June 17, 2021

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 programming.
  • 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

First Bite

School Amount
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


Full Tray

School Amount
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



Media Contact
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications