The Kentucky Farm to School Network** is excited to invite Kentucky PreK – 12 schools and community partners to apply for a Kentucky-grown produce taste testing mini-grant opportunity. This project will provide funding to implement taste testing activities in Kentucky schools that allow students to try Kentucky-grown produce, increase their understanding of where food comes from, and make connections between students and farmers. The grant period will be from October 2022 until the end of May 2023.
Forty $1,000 mini-grants will be awarded through this project. Eligible expenses include Kentucky-grown produce purchased directly from a Kentucky farm, supplies like cups and spoons, and promotional and educational materials.
Who is eligible to apply? Private and Public School personnel (food service staff, teachers, FRYSC staff, etc.), university or public agency personnel* (extension agents, health department staff), and Kentucky farmers and producers*. Farmers of color are encouraged to apply.*
*Anyone who is not a school employee must have a letter of support from the school where taste tests will be conducted.
The Kentucky Farm to School Network is committed to addressing the systemic and structural health, social, and economic inequities that disproportionately impact communities of color. To ensure we are supporting individuals and communities most impacted by these inequalities, we will prioritize grant funds to schools serving communities where over 50% of the population identify as Black, Latino, Native American, Asian, Hawaiian Native, or Pacific Islander. We will also prioritize funds to rural communities where schools face unique challenges in addressing hunger and communities where members experience an intersectionality of identities and environmental factors that contribute to discriminations and disadvantages.
An ideal application will: give Kentucky students a chance to taste Kentucky-grown fruits and vegetables, increase their understanding of where food comes from and how it’s grown, and make connections between students and farmers.
How will applications be reviewed? Members of the Farm to School Network will review applications.
Funding for this project is provided by the Kentucky Horticulture Council through a Food and Agriculture Service Learning Project (FASLP) grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Key Details & Dates:
- The application period opens on August 2, 2022, and closes September 16, 2022 at 5pm.
- Mini-Grant awardees will be selected and notified through email by September 30, 2022.
- Awarded grantees will be required to collect taste testing data; a template will be provided.
- Awarded grantees are strongly encouraged to share their taste testing events/activities on social media.
- Awarded grantees will be required to attend a short virtual orientation in October to kick-off project activities.
- Final reports for awardees will be due no later than June 9, 2023.
Applications are available at https://forms.gle/c9GWEtse183nWy6D7 and due by 5pm ET on September 16, 2022. Questions about the application can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
**The Kentucky Farm to School Network is a coalition of agencies, organizations, and advocates enthusiastic about farm to school programming in Kentucky.
Can I apply if I am a farmer or community partner?
YES! However, you must have commitment by the school(s) you will work with to participate, demonstrated by a letter of support that must be included in your application.
Are private schools invited to apply? What about homeschooling groups?
Private schools are invited to apply. Homeschooling groups are not eligible for this grant program but we welcome your participation in our KY Farm to School Challenge.
Can a school district apply as a whole?
Individual schools are encouraged to apply, but if a school district is located in one building/campus, the school district can apply as a whole. The $1,000 grant limit still applies if applying as a school district (i.e., you cannot apply for $1,000 per school with one application). Farmers or community partners can apply with a school district as their partner with one support letter from the school district, but can also apply with individual school(s) as their partner(s) with the appropriate support letters included.
How can applicants demonstrate the project will benefit underserved communities?
Be sure to include the demographic information requested in the application. We will prioritize grant funds to schools serving communities where over 50% of the population identify as Black, Latino, Native American, Asian, Hawaiian Native, or Pacific Islander, schools in rural communities that may face unique challenges in addressing hunger, and schools in communities where members experience an intersectionality of identities and environmental factors that contribute to discriminations and disadvantages.
Does the produce have to be grown in Kentucky?
Yes, all of the produce that you purchase with this grant must be grown in Kentucky.
Are any other food items besides produce eligible to be purchased with this grant (such as meats, cheeses, etc.)?
No, all of the food you purchase with this grant must be fresh, whole produce (fruits and/or vegetables) and all must be grown in Kentucky.
If I am a farmer, can I use the funds to pay myself for fruits and vegetables I will provide through the taste testing?
Yes! A farmer can apply to this grant program to pay themselves for fruits and vegetables they grow (or purchase directly from another KY farmer).
Can I purchase the fruits and vegetables through a distributor?
No, all of the produce must be purchased directly from a KY farmer.
Besides KY-grown produce, what else can I purchase with this grant?
Supplies needed for the taste testing such as cups/plates, silverware, and napkins; promotional materials such as stickers, posters, and handouts.
Can I use the grant funds to pay for staff time?
No, the grant funds cannot be used to pay for staff time.
Do the taste testing activities have to take place at schools?
No, but it must be a school-sanctioned event during the regular school day. For many, it will make the most sense to do the taste testing on school grounds during lunch or in the classroom. However, taste testing activities can also take place during a field trip to a farm or farmers market. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to email us at KYF2SNetwork@gmail.com.
What sort of reporting will be required with this grant?
Only a final report will be required with standard information about reach and student feedback as well as financials, which will include receipts for produce and supplies. This information will be provided to grantees at the start of the project and will be due no later than June 9, 2023. Reporting was designed to be as minimally cumbersome as possible while still ensuring we have the required data.
Besides reporting, will there be any other requirements of this grant?
You (or someone from your school, farm, organization, etc.) must participate in an introductory webinar at the beginning of October.