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Regional Farm to School Institute Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits for Regional Programs to
Promote Increased Access to Local Foods in Schools

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) - Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS)

Deadline Date:

12/27/19 11:59 PM EST


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Grants starting at $50,000 to USA nonprofit organizations for regional programs to support eligible practitioners and promote increased access to local foods for eligible schools. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take four weeks to complete. Funding is intended to assist in creating and disseminating information on farm to school program development and providing practitioner education and training, and will also support ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance.

The proposed Regional Farm to School Institute activities must support the USDA’s Farm to School Program, which aims to assist eligible schools, State and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations (ITOs), agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and nonprofit entities through trainings and technical assistance to implement farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs).

Required Objectives:

  1. Create and disseminate information on farm to school program development.
    • Grant funding may be used to adapt existing materials and resources or to create new materials. Content created and disseminated under this grant must be designed with the intent to support and enhance eligible CNP operators in developing robust, sustainable, and integrated Farm to School programs
  2. Provide practitioner education and training.
    • The education and training may utilize any format or combination of formats, including, but not limited to, in-person trainings or workshops; online learning modules; webinars; videos; web-based applications; and/or blended learning (i.e., an educational program that combines online/web based digital media or modules with traditional face-to-face instruction).
  3. Provide ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. 
    • Conduct regular, ongoing farm to school trainings, either in-person or virtual, for on-the-ground stakeholders, such as schools, school districts, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers, and/or non-profit organizations. The applicant must provide ongoing coaching and technical assistance for at least one school year or program operational period; however, the applicant may determine such factors as the frequency, scope, and intensity of any proposed coaching and/or technical assistance sessions within the operational period.

Among other costs, budgets may include expenses related to personnel, contractors, equipment and supplies, meeting expenses, travel, and trainings.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187267

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

FNS anticipates awarding at least two grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request from $50,000 to $100,000 under this solicitation. Request amounts greater than $100,000 or lower than $50,000 will not be considered.

Term of Contract:

It is anticipated that this will be a one-time initiative. The period of performance will be 24 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

1. Regional Farm to School Institute(s) - For the purposes of this RFA, a regional farm to school institute is defined as an established tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization that works in a regional capacity and has:
a. Five or more years of experience working across the farm to school supply chain to institutionalize farm to school within Child Nutrition Program systems, structures, and operations;
b. Produced at least one major publication, such as a report, toolkit, or white paper, related to farm to school in last five years;
c. Conducted regular, ongoing farm to school trainings, either in-person or virtual, for on the ground stakeholders, such as schools, school districts, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers and/or non-profit organizations, and have evaluation data detailing the effectiveness of such trainings.

2. Regional capacity - Working with at least three adjacent states (interstate) or territories within one USDA-FNS region. USDA acknowledges that there may be other definitions used to define “regional” scope. For the purposes of this RFA, “regional” capacity is defined as working with at least three adjacent states or territories within one USDA-FNS region.

3. Practitioner(s) - Entities or organizations that operate CNPs or work with schools or institutions operating CNPs as defined in the NSLA to institute farm to CN practices. A practitioner may include State and local agencies, School Food Authorities or other CNP operators, nonprofit entities, Indian tribal organizations, and agricultural producers.

Pre-Application Information:

- Release Date: October 22, 2019
- Application Due Date: 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST), December 27, 2019
- Anticipated Award Date: March 2020

For all grant types, Federal funds should constitute no more than 75 percent of the total project budget. Applicants may not use any federal funds as the source of any part of their match. The grant recipient must show evidence of matching support of at least 25 percent of the total budget in the form of cash or in-kind contributions, including facilities, equipment, or services provided by state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private sources.

USDA strongly encourages applicants to begin the process at least four weeks before the due date and to submit applications to at least one week before the deadline to allow time to troubleshoot any issues, should they arise. The system provides several confirmation notices; applicants should ensure receipt of confirmation that the application was accepted.

In order to apply, at least four weeks prior to submission, you must have:
- Obtained a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number;
- Registered the DUNS number into the System for Award Management (SAM); and,
- Registered in

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

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

For questions regarding this solicitation, please contact the Grants Officer at:
Anna Arrowsmith
Grant Officer, Grants and Fiscal Policy Division
U.S. Department of Agriculture, FNS
3101 Park Center Drive Room 740
Alexandria, VA 22301

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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