New USDA Farm to School Grant Program USDA has announced a new Farm to School Grant Program on April 17, 2012. Districts seeking funding to start a new program will need to identify a community partner, and will be encouraged to collaborate with other districts. USDA will be sharing more information and will be seeking feedback on implementation of the program. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to establish a Farm to School program in order to assist, through grants and technical assistance, the implementing of farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. In this first funding cycle, FNS anticipates awarding up to $3.5 million in grant funding to support efforts that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Grant funds will be made available on a competitive basis, subject to availability of Federal funds. Applicants are encouraged to first submit a Letter of Intent and then apply for either a Planning Grant or an Implementation Grant. Planning grants are expected to range from $20,000 - $45,000 and represent approximately 25 percent of the total awards. Implementation grants are expected to range from $65,000 - $100,000 and represent approximately 75 percent of the total awards. For both types of grants, the applicant must provide at least 25 percent of the costs of the grant project as the Federal share of costs for this grant cannot exceed 75 percent of the total cost of the project, as required by the HHFKA. Important Dates and Deadlines April 17, 2012: Request for Applications Released May 18, 2012: (Suggested) Letter of Intent Deadline June 15, 2012: Proposals Due (Pending the Availability of Federal Funds) Shortly after October 1, 2012: Awards Announced and Funds Available For more information click here.