Working Together to Nourish the Nation

The Dirt! SPECIAL EDITION: 2024 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications is Now Open!

  • Monday, October 16, 2023 8:41 AM
    Message # 13267751

    The 2024 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications is Now Open!

    The USDA Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program is excited to announce the official release of the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA).

    USDA will award up to $12 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the grant program this fiscal year. Each grant will help implement farm to school programming that increases access to local food in eligible schools, connects children with agriculture for better health, and inspires youth to consider careers in agriculture. Since the Farm to School Grant Program’s inception in 2013, USDA has awarded over $84 million to fund 1,100 projects across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. These projects have reached over 28 million students in nearly 63,000 schools.

    The RFA includes five tracks - Implementation, State Agency, and three Turnkey grants- to support a variety of projects and implementation stages. Each track provides funding for a specific range of activities:

    • Implementation grant awards range from $50,000-$500,000. An Implementation grant is a great option for eligible entities with prior farm to school experience that want to scale up or further develop their existing farm to school programming. Implementation projects of national or multi-state scope or, for the first time, led by Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs), are eligible to submit proposals of up to $500,000. Some examples of activities Implementation grants could fund include but are not limited to training and technical assistance, creating promotional materials or campaigns, and forming networks or coalitions. 
    • State Agency grant awards range from $50,000-$500,000. These awards help State agencies improve access to local food served in eligible child nutrition programs (CNPs) by implementing local sourcing and agricultural education activities. Eligible State agencies include any State-level agency working to promote farm to CNP activities, such as State Departments of Education, Health, or Agriculture. 
    • Turnkey grants offer the choice between three tracks in amounts of up to $50,000: (1) farm to school action plan development, for entities that have never received a farm to school grant before; (2) agricultural education curriculum development and delivery; and (3) edible gardening. Required activities for this track are fully specified within the RFA to streamline the application process, and Turnkey applicants submit a simplified proposal narrative. 

    A wide variety of entities are eligible to compete for funding through this grant opportunity. Schools and other institutions operating the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and/or Summer Food Service Program; State agencies; local agencies; ITOs; small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to medium-sized agricultural producers; and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for Farm to School Grants.

    Please note that eligibility varies by grant track. Please see Section 3.0 of the RFA for specific eligibility requirements. A Frequently Asked Questions document will be available soon on the Farm to School Grant Applicant Resources Page.

    Certain entities are eligible for bonus points in the grant review process if they meet the criteria defined in the RFA. Bonus points will be awarded to applications serving at least 40% of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals; applications from agricultural producers and groups of agricultural producers; applications from ITOs and entities led and/or staffed by Native Americans and serving Native American communities; applications from organizations led and/or staffed by Black/African Americans and serving Black/African American communities; applications from organizations led and/or staffed by people of color and serving communities of color (defined as Black/African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and/or Pacific Islander); and projects located in and serving eligible schools/sites in a rural area. For more information, please see Section 1.7 of the RFA.

    The Grant RFA can be found online here. Complete applications must be submitted to by 11:59pm ET on Friday, January 12, 2024. To complete the application process applicants must obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), register in the System for Award Management, and then register at Applicants are encouraged to begin this process early. For more information, please see Section 3.12 of the RFA.

    Prospective applicants can check out the USDA Farm to School Program resources for grant applicants and see a list of prior grantees’ project descriptions for proposal inspiration. USDA encourages the farm to school stakeholder community to share this announcement widely to support applications from diverse eligible entities!

    Click HERE for the Grant RFA

    Register Now! FY 2024 Farm to School RFA Webinars

    Join the USDA Farm to School Program for two webinars in November on the FY 2024 Farm to School Grant RFA and review key characteristics of competitive Farm to School Grant applications.

    To register, click each hyperlinked webinar below. After clicking the link, you will be required to provide your name and email address. Click “Register,” and once your registration is approved a new window with the registration information will appear. You can add the webinar to your calendar by clicking on the red calendar icon (select from Google, Outlook, or Yahoo Calendar). To join the webinar, click on the link provided at the bottom of the registration window or on the calendar event you added to your calendar. 

    If you cannot attend, the webinars will be recorded and made available on the Resources for Grant Applicants page.

    Wednesday, November 1, 2023 | 3:00pm ET– Getting Familiar with the FY 2024 Farm to School RFA

    This webinar will provide an overview of the FY 2024 Farm to School Grant Program RFA, including updates to eligibility, funding priorities, and more. Get familiar with the requirements of the RFA and how to submit your completed application on

    Thursday, November 2, 2023 | 2:00pm ET– Getting Your Grant Package Together

    During this webinar, we will explore the key characteristics of a competitive Farm to School Grant application. We will review the required components and provide technical assistance on how to submit a complete application. Attendees will learn tips and tricks for writing a succinct application that clearly outlines your farm to school project.

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