Classroom, and the Community. Technical assistance will be delivered through targeted workshops. COVID-19 may impact how these workshops are conducted, i.e. online vs. in-person.

As part of the grant requirements, each grantee will establish a Project Team made up of diverse stakeholders within the organization. Examples of stakeholders include educators, administrators, food service staff, and community members. Engaging multiple stakeholders across an organization has proven to be the most effective method of building and embedding lasting programs.

With a few exceptions, participation in technical assistance activities is required by at least some of the Project Team members. Each technical assistance workshop will be customized to meet the needs and goals of individual grantees and targeted at specific members of the Project Team. Technical assistance workshops will be scheduled to meet the availability of the grantee and Project Team.

  1. Grantee Coaching 

Estimated project team commitment: 12 hours

Each grantee will be assigned a coach who will work with them throughout the duration of the grant. Coaches are experts from within the Vermont Farm to School Network. Through site visits (if appropriate), email communication, and phone calls, coaches will provide support in the following areas: 

  • Creating a farm to school action plan and timeline
  • Creating a project budget 
  • Connecting and coordinating with technical assistance service providers
  • Growing relationships in the school and local community to enhance project success
  • Completing the VT FEED rubric and action plan
  • Consultation on select farm to school topics – organizing farm visits, classroom activities, curriculum development, connecting schools with the greater farming community, etc.
  1. Procurement Training and Professional Development 

Estimated project team commitment: 5 hours

Project teams will receive training and professional development related to local food procurement and general child nutrition support services, provided by Vermont FEED.

  1. Curriculum Professional Development (only available for Pre-K-12)

Estimated project team commitment: 4 hours

Grantees will receive professional development services administered by a farm to school curriculum expert. Workshops may cover best practices in integrating food, farm, and nutrition education in the curriculum and aligning that curriculum with Vermont education standards. The curriculum expert will work with the grantee to identify the grantee’s needs. 

  1. Child Nutrition Program Viability 

Estimated project team commitment: 4 hours

School food service managers and staff will receive technical assistance and professional development to support the viability of the meal program.

Food service staff will receive technical assistance to improve federal meal program participation using a variety of tools and outreach methods. 

  1. School Garden Workshops 

Estimated project team commitment: 4 hours

Project teams will receive school garden assistance through workshops that will serve as an opportunity for project team members to learn about successful school garden projects and glean important data that can be used to enhance the school’s farm to school philosophy and explore possibilities for advancing a garden in the school community. 

School garden workshops are designed to help grantees:

  • Develop a reasonable approach to integrating a school garden into the entire farm to school program;
  • Focus on the importance of using existing school and community resources to support successful school gardens;
  • Cultivate community buy-in for long-term, sustainable school gardens.



Program Contact

Trevor Lowell
(802) 585-9186

WebGrants Technical Assistance

Diana Ferguson
(802) 622-4094

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901


Program Contact

Trevor Lowell
(802) 585-9186

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.461.5128
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431