New programs, including farm to school programs, can often require additional funding. There are some grants out there that specifically fund farm to school work, but not many. Of the grants there are, many focus on funding only school gardens. But with a little creative thinking, you can make grants that aren’t obviously farm to school fund your farm to school projects.
For example, the Georgia SHAPE School Physical Activity and Nutrition Grants provides funding for schools to improve student fitness based on the FITNESSGRAM© assessment or to address nutritional requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Using farm to school programs to serve more nutritious fruits and vegetables is a perfect fit for this grant, but not one that springs directly to mind.
Here are some more ideas:
- Grants to enhance studies of specific subject areas can be applied to teaching that subject in the garden. Math and science subject grants are especially easy to adapt to farm to school lessons
- Field trip grants can send your students to a museum or historical site, but they can also take your class to the farm! Field trips promote learning experiences outside of the classroom, and that certainly includes learning on a farm, at a farmers market, or in a community garden.
- Health and wellness grants can often be used for nutrition education. Farm to school programs that increase children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables are a form of disease prevention!
- Environmental education grants can apply to education in a garden or even growing things in a classroom.
- Grants for non-vegetable gardens, like fruit trees or pollinator gardens, can be big enhancements to any school gardens.
- Facilities grants can be used to enhance the grounds of a school. Gardens are part of the landscaping and can be included in new plans!