Iowa Department of Education Awarded $100K For Locally Grown Foods
According to a press release, The Iowa Department of Education was awarded nearly $100,000 through a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and supported by matching funds from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship aimed at connecting Iowa schools with local and regional farmers to incorporate fresh, locally grown food in school meals.
This is the second consecutive Farm to School Grant awarded to the Department to support programs that increase the availability of local foods in schools and provide educational programming on sustainability and the impact of healthy eating in regards to personal wellness.
Funding will be used to provide opportunities for school nutrition program operators to connect with Iowa farmers at monthly meet-ups, develop training tools to help operators better understand purchasing and food safety procedures. It also encourage avenues for local foods to be incorporated into school menus and celebrate farm to school activities across the state.
The two-year grant period will cover programming during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. Total funding includes $67,677 from the USDA and $25,000 from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The Iowa Department of Education is one of 123 recipients of the 2022 Farm to School grant.
In total, the grant recipients will serve over 3 million children at more than 5,000 schools in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Since the USDA Farm to School Program’s inception in 2013, almost $75 million in Farm to School Grants have been awarded. This funds more than 1,000 projects across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico; reaching over 25 million students in close to 60,000 schools.