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FY 2021 Farm to School Grant

Grants to USA Schools, Agencies, Tribes, Nonprofits, and Agricultural
Producers to Increase Access to Local Foods for Eligible Schools

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) - Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/08/21 11:59 PM EST


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Grants to USA schools, government agencies, tribal organizations, nonprofit organizations, and agricultural producers for programs to increase access to local foods for eligible schools. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take three weeks to complete.

Designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools, these grants can help new farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts. These grants are intended as one-time infusions of funds to help grantees accomplish farm to school objectives that will be sustained in the long term. Funds support a wide range of activities from training, planning, and developing partnerships, to creating new menu items, establishing supply chains, offering taste tests to children, purchasing equipment, planting school gardens, and organizing field trips to agricultural operations.

Grant Tracks

Turnkey Grant

  • The Turnkey grant is a new opportunity available for all eligible applicants, intended to streamline and simplify the application process by requiring that all Grantees must engage in specific, prescribed activities needed to complete each Grant. FNS has identified the activities prescribed by the Turnkey grant as model programs that organizations can replicate with sufficient customization to meet the unique needs of their communities. 
  • Applicants interested in the Turnkey track may choose from one of four projects: (1) Farm to School Action Plan Development; (2) Agricultural Education Curriculum development and delivery; (3) Edible Garden projects; or (4) USDA Farm to School Producer Training.
  • For details on required activities for each project type, see pages 11-13 of the RFA document in Attached Files below. 

Implementation and State Agency Tracks

  • The Implementation and State Agency tracks return from the FY 2020 Farm to School Grant Program opportunity. These tracks provide an opportunity for applicants to propose projects that support innovative, original ideas, and/or encompass a broader scope than the discrete, pre-designed activities prescribed under the Turnkey track.
  • Objective: Improve access to local foods in eligible schools through comprehensive farm to school programming that includes local procurement and agricultural education efforts.
  • For details on required activities, see pages 14-16 of the RFA below. 

In addition to the general program purpose and priorities outlined in Section 1.1 above, USDA emphasizes the following priorities for FY 2021

  • Applications that serve a high proportion of children (at least 40 percent or more) who are eligible for free or reduced price meals.
  • Applications from Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and entities serving tribal communities.
  • Applications from small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to mediumsized agricultural producers. Please refer to the specific eligibility criteria in Section 3.0 for the definition of an eligible small- to medium-sized agricultural producer.
  • Projects located in or targeting Opportunity Zones, as defined by 26 USC Subtitle A, CHAPTER 1, Subchapter Z: Opportunity Zones and identified in IRS Notice 2018-48, 2018–28 Internal Revenue Bulletin 9, July 9, 2018, and IRS Notice 2019-42, 2019–29 Internal Revenue Bulletin, July 15, 2019

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 154171

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 150

Estimated Size of Grant:

Turnkey grant awards will range up to $50,000 for Action Planning, Edible Garden, and Agricultural Education Curriculum projects, with no minimum award amount. Turnkey grant awards will range up to $25,000 for the Producer Training project, available to State agencies only, with no minimum award amount.

Implementation and State Agency grants will range from $50,000 - $100,000.

Term of Contract:

- Turnkey Grant (Action Planning and Edible Garden projects ONLY): 12 months
- Turnkey Grant - (Agricultural Education Curriculum project, Producer Training project): 12 or 24 months
- Implementation grants and State Agency grants: 12 or 24 months


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following eligible entities, which are described in more detail on the RFA:

• Institutions, including schools, school districts, and non-school based sites, that operate the National School Lunch and/or Breakfast Program(s), CACFP, and/or SFSP. On the coversheet, any applicant to whom this definition applies should select “Eligible school” for entity type;
• State agencies;
• Local agencies;
• Indian tribal organizations;
• Agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers; and
• Non-profit entities.

Turnkey Grant Eligibility:

Eligibility varies depending on project selection. For the Action Planning, Agricultural Education Curriculum, and Edible Garden projects, eligible entities are schools or institutions that participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, National School Lunch Program, or School Breakfast Program; local agencies; Indian tribal organizations; small- and mediumsized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers; and nonprofit entities.

State agencies are only eligible for the Producer Training project, and no other entity is eligible for the Producer Training project. The State agency is not required to administer the CNPs, but if the applicant does not administer CNPs then the applicant must include a letter of commitment from the CNP-administering State agency.

Implementation Grant Eligibility: Eligible schools or institutions that participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, National School Lunch Program, or School Breakfast Program; local agencies; Indian tribal organizations; small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers; and non-profit entities are eligible to receive Implementation grants. State agencies are ineligible to apply to Implementation grants.

State Agency Grant Eligibility: Only State agencies are eligible to apply to the Producer Training Turnkey grant or the State Agency grants. Departments of Education, Department of Agriculture, and Departments of Health are all examples of eligible State agencies. Eligibility is not restricted to the State agency that administers the Child Nutrition Programs. Local government agencies, such as city and county governmental agencies, are not eligible to apply to this track or the Producer Training project under the Turnkey track, but may apply for the Implementation track or the Action Planning, Agricultural Education Curriculum, or Edible Garden projects within the Turnkey track.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Webinar Information:

- Getting Familiar with the FY2021 Farm to School RFA: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 2:30pm ET: The Farm to School Team will provide an overview of the FY2021 Farm to School Program RFA, including updates to eligibility, new turnkey programs and more. Get familiar with the requirements of the RFA and how to submit your completed application on Register for this webinar:

- Getting Your Package Together: Friday, November 13, 2020 - 2:30pm ET: on November 13, Tthe Farm to School Team will explore the key characteristics of a competitive Farm to School Grant application. Register for this webinar:

For more information and other grant resources, see:

Pre-Application Information:

- Publication Date: October 16, 2020
- Application Due Date: 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST), January 8, 2021
- Estimated Award Date: June 2021

The grant recipient must show evidence of matching support of at least 25 percent of the total budget in the form of cash or in-kind contributions, including facilities, equipment, or services provided by State and local governments, non-profit organizations, and private sources as defined in The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.).

Recipients of Planning Grants and Implementation Grants are required to:
- Attend a mandatory in‐person grantee training meeting hosted by USDA in the first year of the grant period.

USDA strongly encourages applicants to begin the process at least three weeks before the due date and to submit applications to at least one week before the deadline to allow time to troubleshoot any issues, should they arise. The system provides several confirmation notices; applicants should ensure receipt of confirmation that the application was accepted (not just received).

In order to apply, at least three weeks prior to submission, you must have:
- Obtained a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number;
- Registered the DUNS number into the System for Award Management (SAM); and
- Registered in

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For questions regarding this solicitation, please contact the FNS Grant Officer, Kimberly Shields, at: Please note that agency contacts are only available during Eastern Standard Time operating hours.

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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