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FY 2020 Farm to School Grant

Grants to USA Schools, Agencies, Tribes, Nonprofits, and Agricultural
Producers to Increase Access to Local Foods for Eligible Schools

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) - Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/13/19 11:59 PM EST


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Grants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 and grants starting at $50,000 to USA schools, agencies, Indian tribal organizations, nonprofit organizations, and agricultural producers for programs to increase access to local foods for eligible schools. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take three weeks to complete. Funding is intended for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.

USDA considers the following priorities for FY 2020: 

  • Applications that serve a high proportion of children (at least 40 percent or more) who are eligible for free or reduced price meals. 
  • Applications from Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and entities serving tribal communities. 
  • Projects located in or targeting Opportunity Zones.
  • In selecting successful applicants, USDA, to the maximum extent practicable, will seek to ensure geographical diversity and equitable treatment of urban, rural, and tribal communities. 

There are three funding tracks available for FY 2020: Farm to School Planning grants, Implementation grants, and State Agency grants (new).

Planning Grants:

  • Planning grants are intended to increase the amount of local food in eligible schools by providing funding for the development of an Action Plan designed to initiate or expand farm to school programs. They are intended for eligible entities that are just getting started with farm to school activities. Planning grants should focus primarily on goals and activities that lay a solid foundation for launching or scaling farm to school work. 

Implementation Grants:

  • Implementation grants are intended to increase the amount of local food in eligible schools by providing funding for eligible entities to scale up or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. Implementation grants are appropriate for eligible entities with established partnerships, a defined farm to school objective or objectives, and/or past success implementing farm to school activities. Applicants may focus on a relatively discrete set of schools as direct recipients of project activities, or may provide products and services that have national, regional, or statewide relevance and scope. 

Farm to School State Agency Grants:

  • State Agency grants are intended to increase the amount of local food served in eligible schools by funding State agencies to support and grow farm to school efforts in their states. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 154171

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 275

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Planning grant awards will range from $20,000 ‐ $50,000.
- Implementation and State Agency grants will range from $50,000 ‐ $100,000.

Term of Contract:

- Planning grants: Award Period 12 months
- Implementation grants: Award Period 12 or 24 months
- State Agency grants: Award Period 12 or 24 months


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The authorizing language specifies the following eligible entities that are described in more detail in the RFA:
- Eligible schools and school districts;
- State agencies;
- Local agencies;
- Indian tribal organizations;
- Agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers; and
- Non‐profit entities.

Entity type must be clearly indicated and unambiguous in all application materials. If USDA cannot determine the applicant to be an eligible entity based on information contained within the application, the applicant may be subject to removal from consideration.

Eligible schools are defined as pre‐K‐12 School Food Authorities (SFAs), non‐profit private schools, charter schools, Indian tribal schools, and others that participate in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs. Eligible SFAs may apply for funding that spans the entire SFA, for a specific group of schools (e.g. only K‐5 schools within an SFA), or for an individual school. The school(s) that comprise the primary target audience for or beneficiary of the grant project must participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program. The application must come from the SFA, and only one application per SFA is allowed.

Schools, school districts, Indian Tribal Organizations, producers, and nonprofit organizations that have received Implementation, Training, or Support Service grants through the Farm to School Grant Program in the last three funding cycles (FY 2017, 2018, or FY 2019) are not eligible to apply in FY 2020; however, former Planning grantees may apply for the Farm to School Implementation grant after the active Planning grant has been completely closed out.

State agencies that received a Farm to School Grant in any prior year are eligible to apply for the State Agency track in FY 2020, and State agencies with active farm to school projects may still apply to the State Agency grant track. Eligible applicants who received an award in a fiscal year prior to 2017 are encouraged to propose projects that differ from previous awards to the same applicant organization.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Webinar Information:
USDA will conduct at least one webinar to review the RFA and address questions regarding the application process. A webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Additional webinars will be scheduled as necessary to provide outreach and clarification to particular entities and priority areas.

Notification of webinar details and call‐in information will be communicated via the USDA Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) Resources for Grant Applicants.

Pre-Application Information:

- Publication Date: October 8, 2019
- Application Due Date: 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST), December 13, 2019
- Estimated Award Date: June 2020

A 25 percent cash or in‐kind funding match is required to receive a Farm to School Grant award. USDA expects to make funds available to the grantee in advance of need.

Recipients of Planning Grants and Implementation Grants are required to:
- Attend a mandatory in‐person grantee training meeting hosted by USDA in the first year of the grant period.

USDA strongly encourages applicants to begin the process at least three weeks before the due date and to submit applications to at least one week before the deadline to allow time to troubleshoot any issues, should they arise. The system provides several confirmation notices; applicants should ensure receipt of confirmation that the application was accepted (not just received).

In order to apply, at least three weeks prior to submission, you must have:
- Obtained a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number;
- Registered the DUNS number into the System for Award Management (SAM); and
- Registered in

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Direct questions to:
Farm to School

Dawn Addison Hawkins
Grants Officer

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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