Kentucky gets $313,000 in Farm to School grants
For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 4, 2014
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FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky has been awarded five grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture totaling nearly $313,000 aimed at getting more local foods into Kentucky schools, the USDA announced on Tuesday.
Two grants for a total of $87,957 went to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
“These grants will enable the department and the other grantees to provide Kentucky school children greater access to fresh, local foods,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “This will help our children grow up to be healthy and strong. This also will help Kentucky farmers have the certainty of a market for their products.”
The KDA will use a grant for $71,223 to expand its Farm To School Program in partnership with producers, processors, school food service authorities, educators, food distributors, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and the Kentucky Farm to School Task Force. A second grant, for $16,734, will be used by the KDA and the Kentucky Department of Education to provide full-day trainings on procuring local foods for child nutrition programs in each of eight distribution regions throughout the state.
Tina Garland, coordinator of the KDA’s Farm to School program, applied for the grants and will be in charge of administering them. “Without Tina’s efforts, we would not be receiving these funds,” said Bill Wickliffe, director of the department’s Division of Food Distribution, which includes the Farm to School Program. “Thanks to Tina’s leadership, the Farm to School Program continues to grow.”
Other grants awarded to Kentucky entities went to:
- The Food Literacy Project at Oxmoor Farm Inc., $100,000, for a working vegetable farm that will give students hands-on gardening experience and provide vegetables for students in the Jefferson County Public Schools system;
- Taylor County School District, $45,000, for a school garden where students will grow produce that will be sold to the school food service office. The district also will develop an assessment for a farm-to-school program; and
- Owsley County School District, $79,750, to purchase equipment needed to expand the acreage the district uses to grow fruits, diversify crops, and increase the amount of locally produced foods served in the schools’ cafeterias.
The Kentucky projects are among 82 projects in 42 states and the Virgin Islands funded in this round of USDA Farm to School grants.
For more information on Kentucky’s Farm to School Program, go to www.kyagr.com/consumer/farm-to-school.html.