Apply for a Farm to School Month/Food Day planning grant!

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The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is teaming up with United Natural Foods Inc., Foundation and Food Day to offer eight mini-grants of $1,000 each to schools that are planning Food Day celebrations/events during 2013 National Farm to School Month (October).

National Farm to School Month and Food Day are closely aligned annual events that take place every October. National Farm to School Month was officially designated by Congress in 2010 as a time to celebrate the importance of Farm to School programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, sustain local farms and ranches and educate children about the origins of food. Food Day, held annually on October 24, is a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Food Day was created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

These mini-grants will provide funding for schools and early childcare centers to plan activities or events that celebrate Farm to School Month and Food Day on October 24. Some examples of activities that can be supported by mini-grant funds include:

  • Support planning meetings where students, school staff, families and community members gather to plan for their Farm to School Month/Food Day celebrations
  • Purchase resources and materials that will be used during Farm to School Month/Food Day events
  • Advance payment for speakers, group transportation or farm visit admission
  • Support planning team visits to partner farms that will be part of the school’s Farm to School Month/Food Day celebration
  • Purchase curriculum supplies that will be utilized in the months leading up to October 2013, to connect the curriculum with the activities of Farm to School Month/Food Day.

Applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. EDT on March 15, 2013 to be considered. This mini-grant program was made possible through the generous sponsorship of the United Natural Foods Inc., Foundation.

Mini-grant applications will be scored according to the following criteria:

(100 point scale)

  • Summary (no more than 100 words) of your mini-grant project plan. (20 points)
  • List of project partners (10 points)
  • Mini-grant project objectives and associated activities (20 points)
  • Evaluation plan (15 points)
  • Plan for translating planning grant activities to October implementation (15 points)
  • Budget  (20 points)



  • March 15, 2013:  Mini-grant applications due by 5 p.m. EDT.  Only applications submitted via the online application form will be accepted.
  • April 5, 2013 Mini-grant recipients selected and announced
  • April 5, 2013- June 30, 2013 – Mini-grant recipients conduct activities outlined in application and spend out mini-grant funds.
  • July 15, 2013 – Mini-grant recipients submit reports to the National Farm to School Network (NFSN).



Does the event/activity we plan have to take place on Food Day, October 24?
Yes, at least some aspect of the event should take place on Food Day, but week-long or month-long celebrations are encouraged as well. In the case of multi-day events, strong applications will note specifically what activities will take place on October 24.


Are nonprofits or individuals eligible to apply?
No, grantees must be pre-K – 12 public or private schools or early childcare facilities. Partners are important, however, and nonprofits, farms, parents and other community members make great partners and should be listed in the application.


Where can I find resources for planning Farm to School Month/Food Day events and activities?
Visit the resources page of this website for Farm to School Month posters, fact sheets and other materials as well as sample government proclamations and school menus. For more information about Farm to School or to contact your local NFSN Farm to School representative, visit Visit the Food Day resources page for event examples, 2012 summaries, school curriculum and more. If you have additional questions, contact us.


What do we mean by planning grant?
All mini-grant funds must be spent by July 15th.which is the deadline for reports to be submitted to NFSN.  Therefore, this mini-grant opportunity is called a “planning grant” and is intended for groups to get a head start on planning for their October  2013 Food Day/National Farm to School Month celebrations.  Events/activities planned using grant funding should meet the broad definition of Farm to School programing: Farm to School is broadly defined as a program that connects schools and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. 



The National Farm to School Network (NFSN), founded in 2007, seeks to create strong and just local food systems that ensure the health of children, farms, the environment, the economy and communities. NFSN provides vision, leadership and support to connect and strengthen the Farm to School movement, which now includes more than 12,500 schools spanning all 50 states.