Grants for Farm to School Programs
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for California Farm to School Incubator (CFSI) Grant Program with application due February 16, 2021. There is an estimated $8.4 million available in funding for this program.
The program will award competitive grants to support innovative local and regional farm to school projects. CDFA is looking to support programs that promote innovation in nutrition education, sustainable production and procurement, and high-quality student experience. There are two funding tracks under this program.
- Track 1: The California Farm to School Innovation Grant will fund Local Education Agencies (LEA) to establish new or expand existing integrated farm to school programs that: (1) procure California grown or produced whole or minimally processed foods and integrate these foods into school meals; and (2) coordinate educational opportunities between cafeterias, classrooms, and communities.
- Track 2: The CA Farm to School Regional Partnerships Grant will fund farm to school partnerships to expand existing farm to school initiatives and increase collaboration and coordination between producers and the schools they serve, providing funding for infrastructure, transportation, coordination, planning, or other necessary program components. Programs will increase procurement of California produced foods, sustainability, student engagement, and collaboration between regional farm to school partners.
The CA Farm to School Regional Partnerships Grant will be available for LEAs and farm to school partners (food producers, producer networks or associations, farmer or rancher cooperatives, majority controlled producer-based business ventures, food councils, local or tribal governments, nonprofit corporations, economic development corporations, public benefit corporations, community supported agriculture networks or associations, regional farmers’ market associations, county agencies or regional authorities, philanthropic organizations, institutions of higher education, commercial, federal, or farm credit system lending institutions).
- Food producers can include those who produce food in a variety of ways (e.g., farmers, ranchers, fishers, those using indigenous agriculture practices, etc.).
- Partnerships must include at least two LEAs and at least one regional partner.
- Any one of the entities in the partnership can serve as the lead applicant. The other entities must provide letters of commitment.
- Please note that applicants are limited to one application in each funding track.
- Up to 10% of the total award can be used for indirect costs
- Up to 10% of the total award can be used for labor costs associated with processing and procuring new California grown or produced food products
- Up to 10% of the total award can be used for kitchen infrastructure to support utilization of California grown or produced food products in school nutrition programs
- Up to 70% of the total award can be used for procurement of new and whole or minimally processed California grown or produced foods
- At least 30% of the total award must be used for integration of farm to school education and procurement programs
- Staff time associated with managing and implementing the project
Travel costs for farm and food producer visits, as well as for project collaboration
*Please note: California produced fluid milk (including fluid milk substitutes), California produced bread (excluding CA produced flour and CA grown wheat and other grains), and any costs outside the scope of the project are not allowable costs)
Up to 10% of the total award can be used for indirect costs
Infrastructure (e.g., farm equipment, coolers, warehousing, etc.)
- Transportation (e.g., delivery trucks, student transportation, etc.)
- Project Coordination/Facilitation
- Travel costs that are directly related to the project
*Please note: Any costs outside of the project scope are not allowable costs.
Track 2: The California Farm to School Regional Partnerships Grant: CDFA will make approximately $2 million available with the maximum grant award of $250,000 and a minimum award of $10,000 per project.
The Farm to School Incubator Grant Program requires no matching dollars. However, applicants must be able to show a commitment to farm to school programming in the application process through letters of commitment/support and in the application under sections “Description of Farm to School History and Programming” and/or “Farm to School Partners and Commitments.”
The maximum grant project term is 1 year, 10 months.
Applications are due February 16, 2021 with award announcements expected in March 2021. Grant funds cannot be expended before June 1, 2021 or after March 31, 2023.
The full Request for applications can be found here.