Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

Funding Opportunities

SC Farm to School Grants Available to Schools

Square-Foot-Garden-14The South Carolina Farm to Institution Program has released their 2015-2016 Farm to School RFP. Schools have an opportunity to receive a grant totaling $4,000 to implement the Farm to School project, teach students about healthy eating and support local farmers.

According to a new survey from the USDA, only 36% of U.S. schools serve locally grown foods. The data was collected during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture created the Farm to School program to get more healthful food in schools and link smaller U.S. farmers with a steady market of lunch rooms.

South Carolina schools have an opportunity to increase that number by applying for one of ten grants by May 1. Priority will be given to schools located in Marion and Orangeburg Counties that have not received funding to implement the Farm to School Program within the last three years.

To be eligible, a school MUST meet the following requirements:

  1. Participate in the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program*
  2. Have an ADM (Average Daily Membership) that is 50% or more eligible for free and/or reduced-price lunch

Each grantee must agree to implement all of the following activities as part of the SC Farm to School Program:

  1. Purchase SC grown fruits and vegetables from one of the following local sources:
    a. Directly from a farmer
    b. Through distributors/processors who buy from local farmers c. From a grower’s cooperative
    d. From a farmers’ market
  2. Incorporate SC produce as a part of the school meal:
    a. At a minimum, the school must purchase and serve at least two locally grown fruits or vegetables per month.
    b. Publicize the monthly featured locally grown fruits or vegetables as “Fresh on the Campus” through Certified SC Grown certification.
  3. Integrate Farm to School through hands-on learning:
    a. In classrooms, through activities such as taste tests, and incorporating nutrition/agriculture education into classroom activities
    b. Out of classrooms, through activities such as visiting a farm, visiting a farmers’ market, or inviting a local farmer to make a presentation at the school
  4. Establish or revitalize a vegetable and/or fruit garden at the school.

For complete information, download the Farm to School RFP.