USDA Announces Request for Applications for Farm to School Grants

On April 17, USDA released the request for applications (RFA) for the new Farm to School Grant Program. This year, $3.5 million in funding will be made available to help school districts implement farm to school programs that improves access to local foods. Grant funds are available for two different types of grants: planning and implementation grants. The deadline to submit a letter of intent is May 18. The final due date for proposals is June 15. USDA is also soliciting feedback from stakeholders and advocates on the implementation of the Farm to School Grant Program through July 15. See below for more important dates.

Learn more information about the grant process and download the RFA on the USDA Farm to School website.

Program Background
The competitive Farm to School Grant program was created through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, or the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization. In 2009 and 2010, CFSC, with the National Farm to School Network and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, worked tirelessly to win $40 million in mandatory funding for the new grants program. Beginning October 1, 2012, $5 million will be made available to USDA per year to fulfill the mandate of the HHFKA. USDA plans for the remaining $1.5 million this year are still under development.

Grant Details
Grant funds will be made available on a competitive basis for two types of grants:

  • Planning grants are intended only for schools and school districts that are just starting farm to school activities to help them organize and structure their efforts. They are expected to range from $20,000 to $45,000 and represent approximately 25 percent of the total awards.
  • Implementation grants are intended to further develop existing farm to school initiatives. They are expected to account for 75 percent of the total awards and range from $65,000 to $100,000. Schools and school districts, as well as a variety of other entities like state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities may use these awards to further develop existing Farm to School programs.

In keeping with the HHFKA, USDA will prioritize projects that serve schools and school districts with high free and reduced price meal enrollment. USDA also encourages eligible entities to submit “cluster” applications where, for example, one school district works together with several nearby school districts to benefit a greater geographic area.

Key Dates

  • May 15, 1:00 EST: Implementation Grants Webinar
  • May 17, 1:00 EST: Planning Grants Webinar
  • May 18: (Suggested) Letter of Intent Deadline
  • June 15: Proposals Due (
  • July 15: Feedback on the RFA Due to USDA
  • October 1, or shortly after: Awards Announced and Funds Available (pending availability)

For more information about USDA webinars and other updates, sign up for USDA’s Farm to School Listserve.

You can also contact USDA:

USDA is still collecting feedback from stakeholders on implementation of the Farm to School Grants. You can submit feedback through July 15, 2012 to with the subject header: F2S Feedback.

Questions? Please contact the CFSC Policy Office at 202-481-6933 or
Best Regards,
Community Food Security Coalition

UVM launches June Food Systems Summit

This summer, Vermont will be the epicenter for conversation on revolutionizing our broken food system.

The University of Vermont is launching its first-ever Food Systems Summit ( At the core is a groundbreaking program – “The Breakthrough Leaders Program for Sustainable Food Systems”( – an international leadership institute bringing together emerging leaders from around the world for an intensive training program to build the skills needed to lead change and create a more sustainable food system.

You may view instructors, the schedule, and application online at The program starts online on June 18, 2012 and then meets at UVM’s beautiful Burlington campus for six days from June 24  – June 29, 2012.

Application is required.  Acceptances are via rolling admission, so there are only a very small number of spots still available.  Apply today, because all seats may be filled before the May 18th deadline.

We hope you can join us, and also help spread the word in your community.

Matt Sayre
University of Vermont Continuing Education

P.S. We just launched a blog, too! Visit the UVM Food Feed ( to learn from a transdisciplinary team of experts at the University of Vermont.

NOFA-NY Hiring Membership Coordinator, Seeking Interns


The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is the oldest and largest organization in New York devoted to organic and sustainable farming and gardening, and counts over 600 farms among its 1700 members of farmers, gardeners, and eaters.

We are seeking a Membership Coordinator to help us grow our organizational membership from 1700 in 2012 to 5,000 members by 2015.  The position requires a self-starter who has database management, some accounting background, and customer service experience. The Membership Coordinator is responsible for administering NOFA-NY’s membership program, augmenting development efforts, and otherwise supporting NOFA-NY operations.  The person must be passionate about organic farming and gardening and able to excite people about NOFA-NY and encourage them to join the organization. This position is full-time (40 hrs/week) and includes our full benefits package ($5,000 value).  The position must be based at the NOFA-NY office in Rochester, NY.

How to Apply
Position open until filled.  Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to by Friday, May 18, 2012.  Interviews will be offered to select candidates on a rolling basis.

Please see the job description here!

Also in the Bay Area: Intern at the Edible Schoolyard!

Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard is looking for a Summer Garden Intern.  The Garden Intern refines his/her garden management skills while engaging in the day-to-day responsibilities of an educational garden. Under the direction of the Edible Schoolyard garden staff, the Garden Intern is mentored in the practical skills and philosophy of the Edible Schoolyard (ESY). The Summer Garden Intern does not participate in teaching garden classes. The focus of the Summer Garden Internship is to assist Edible Schoolyard staff in the summer maintenance of our 1-acre garden. It is an ideal opportunity for those looking to gain hands-on experience maintaining an organic garden.  For more information, visit the job description.

Become a Green School Corps member in San Francisco!

In 2011, San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance, in partnership with San Francisco Unified School District, launched Green Schools Corps—the first service corps program in the United States dedicated to building a strong movement of leaders who are working to transform urban public schools into centers of 21st-century experiential learning, environmental sustainability, and innovation. Green Schools Corps is designed to harness the enthusiasm and passion of college graduates. By serving as the point people for all outdoor education and school greening activities at their school sites, Corps members will play a central role in sparking children’s interest in science and math, building an eco- and food-literate student population, increasing the energy efficiency of school sites, raising water awareness, decreasing waste streams, building strong school communities, and advancing outdoor education opportunities.

In addition to improving the experience of urban children in public education and promoting environmental sustainability, Corps members receive year-round training, mentoring, and career development from leading professionals in the growing fields of environmental education, green schoolyard design, energy efficiency and conservation, water resources, and the urban agriculture and local food movements. Armed with these unique insights and experiences, it is our goal for this new generation of leaders to leave the program with a vision for their unique roles within the environmental sustainability, public education, or other related fields.

We are currently hiring for the 2012-2014 school years. To learn more about the program and to access the online application, please click HERE.

All the best,

Joyce Lin-Conrad
Program Coordinator
San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance
135 Van Ness Avenue, Room 408
San Francisco, CA 94102

Bread for the World seeking Art Simon Fellow

Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad, is actively recruiting for the following position, Art Simon Fellow. We are eager to fill this position. If you are interested in applying or know of someone who may be interested, please submit your cover letter, resume, salary requirement, and availability to or fax to 202-688-1155. Please visit for a full listing of available positions.

Art Simon Fellow
We are seeking an individual to work with a legislative strategy and lobbying team on the issues of global hunger and poverty. The Art Simon fellow will work with our policy analysts to research assigned international issues, prepare position papers, organize and maintain data and statistics, develop working relationships with congressional staff, and perform administrative tasks as needed. Must have a bachelor’s degree, strong research and writing skills, excellent organizational and analytical skills, computer skills (proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Word, and internet research is a plus), and an interest in international hunger and poverty issues. Capitol Hill experience is preferred.  This is a one-year internship with an annual stipend, health benefits, as well as vacation, and sick leave. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply. 

Deadline to apply: May 11, 2012

Send cover letter, resume and availability to:  Bread for the World, HR-ASF, 425 3rd Street, S.W., Suite 1200, Washington, DC  20024 or email or fax: 202-688-1155. No Phone Calls Please.

Bread is an EOE.

Latonya Carter, PHR
Human Resources and Administrative Services Specialist

This Friday! US Farm Bill 2012: Policy & Potential @ AU