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Agriculture Secretary Invites Applicants for $500,000 in PA Farm Bill Grants to Strengthen Childhood Nutrition, Hands-on Ag Education

09/13/2022

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today invited schools and childhood education centers to apply for $500,000 in PA Farm Bill Farm-to-School Grants. Up to $15,000 per school is available for projects aimed at improving access to healthy, local foods and increasing hands-on learning experiences for children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

"Introducing children to fresh, locally produced foods changes lives," Secretary Redding said. "Children in turn introduce their families to fresh foods and make connections between their food and people who raise it for them. Their habits change, their minds are fed, and their career possibilities expand. Farm-to-School grants are a solid investment in feeding minds and feeding our future."

The Pennsylvania Farm Bill Farm-to-School Grant Program enriches the connection between families and local producers of fresh, healthy food by changing food purchasing habits in schools. In doing so, the program increases access to markets for local farms, and exposes children early to agriculture, agriculture careers, and healthy food choices.

Any school district, school, charter school, private school, or center with prekindergarten, kindergarten, elementary, or middle school classes through eighth grade that participates in a Federal Child Nutrition Program is eligible to apply.

In July 2019, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law the first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill, which included an annual investment of $500,000 in PA Farm-to-School Grant projects. Since becoming law, PA Farm-to-School Grants have funded 131 projects statewide, including the most recent round of funding for 47 projects in 26 counties.

Projects identify local farmers to supply fresh, in-season products to support educational programming, or cultivated their own school gardens. In addition to improving student access to local, nutritious foods, funded projects provide hands-on agriculture education experiences.

Grant applications must be submitted online through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications are due by 5:00 PM on October 14, 2022.

Full grant guidelines are published in the September 10 edition of the PA Bulletin.

Find a map of previous PA Farm Bill grant recipients in your area and details of other PA Farm Bill grants and initiatives to grow and sustain Pennsylvania agriculture at agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers, 717-603-2056 or shpowers@pa.gov

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