February 2017

This month's edition highlights the many grant opportunities currently available to support Farm Fresh activities.

$27 Million Available from USDA to Support Local Food Producers

On January 11, USDA announced it was accepting requests for application for the three grant programs listed below. The grants will fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. 

The FMPP provides funds for direct farmer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands and agritourism.

Example of a previously funded Farm to School project:

- Modesto Certified Farmers' Market Inc. in Modesto, California

To support an increase in the consumption and sales of locally produced agriculture, the farmers market developed an educational training for junior high school students that incorporated cooking classes at the market.

The LFPP supports projects focused on intermediary supply chain activities, such as aggregation, processing, storage and distribution for local foods.

Example of a previously-funded Farm to School project:
- Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn, New York
The organization expanded the Farm to Early Care Fresh Food pilot project and increased access to farm fresh, healthy food for more than 1,500 children and generally increased revenue for participating farmers.

- Pittsburg Unified School District in Pittsburg, California
The school district developed the Contra Costa County Nutrition Services Joint Powers Agreement, allowing interested schools to collaboratively procure local food for their school meal programs.

- Third Sector New England in Boston, Massachusetts
The organization used planning grant funds to support six partnering food hubs that increased their sales to nearby institutional buyers, including schools, hospitals and colleges.

FSMIP provides about $1 million in matching funds to state departments of agriculture, state colleges and universities and other appropriate state agencies to support research projects that address challenges and opportunities in marketing, transporting and distributing U.S. agricultural products domestically and internationally.

Example of a previously-funded Farm to School project:
- Montana Department of Agriculture
The department supported expanded market opportunities for local farmers by determining the best methods for processing and preparing fruits and vegetables to make them available year-round to supply the state's K-12 schools.

Learn more about each grant opportunity and access the requests for application by clicking on the links within the grant descriptions.

Applications for FSMIP, FMPP and LFPP are due on March 27, 2017.

TDA accepting applications for grants of up to $10,000 to fund Farm Fresh and Farm to School activities or Coordinated School Health Programs in public schools

Commissioner Miller asks Texas public schools to apply for an Expanding the 3E's Grant before the February 28 deadline. Grant funds may be used for activities that supplement or extend Farm Fresh Fridays and Farm to School, including school gardens. Funds also can be used to supplement or extend a coordinated health program.
National Education Association (NEA) Foundation offers grants to educators

The NEA Foundation is providing mini-grants for projects and programs that can support science, technology, engineering and math curricula or STEM learning , including urban farming and other farm to school activities. There are two more deadlines for 2017 applications: June 1 and Oct. 15.

Contact TDA
Alyssa Herold
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Initiatives
Emilee Feldhausen
Farm Fresh Specialist

Email us or call
(877) TEX-MEAL
Connect with Others
Texas Statewide Network
This LinkedIn Group is an online network connecting schools, child and adult care centers, producers, support organizations and community members with important information about expanding local food efforts in Texas.
Join Today!

Texas Farm Fresh Network
Use this tool to connect with Texas food companies that currently sell or are interested in selling to schools, child care centers and summer meal programs. Company listings include contact information, product availability and distribution radius.
Funding Opportunities
Financial support from organizations may help establish or advance local Farm Fresh initiatives.
Go here  for a list of opportunities from TDA, USDA and other organizations.