School is out, but a school nutrition professional’s work is never done. Summer is an opportunity for all of us to take a well-deserved break, but it’s also the perfect time to seek out funding for your school nutrition program. Devoting a little time and energy during the summer can pay off during the school year—both for your program, and the students you serve.
Even if you’re not quite ready to apply, doing a bit of research and keeping the information and relevant dates on file will save you time once the school year begins. Do you have a favorite grant resource you’d like to share? Leave us a comment, or share with us on Facebook.
If you are seeking school breakfast grants, your first stop should be Fuel Up to Play 60 Funds. The summer deadline has passed, but the next deadline is Wednesday, November 15, 2014—why not get ahead of the game? Up to $4000 per year is available to qualifying K-12 schools that are enrolled in FUTP60 to kick-start healthy changes in the school environment. When you apply for Funds, you will be asked to select one Healthy Eating and one Physical Activity Play from the 2014-15 Playbook, which includes updated plays from previous years in addition to new plays.
We also suggest you check with your local dairy council to see if they have any school breakfast grant opportunities.
Farm to Cafeteria
The USDA Farm-to-School website provides a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the farm-to-school landscape, including a section on Grants, Loans and Support. While the application period for 2015 has closed, utilizing this website can help you prepare the information you’ll need to make a case for implementing the program at your school.
Again, it’s a great idea to check with your state agencies to learn what farm-to-school grant opportunities are available to your program. Not sure where to start? Call up your state university extension program to inquire about grants, program assistance, and training.
For school nutrition professionals seeking grants for salad bars, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is an excellent resource. We love the clean layout, simple navigation, and the wealth of additional information they make available, from supplementary fundraising to documentation for local health authorities.
The Whole Kids Foundation also offers salad bar grants, as well as school gardens. The non-profit, founded by Whole Foods Market, is working to help kids learn to love fresh, nutritious foods, and increase access to and consumption of these foods in schools.
School garden programs are enjoying a great deal of popularity—set your Google Alerts to find “school garden” results and you’ll see! The National Gardening Association offers grants for school garden programs through their Kids Gardening campaign. Since 1982, the NGA has awarded 9,596 grants worth approximately $3.96 million, and reaching an estimated 1.5 million young gardeners.
We also recommend checking out the Recipe for Success program. Based in Houston, TX, the Recipe for Success Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education program is helping Houston students find a deeper, more meaningful connection to the food on their plates. Now schools outside of Texas can benefit from the Recipe for Success model through the affiliate program. Don’t forget to read our featured blog posts on Recipe for Success!