Farm to Early Childhood Infrastructure Grants reimburse early childhood programs for purchasing infrastructure to improve their food programs and/or farm to early care programs.
The purpose of the Vermont Farm to School Program, established by the Rozo McLaughlin Farm to School Act (6 V.S.A. § 4721), is to:
- Encourage Vermont residents in developing healthy and lifelong habits of eating nutritious local foods
- Maximize use by Vermont schools and early care providers of fresh and locally grown, produced or processed food
- Work with partners to establish a food, farm, and nutrition education program that educates Vermont children regarding healthy eating habits through the use of educational materials, classes, and hands-on techniques that inform children of the connections between farming and the foods that they consume
- Increase the size and stability of direct sales markets available to Vermont producers
- Increase participation of Vermont children in child nutrition programs by increasing the selection of available foods
- Expand and improve child nutrition programs in schools and early childhood education programs
Farm to School & Farm to Early Childhood Infrastructure Grants are intended to provide Vermont schools and early care providers with financial resources to purchase infrastructure that would improve their ability to meet the goals listed above.
Any early care provider that is registered or licensed through the Vermont Department for Children and Families and based in Vermont is eligible to apply for this grant. The provider must already serve snacks or meals to be eligible for a grant. Moreover, a group of early care providers may apply collectively for an infrastructure grant. Multiple early care providers are encouraged to collaborate to spread the impact of infrastructure purchases to as many children as possible. Early care providers are eligible for assistance with the purchase of any infrastructure that benefits their food program or food/nutrition activities. An early care provider may not be awarded both this grant and a Vermont Farm to School & Child Nutrition Grant, which are competitive $15,000 grants that support the expansion and improvement of food programs and/or the creation or expansion of farm to school and farm to early care programs.
Priority will be given to applicants who:
- Currently participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Are Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) providers
- Serve infants and toddlers in the program
How to Apply
Applications are now closed. Applications will open again in the 2019–2020 school year.