HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – Today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced the opening of the 2021-22 PA Farm Bill’s $500,000 Farm to School Grant Program to improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agriculture education opportunities for children pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
“Our Farm to School Program works to improve health and nutrition for young children, provide hands-on ag education opportunities, and support local farmers by fostering connections between schools and farms,” said Redding. “Through this program, Pennsylvania schools have the opportunity to address our workforce needs of the future by encouraging agricultural interests in young students while simultaneously improving their access to fresh, local foods.”
Over the past two years, the Wolf Administration has invested nearly $800,000 in farm-to-school programming in Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill.
The Farm to School Grant Program aims to enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early childhood education sites.
Any school district, charter school, or private school with pre-kindergarten classes, kindergarten, or elementary through fifth grade – regardless of offering in-person, virtual, or hybrid instruction models – is eligible to apply for up to $15,000. Eligible applications should include:
- A list of Pennsylvania farmers who have agreed to supply products from their farms;
- Nutrition and agriculture education, including integration into regular classroom subjects;
- Training of teachers and other educational staff on nutrition and agriculture education;
- Inclusion of parents, caregivers, and community groups in educational activities; and
- Field trips to Pennsylvania farms or other direct agricultural experiences which teach children about sources of food and Pennsylvania agriculture.
The 2021-22 Farm to School program opened for applications on August 16 and the deadline to apply is October 1, 2021.
For more information about the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, a comprehensive set of programming and funding to benefit Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry, visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.