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Funding for Schools, Child Care Centers and Summer Meal Programs

Working in the gardenUSDA and TDA offer several programs and resources that can assist schools, child care centers, and summer sites that would like to begin or have already begun implementing Farm Fresh funding. Many grants renew each year so if it appears that a deadline has passed; it is possible that funding will be available for the upcoming year. 

USDA Farm to School Grants  Minimize 
USDA annually awards funding to support training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships and implementing farm to school programs to schools, child care centers and summer sites. 

Examples of previously funded activities include:
  • Support service grants: for state and local agencies, agricultural producers or other groups to bolster Farm Fresh projects.
  • Implementation grants: specifically for sites that want to scale or further develop existing programs. 
  • Planning grants: for those centers that are just getting started. And training grants are for groups that want to create trainings that strengthen all aspects of Farm Fresh. 

To learn more about this grant, please watch this archived webinar: Review of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. You may also read about grant recipients from 2016 here.

For full details on this grant, including a list of eligible entities, grant application documents and related deadlines, visit USDA’s Farm to School Grant Web page


3E’s Grant Program  Minimize 
TDA administers the 3E’s grant program to promote better health and nutrition programs and prevent obesity among Texas children. The objective of the program is to increase awareness of the importance of good nutrition and to encourage this education through Education, Exercise and Eating right. 

There are two categories:

In the past, grant recipients have used funds to help establish and expand farm to school gardens including taste testing, school gardens, and garden based learning initiatives. 

For full details on this grant, including the application and related deadlines, visit the 3E’s Grant Programs Web page.


Urban Schools Agriculture Grant Program  Minimize 
Texas elementary and middle schools in public school districts with 49,000 or more students are eligible to apply for an Urban Schools Agricultural Grant. Grants awards are up to $2,500 each for the funded elementary and middle school’s agricultural demonstration projects. Projects that help students better understand agriculture are eligible for consideration. This includes, but is not limited to edible school gardens that can teach children not only about horticulture, but also water conservation. Non-profit organizations that have the support of a Texas public elementary school or middle school are also encouraged to apply. TDA lists some potential projects here.

For full details on this grant, including the application and related deadlines, visit the Urban Schools Grant Program Web page.


Annie’s Grants for Gardens  Minimize 
Annie’s Foods has supported more than 295 school gardens since 2008, including a few in Texas. Funds can be used to purchase basic startup materials to fund a new garden at a school. Students can learn about and experience new, fresh ingredients through interaction with the school garden. 

For full details on this grant, including the application and related deadlines, visit the Annie’s Grants for Gardens Web page.


Whole Kids Foundation  Minimize 
The Whole Kids foundation is committed to keeping students healthy one bite at a time. Their grant programs support extended learning projects in school gardens, for inspiration view their success stories page

A Texas school used grant funds to build a sustainable vegetable garden for their culinary program, which caters school, district and community events. Culinary instructors felt it was important to instill an appreciation for where food comes from in students. Ultimately they hope to expand the garden based teaching tool into every teacher’s curriculum in the school.

For full details on this grant, including the application and related deadlines, visit the Whole Kids Foundation website.


United Family Grocery Chain  Minimize 
Many groups are eligible to apply for this opportunity, but preference is given to children’s educational, religious, fine arts and social service organizations. 

The United Family helped to raise money for one Texas school through a supply drive in 2015. Guests were able to donate either supplies or cash at the checkout counter so that they would have the supplies needed for their students for the upcoming school year. 

For full details on this grant, including the application and related deadlines, visit the United Family Grocery website.


Lowe’s Education Grant  Minimize 
Funding is available to schools and community organizations to improve their facilities through building renovations/upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades as well as safety improvements. 

One school used funds from the Lowe’s education grant to build a general store to sell items grown and created by the school’s students. Students helped with the construction of the store itself and students will also get experience running the store gaining entrepreneurial, marketing, and management skills. 

For full details on this grant, including the application and related deadlines, visit the Lowe’s Education Grant Web page


For additional funding opportunities, visit TDA’s Grants and Services Web page and the Overview of USDA grants by agency.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, 
color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  
 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
 
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:  
mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2017 Texas Department of Agriculture