The California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F) announces that it is awarding $8.49 million in grants to 60 farm to school projects throughout the state via the 2021 California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program.
“We’re happy to report that so many projects are being funded in our inaugural year of the California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The excitement to participate demonstrates how much the program goals resonate with school meal providers, educators and regional food system partners.”
View the Farm to School Incubator Grant Program section of the California Farm to School Program webpage for a list of awardees and their projects.
The 2021 California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program will fund innovative local and regional farm to school projects in nutrition education, sustainable food production and procurement, and high-quality student engagement through experiential learning. There are two funding tracks.
In Track 1, or the California Farm to School Innovation Grant, CDFA will fund 46 projects, awarding grants ranging from $20,000 to $500,000 to local educational agencies (LEAs) throughout the state. Selected through a competitive process, these projects focus on establishing new or expanding existing integrated farm to school programs that: (1) procure California-grown or California-produced whole or minimally processed foods and integrate these foods into school meals; and (2) coordinate educational opportunities between cafeteria, classroom and community.
In Track 2, or the California Regional Partnerships Grant, CDFA will fund 14 projects, awarding grants ranging from approximately $144,000 to $250,000 to innovative farm to school partnerships including LEAs and regional partners. Selected through a competitive process, these projects focus on expanding existing farm to school initiatives and increasing collaboration and coordination between producers and the schools they serve.
The funding for this competitive grant program was made available by the Budget Act of 2020, which includes a $10 million one-time General Fund allocation for the 2020-21 fiscal year and $1.5 million annually thereafter for CDFA to establish a pilot Farm to School Incubator Grant Program and provide ongoing support for the California Farm to School Network (CFSN). CFSN is a “one-stop shop” that works to align farm to school efforts, share resources, and bring together farmers, schools, distributors and practitioners.
Please visit CDFA-F2F’s California Farm to School Program webpage for more information.