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  USDA Farm to School Grant Program - Apps Due 1/8/2021  
  Dean Dittmar, Coordinator  11/17/2020 9:18:00 AM  

(Sent to all contacts including principals and superintendents)

boy with carrots
Jenna Segal, USDA, contacted us to share the exciting news that the fiscal year (FY) 2021 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now available! The solicitation officially opened October 16th, 2020, and will remain open until 11:59pm ET on January 8th, 2021. FNS seeks to award up to $10 million this fiscal year.   GRANT PROGRAM MAIN PAGE

Eligible schools, State and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to medium-sized agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations are eligible for Farm to School grants. New for FY 2021, institutions operating the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program at non-school based sites are included in the definition of eligible schools and may apply for funding. Priority scoring incentives return for applicants who meet certain criteria, as well as agricultural producers, who are a new priority for FY 2021. Please see the RFA for full details.

The Implementation and State Agency tracks return from FY 2020, while the former Planning track has been modified and wrapped into the new Turnkey track. The Turnkey track simplifies the application process for applicants interested in choosing from four projects: (1) Action Planning, (2) Agricultural Education Curriculum, (3) Edible Garden, and (4) Producer Focused Training. Specific eligibility varies by track and project type (please see the RFA for additional eligibility requirements and details for each available track and project).

The RFA can be accessed here: We encourage you to share the RFA opportunity and the upcoming webinar widely among your networks! For questions, please email

Jenna Segal                Community Food Systems Fact Sheets
Midwest Farm to School Regional Lead, Senior Program Specialist
USDA Office of Community Food Systems, Food and Nutrition Service

2020 Illinois Funded Grants  - All U.S. Awards

Adelante Center for Entrepreneurship - $47,593
Waukegan, Illinois
Grant Type: Planning
The Adelante Center's Farm on Sheridan Young Farmer's program will be supported by Adelante
Center’s Farm on Sheridan indoor aquaponics farm. The project will build a community network
of community stakeholders, volunteer experts, and consultants to develop a Farm to School
Action Plan. The Farm to School program will be supported by Adelante Center’s Farm on
Sheridan indoor aquaponics farm. The Farm to School Action Plan will be facilitated by Farm on
Sheridan; it will provide an active procurement source within the community that needs it the
most and it will provide a robust venue for hands on agriculture education by both students and
families. The project will focus on engagement of the students, school districts, volunteers and
agriculture and nutrition experts to provide a comprehensive education platform that teaches
the principles of foods grow and the effect on health.

Common Threads - $100,000
Chicago, Illinois
Grant Type: Implementation
Common Threads’ project will develop the programmatic infrastructure needed to begin sourcing
from community-based urban farms for its school-based cooking and nutrition education
programs in Chicago. Common Threads will make curriculum adaptations that emphasize
seasonality and local food systems learning, implementing comprehensive Farm to School
educational programming in three schools over the course of the project period for students,
families, and teachers. Additionally, the project will increase awareness of local food and
agricultural education resources in the community. The project will collaborate with three
Chicago Public School sites and urban farms in close proximity to the schools. Common Threads’
ultimate goal is to create a scalable model for local procurement that can be replicated at other
schools in both Chicago and our 11 other program markets in future years.

Sola Gratia Farm - $47,960
Urbana, Illinois
Grant Type: Planning
The “twin cities” of Champaign and Urbana have very different school food service programs, but
both are serving schools located in multiple Opportunity Zones and a high proportion of children
who are eligible for free or reduced price meals, averaging 57% between the two districts. Sola 
Gratia Farm and CU Public Health District will collaborate with the districts to plan a F2S Program
in which: 1) Each child/student has the opportunity to try a wide variety of locally sourced foods
in a variety of forms/recipes; 2) Each child/student has the opportunity to learn about food
production and the significance of local food production in the greater economic and
environmental food systems, and meet the people producing the food; and 3) School meals not
only contribute to equality (all children have access to balanced meals), but also equity (all
students have access to locally sourced, healthy foods through the school lunch program)"

Sterling Community Unit School District #5 - $100,000
Sterling, Illinois
Grant Type: Implementation
Sterling Schools, in collaboration with the Dillon Foundation and the Community General Hospital
(CGH) Health Foundation, will implement a Farm to School program to change students'
relationships with food. The program will use a school greenhouse garden to add fresh, local
produce to the food service program. An agricultural educator will be hired to teach horticulture,
greenhouse management, and environmental science, through which students will learn how to
produce and harvest local foods while also respecting the environment. A nutrition-based
cooking class will teach students to incorporate fresh foods into daily recipes appropriate for a
variety of dietary needs.

Dean Dittmar, Coordinator
Facilitating Coordination in Ag Education (FCAE)
Phone: 217-893-0091 Cell: 618-604-1622
Address: 3358 Big Pine Trail , Champaign, IL 61822
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