Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Marketing and Development Division
11/16/17 4:00 PM CST Receipt
Grants to Minnesota schools, school districts, nonprofits, economic development organizations, and educational cooperatives to increase sales of in-state agricultural products to K-12 schools. The goal of this program is to increase access to local, fresh foods for elementary and secondary students.
The MDA is providing competitive grants to stimulate purchases of locally grown and raised food products by:
-Creating plans that identify product availability and cost, specific equipment, tools, training or policies that a school or school district needs in order to increase the amount of Minnesota grown or raised food being purchased; and
-Purchasing equipment to allow schools to purchase, prepare and serve more Minnesota grown and raised food.
Two categories of grants will be considered:
1) Planning Grants
Planning grant projects must involve schools or central facilities that participate in NSLP.
Project Examples Include, But Are Not Limited To:
-Determine which Minnesota farmers could sell to the school what products they produce, how foods would be delivered, how many pounds can be purchased, etc.
-Determine how a school could establish a Farm to School program by identifying product availability and cost, and necessary equipment, tools, training, or policies. Please note, training and workshop fees cannot not be covered by grant dollars.
-Additional uses may be proposed, but applicants are encouraged to contact the program administrator to confirm eligibility.
2) Equipment Purchases And Physical Improvement Grants
Equipment purchases and physical improvements may only be made in school sites that participate in NSLP or CACFP, or in central facilities that service participating sites.
Project Examples Include, But Are Not Limited To:
-Food processing equipment
-Food preparation equipment
-Corers, slicers, wedgers, knives, or other food preparation tools
-Additional equipment purchases and physical improvements may be proposed
GrantWatch ID#: 146053
Planning Grants provide a maximum grant award of $30,000 and a minimum grant award of $1,000.
Equipment Purchases And Physical Improvement Grants provide a maximum grant award of $50,000 and a minimum grant award of $1,000.
Projects must be completed by December 31, 2019.
-Public or private schools or school districts that are a part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and serve food to preschool and/or K-12 students. Multi-district proposals are welcome but not required. Applicants are required to submit at least one letter of support from a Minnesota farmer who currently sells to the school(s), or might sell to the school(s) after the grant is received.
-Economic development organizations, nonprofit organizations and educational service cooperatives may apply on behalf of and act as fiscal agents for eligible entities, but need to clearly identify those entities and provide letters of support from those entities. Economic development organizations, nonprofit organizations and educational service cooperatives also need to submit at least one letter of support from a Minnesota farmer who currently sells to the identified school(s), or might sell to the school(s) after the grant is received.
-Previous Farm to School Grant recipients are eligible to apply for and receive funding in future grant cycles. There is no life me cap on how much a grantee may be awarded.
-School gardens, greenhouses
-Food used in school cafeterias
-Costs incurred prior to award
-Training and workshop fees
-Advertising and public relations
-Bad debts, including uncollectible accounts and other claims, related collection costs, and related legal costs
-Donated or volunteer (in-kind) services. While these may be furnished to an applicant by professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor, the value of these services is not reimbursable either as a direct or indirect cost
-Donations, in kind contributions, including property, and services, made by the applicant, regardless of the recipient
-Entertainment, amusement, diversion, and social activities and any costs directly associated with such costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, alcohol and gratuities)
-Fines, penalties and other settlement expense resulting from violations (or alleged violations) of, or failure of the applicant to comply with, Federal, State, local, or Indian tribal laws and regulations
-Fundraising including financial campaigns, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions regardless of the purpose for which the funds will be used
-Indirect costs (expenses of doing business that are not readily identified within the project, but are necessary for the general operation of the organization and the implementation proposal related activities)
-Investment management costs, including costs of investment counsel and staff, and similar expenses incurred to enhance income from investments
-Lobbying - including costs of membership in organizations substantially engaged in lobbying
The MDA anticipates awarding up to $400,000 through the Farm to School Grant Program.
Blue Cross has provided the MDA up to $125,000 to help schools meet the requirement for matching funds, and will consider matching fund requests of up to $15,000 per applicant. These matching funds cannot be used toward feasibility studies.
For Planning Grants, up to 75% of the total project cost may be covered by the grant. Recipients must contribute the remaining 25% of the project cost as a cash match. Blue Cross funds may NOT be used for planning grants.
For Equipment Purchases And Physical Improvement Grants, up to 50% of the total project cost may be covered by the grant. Recipients must contribute the remaining 50% of the project cost as a cash match. Blue Cross funds may be used for this type of funding.
Sources of the cash-match may include: non-state funds (funds that were NOT obtained through the budgeting process of the Minnesota Legislature or granted by a State agency) in the form of cash, loans, other grants or liquid capital assets dedicated to the project.
Applicants who receive SHIP funding to pursue a Farm to School project, may not use SHIP funds as cash match for a Minnesota Farm to School Grant. SHIP funds are state funds, and only non-state funds are eligible sources of the cash-match.
All questions regarding the RFP should be submitted in writing to Lisa Sawyer (details below). All questions received, along with the answers to those questions, will be posted on the FAQ page:
Proposals must be received no later than 4:00 PM CST on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
Applicants, both successful and unsuccessful, will be notified in writing approximately six weeks following the proposal deadline.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
MN Department of Agriculture
Marketing and Development Division
625 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55155