USDA Farm to School Grant Funding Available!

USDA Farm to School Grant Program
Now Accepting Proposals

USDA has announced the release of a request for applications for the Fiscal Year 2016 round of Farm to School grants. Designed to increase the availability of local foods in eligible schools, these grants help new farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts, facilitating stronger connections between local and regional producers and school cafeterias.

More information about the grant program categories of available funding, upcoming webinars relevant to applicants and sample grant applications can be found on USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program Web page.

USDA will host a webinar related to the grant application process on March 25, 2015, noon Central, to assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. At that time, click on this link for the presentation and dial (888) 566-1192, passcode 5894178, for audio. No registration is required. The webinar will be recorded, and a copy posted to USDA's Farm to School Grant Program Web page.

USDA National Farm to School Census

USDA is currently conducting the second national farm to school census. The survey is collecting information about schools’ farm to school activities during school year 2013-2014.

Invitations for the census have been sent directly to Texas School Nutrition Directors. If you received an invitation to complete the survey, please do so before May 28, 2015. If you are a support organization working with a local school, please encourage partners to complete the survey. Requested information includes local food purchases, garden-based learning and nutrition, and agricultural lessons in the classroom or cafeteria.

Farm to School News 

2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Proposals due March 24, 2015

TDA is currently accepting proposals for the 2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Funding is dedicated for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of Texas specialty crops.

The Request for Application (RFA), application and instruction documents may be found here.

2015 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Grants
Deadline: April 19, 2015

The Health Care Service Corporation is offering Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Grants. Organizations that have a goal of improving the health and wellness of children and their families through nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, or supporting safe environments, are invited to apply. There are no specific amounts listed for awards, and applicants should present responsible budgets that can reasonably support the projects proposed. 

For more information and to access the application, go here.

2015 Healthy School Heros: Nominations Option
Rolling Deadline

Consider nominating a school or organization for the Healthy School Hero Award. This recognition goes to schools doing exceptional work to improve nutritional learning and physical activity for kids. Nominations are now being accepted and winners will be announced in spring 2016.

Learn more here.

Farm to School Resource Spotlight

Healthy School Environment Resources
The School Health Program of the Texas Department of State Health Services has created a new resource clearing house focusing on physical activity and nutrition. Access this resource and find information about promoting, educating, writing grants and advocating for physical activity and nutrition projects that encourage healthy school environments.

Learn more here.

Farm to School Spotlight Story

Commissioner Miller Celebrated School Breakfast Week

The 2015 School Breakfast Week (SBW) theme, “The Smart Way to Start Your Day - Breakfast.,” reminds everyone in the school community that a healthy school breakfast sets students up for a day of learning and academic success.

As part of an effort to encourage students to eat breakfast, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller ate breakfast with students at KIPP Austin Leadership Elementary School, which is part of KIPP Austin Public Schools. 

All KIPP Austin Public Schools are participating in the Local Products Challenge, and incorporating local products into school breakfasts. “It is our philosophy at KIPP Austin Public Schools to source and purchase locally provided foods to support our community and further the health and wellness of our students,” said Steve Smith, director of food services for KIPP Austin Public Schools. “We are excited to showcase our district’s participation in the Local Products Challenge.”

Watch a video interview with Commissioner Miller here.

You may also read Success Stories highlighting how some Texas schools celebrated SBW here.

Contact TDA

Alyssa Herold
Farm to School Program Specialist
Direct: (512) 463-1209
Toll Free: (877) TEX-MEAL

Connect with Others

Texas Statewide Farm to School Network
(LinkedIn Group) 

This LinkedIn Group is an online network connecting schools, producers, support organizations and community members with important information about expanding farm to school efforts in Texas.

Join Today!

Grant Opportunities

Food & Nutrition related grants

TDA Grants

USDA Grants

Upcoming Webinars

USDA Growing Roots in Farm to School Webinar Series

USDA Farm to School staff and guest speakers have just what you need to start or expand your farm to school program in the new year. This 11-part webinar series will help you build your farm to school skills and develop new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom. Go here to see the full schedule.

Connect with TDA

   Facebook   Twitter   flickr   YouTube

This product was funded by USDA. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Our mailing address is:
Texas Department of Agriculture
1700 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

You have received this email because you are subscribed to the Farm to School E-Harvest Newsletter.

Click to Unsubscribe

Please DO NOT reply to this email. It is sent from an unmonitored account.