The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently awarded funding to schools across Minnesota for two new grants to increase the amount of healthy local foods in school meals through its Farm to School programs.
School districts across Minnesota received a total of $294,907 for purchasing Minnesota-grown and -raised foods to be used in school meal programs. This grant funding will leverage an additional $239,007 in purchases of Minnesota grown- and raised-foods, for nearly $534,000 in total investment.
“Building new markets that directly benefit farmers and children is at the heart of what we aim to do here at MDA,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “We’re thrilled to see schools across the state participate in these new grant programs, and we look forward to their success and building on this initial investment.”
Recipient school districts were awarded one of two grants:
- Farm to School First Bite Mini-Grant: Grants are intended for school districts that have little to no experience with local procurement as part of a Farm to School programing.
- Farm to School Full Tray Grant: Grants are intended for school districts that have some Farm to School procurement experience.
Funding for this program is made available through the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) program, which administers grants to farmers, agribusinesses, schools, and more throughout the state of Minnesota. The AGRI Program exists to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors.
The grant recipients may receive technical assistance to successfully implement their farm to school procurement activities from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy thanks to funding from the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant. University of Minnesota Extension’s Center of Community Vitality will evaluate the economic impact of this investment.
Farm to School Grant Recipients
|All Saints Catholic Schools||$3,400|
|Aurora Waakaone Community of Learners||$5,000|
|ISD 0877 Buffalo Public Schools||$5,000|
|Crosslake Community School||$5,000|
|ISD 0330 Heron Lake-Okabena Public Schools||$5,000|
|Immanuel Lutheran School||$5,000|
|ISD 0740 Melrose Public Schools||$5,000|
|New Ulm Area Catholic Schools||$5,000|
|ISD 0553 New York Mills Public Schools||$5,000|
|St Mary’s School Breckenridge||$2,500|
|ISD 0487 Upsala Public Schools||$5,000|
|Winona Area Public Schools||$5,000|
|ISD 0206 Alexandria Public Schools||$11,201|
|ISD 0271 Bloomington Public Schools||$35,000|
|ISD 0466 Dassel Cokato Public Schools||$8,500|
|ISD 0272 Eden Prairie Public Schools||$5,000|
|ISD 0270 Hopkins Public Schools||$10,837|
|ISD 0423 Hutchinson Public Schools||$17,500|
|ISD 0465 Litchfield Public Schools||$9,000|
|ISD 2711 Mesabi East Schools||$9,841|
|ISD 0001 Minneapolis Public Schools||$35,000|
|ISD 0659 Northfield Public Schools||$5,000|
|ISD 0719 Prior Lake Public Schools||$18,235|
|Riverway Learning Community||$2,568|
|ISD 0281 Robbinsdale Public Schools||$35,000|
|ISD 0623 Roseville Public Schools||$27,200|
|ISD 0282 St. Anthony New Brighton Public Schools||$9,125|
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications