On Thursday, the Washington state Department of Agriculture announced that nearly $3 million is on the table for farm to school efforts.  The hope is to get more locally grown food on the lunch trays of schools across the state.  WSDA is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023.  Applications will be accepted until Monday, July 11 at 4  p.m.

Grants awards will range from $20,000 to $300,000.  Awards are based on the number of meals served and a competitive review of applications.

The Washington State Legislature provided $5 million in the 2021-23 state budget to expand WSDA’s Farm to School program.  The grant is being administered in partnership with Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“The Farm to School Purchasing Grants not only support farm to school efforts, but also local farms of different sizes, production scales, and crop types from around the state,” said Derek Sandison, Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “One of our goals with this grant program is to strengthen Washington’s food at the regional level, while helping to ensure that more locally-produced food is consumed by children in our schools.”

The grant is available to school districts and child care centers that have a USDA child nutrition program, tribal schools, and tribal early learning centers. The grants will help these facilities buy Washington-grown foods for their child nutrition programs.

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