Wolf administration announces funds available to aid childhood access to local, healthy foods

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On Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration announced the availability of $500,000 to improve the access between children and healthy foods.

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced the opening of the 2020-21 PA Farm Bill’s $500,000 “Farm to School Grant Program.”

The Grant Program is set to improve the access of healthy, local foods for students ages pre-k to fifth grade.

“The future of Pennsylvania agriculture relies on developing an agriculture literate society, and that begins with our very youngest Pennsylvanians,” said Redding. “It’s so important that we talk to young kids about where their food comes from and foster an appreciation for the role of agriculture in their everyday lives. The best way to do this is to improve childhood access to nutritious, local foods, which is exactly what this $500,000 Farm to School Grant Program is here to do,”

Any school district, charter, or private school that has pre-k to fifth grade classes, is eligible to apply for up to $15,000.

Eligible applications are to include:

- A list of Pennsylvania farmers who have agreed to supply products from their farms;
- Nutrition and agriculture education, including integration into regular classroom subjects;
- Training of teachers and other educational staff on nutrition and agriculture education;
- Inclusion of parents, caregivers, and community groups in educational activities;
- Field trips to Pennsylvania farms or other direct agricultural experiences which teach children about sources of food and Pennsylvania agriculture.

The application process is now open for all schools that fit the requirements and will remain open until March 30, 2021.

No matter if students are learning in-person or virtually, any school that fits the requirements can apply.