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Grants to USA Schools, Agencies, Tribes, Nonprofits, and Agricultural Producers to Increase Access to Local Foods for Eligible Schools

CFDA or PIN Number:

CFDA Number:

10.575

Funding or PIN Number:

USDA-FNS-2023-F2S

ELIGIBILITY:

Geographic Focus

USA: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew York CityNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashington, DCWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

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FY 2023 Farm to School Grant

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)


Agency: Federal

GrantWatch ID #154171

Grant Description

Grants to USA schools, government agencies, tribal organizations, nonprofit organizations, and agricultural producers for programs to increase access to local foods for eligible schools. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. While individual farm-to-school programs are shaped by their unique community, geographic region, and scope, the term ‘farm to school’ is generally understood to include efforts that connect schools with local or regional farmers, food processors, and manufacturers in order to serve local or regionally procured foods in school cafeterias.

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) establishes a Farm to School Program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in the USDA Food and Nutrition (FNS) Child Nutrition Programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

Grant funds will be made available on a competitive basis, subject to availability of Federal funds, using five grant tracks: State Agency grants; Implementation grants; Turnkey – Action Planning grants; Turnkey – Agricultural Education grants; and Turnkey – Edible Garden grants.

Authorizing language in Section 18(g) of the NSLA (42 U.S.C 1769(g)) directs the Secretary of Agriculture to award competitive grants, designed to improve access to local foods in eligible schools, for activities such as:

  • Training;
  • Supporting operations;
  • Planning;
  • Purchasing equipment;
  • Developing school gardens;
  • Developing partnerships; and
  • Implementing farm to school programs.

The NSLA also directs the Secretary to ensure geographical diversity and equitable treatment of urban, rural, and tribal communities in the distribution of grant awards, as well as give the highest priority to funding projects that, as determined by the Secretary:

  • Make local food products available on the menu of the eligible school;
  • Serve a high proportion of children who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches;
  • Incorporate experiential nutrition education activities in curriculum planning that encourage the participation of school children in farm and garden-based agricultural education activities;
  • Demonstrate collaboration between eligible schools, nongovernmental and community- based organizations, agricultural producer groups, and other community partners;
  • Include adequate and participatory evaluation plans;
  • Demonstrate the potential for long-term program sustainability; and,
  • Meet any other criteria that the Secretary determines appropriate.

In alignment with the Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, the FY 2023 Farm to School Grant program takes a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all in farm to school programming, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality. To reflect this, the FY 2023 Farm to School Grant awards will offer priority scoring incentives to applications serving at least 40% of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals; applications from Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) serving tribal communities; applications from organizations led by and serving Black, Indigenous or other communities of color; applications based in and serving rural communities; and applications from agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers.

Key Objectives can be found on page 8 of the RFA. See Attached Files, below.

Funding Priorities can be found on page 12 of the RFA.

Allowable Costs can be found on page 15 of the RFA.

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Eligibility:

  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following are eligible entities, which are described in more detail below:
- Eligible schools, including nonprofit private and charter schools, which operate the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program;
- Eligible Child Care Institutions, including non-school based institutions that have an agreement with the State agency to operate the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP);
- Eligible Summer Institutions, including non-school based institutions that have an agreement with the State agency to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP);
- State agencies;
- Local agencies;
- Indian Tribal organizations (ITOs)
- Agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers; and
- Non-profit entities.

Additional information about these eligible entities can be found starting on page 16 of the RFA. See Attached Files, below.

Other Eligibility Criteria can be found starting on page 18 of the RFA.

Ineligible Entities The following entities are ineligible to receive a grant for the Farm to School Grant Program. Applicants identified as any of the entity types described below will have their application removed from competition without further consideration. Please note that the list below is not a comprehensive list of all ineligible entity types. This section is provided as a resource to address frequently asked questions which FNS often receives from one or more of the entity types described below.
- Individuals, such as individual parents or teachers, are ineligible for the Farm to School Grant Program.
- Institutions of higher education, including colleges and universities, are not eligible for the Farm to School Grant Program. Note that for the purposes of this RFA, Indian Tribal Colleges and university foundations are considered institutions of higher education and are not eligible as the lead applicant. Institutions of higher education are ineligible regardless of 501(c)(3) status. Institutions of higher education can be key partners.
- Hospitals, as defined by Section 1861 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) are ineligible for the Farm to School Grant Program. Note that for the purposes of this RFA, hospital foundations are considered ineligible entities and are not eligible as the lead applicant. Hospitals and hospital foundations are ineligible regardless of 501(c)(3) status. Hospitals and hospital foundations can be key partners.
- Cooperative extension services are ineligible for the Farm to School Grant Program. Cooperative extension service is defined by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture as “a nationwide, noncredit educational network that addresses public needs by providing non-formal higher education and learning activities to farmers, ranchers, communities, youth and families throughout the nation.” Cooperative extension services are ineligible regardless of 501(c)(3) status. Cooperative extension services can be key partners.

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
- Release Date: October 6, 2022
- Application Due Date: 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST), January 6, 2023
- Anticipated Award Date: July 2023

Complete the following at least four weeks prior to submission:
- Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI);
- Register in the System for Award Management (SAM); and
- Register in Grants.gov.

If your organization does not operate the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and/or the School Breakfast Program, you must include at least one letter of commitment from a school, child care institution, or summer institution operating the NSLP, CACFP, SFSP, and/or the School Breakfast Program, or from a State Agency administering NSLP, CACFP, SFSP, and/or the School Breakfast Program.

- At least a 25 percent cash or in-kind match is provided with a detailed description and signed letter for ALL matching funds. All matching funds must comply with 2 CFR 200.306. Applicants failing to provide the match contribution documentation will be deemed ineligible and removed from further consideration.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=343898
For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the Grants.gov page above.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$12,000,000

Number of Grants:

Anticipated number of awards: 150

Estimated Size of Grant:

The award amounts for the FY 2023 USDA Farm to School Grant Program will be as follows:
- Turnkey Grant – Action Plan Up to $50,000
- Turnkey Grant – Edible Garden Up to $50,000
- Turnkey Grant – Agricultural Education Up to $50,000
- Implementation Grants ($100,000 or less) $50,000 - $100,000
- Implementation Grants (greater than $100,000) $100,001 - $500,000 (see note below)
- State Agency Grant $50,000 - $500,000

Only eligible entities proposing projects of national or multi-State scope may apply for Implementation grants that exceed $100,000 up to $500,000. If FNS cannot verify the national or multi-State scope based on the information contained in the application materials, the application may be removed from consideration.

Term of Contract:

The period of performance for the FY 2023 USDA Farm to School Grant Program will be as follows, beginning from the date of the award:
- Turnkey Grant – Action Plan: 12 months only
- Turnkey Grant – Edible Garden: 12 or 24 months
- Turnkey Grant – Agricultural Education: 12 or 24 months
- Implementation Grants ($100,000 or less): 12 or 24 months
- State Agency Grant ($100,000 or less): 12 or 24 months
- Implementation Grants (greater than $100,000): 24 months only
- State Agency Grant (greater than $100,000): 24 months only

Contact Information:

For questions regarding this solicitation, please contact the FNS Grant Officer, Anna Arrowsmith, at: anna.arrowsmith@usda.gov. Please note that agency contacts are only available during Eastern Standard Time operating hours.

For all questions pertaining to the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, please email Farm to School at farmtoschool@usda.gov.

RFP & Supporting Documents:

Full Grant Text RFP

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates / changes / addendums / conferences / LOIs.


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