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Farm To School


Nebraska ThursdayRegister TODAY for Nebraska Thursdays!

Congratulations to the following schools who have been selected to receive a Nebraska Thursdays 2019 Mini-Grants!

The purpose of this funding is to expand Nebraska Thursdays, a program which supports serving Nebraska-sourced meals in schools the first Thursday of each month. A total of $5,265 in mini-grant funds have been awarded and will assist schools with implementation and promotion of Nebraska Thursdays, and provide expansion of local food, agriculture, and/or garden-based education. Mini-grants have been funded by the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission.

ANNOUNCE FY20 NT Mini Grant Awarded Sites

Coming in September: USDA Farm to School Census

USDA Food and Nutrition Service has contracted with Abt Associates Inc. to conduct the 2019 Farm to School Census. Data collection will begin in September. School Food Service Authority directors will be asked to complete one short web survey (sent via email) in order to provide information about local sourcing and farm to school activities.

We will be giving away a free 6-wedge Sectionizer to one of the first 25 Nebraska responders to the Census. Prepare to submit your response to the survey by reviewing the optional Census Preparation Worksheet, and beginning to gather materials, and aggregate/analyze your data.

Grants and Funding

Get School Cooking Grant

Get Schools Cooking (previously known as the School Food Support Initiative), a program of Chef Ann Foundation,  provides school districts with the operational foundation necessary to transition their Food & Nutrition Service Departments from a heat & serve or processed model to one that is rooted in scratch cooking using real ingredients. Through Get Schools Cooking, food service teams are guided through an intensive, three-year program. Applications for the 2019 Cohort are now open. An information webinar is scheduled for Sept. 12.


Clif Bar Family Foundation Small Grants
Deadline: October 1, 2019 

The Clif Bar Family Foundation awards small grants for projects focused on one of five priority areas, including creating a robust, healthy food system, increasing opportunities for outdoor activity, and building stronger communities – a great fit for school garden projects. These grants are awarded for general organizational support as well as funding for specific projects. Learn more about the Small Grants and apply.


Head Start Gro More Good Garden Grants

In collaboration with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening, The National Head Start Association is honored to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens to more children and families in the Head Start community. Schools, community action programs, non-profits, hospitals, community centers and inter-generational groups that hosts Head Start programs are eligible to apply. The grants awarded are in the amount of $5,000, plus a garden kit and materials and gardening educational resources. Deadline is October 11, 2019. Learn more about the Gro More Good Garden Grants.


Whole Kids Foundation Grants – School Garden, Beehive & Salad Bar
Deadline: October 15, 2019
Through their grant programs, the Whole Kids Foundation is fostering opportunities to connect kids to the root of their food. A school garden, salad bar or beehive can help spark a child’s curiosity and teach them to love fresh, nutritious, whole foods. Bring the joy of a garden or beehive to your school – applications are available starting Sunday, September 1 and close Tuesday, October 15, 2019.  Salad Bar grant applications are accepted year-round.


Budding Botanist Grant
Deadline: November 8, 2019
The Klorane Botanical Foundation is committed to supporting programs to teach respect for the environment and protect nature through the preservation of plant species and biodiversity. Designed to further their mission, the Budding Botanist Grant will help our youngest citizens learn about plants, explore their world and inspire them to take care of the life they discover in their local ecosystems. In early 2020, twelve grant packages will be awarded to schools across the United States. Three schools will be awarded a $2,250 package. Nine schools will be awarded a $1,250 package.


SeedMoney Grants for Garden Projects

SeedMoney is offering 255 garden grants totaling $40,000 to diverse food garden projects through a 30-day crowdfunding challenge running from November 15 to December 15. The grants are open to all types of public food garden project, including youth gardens, community gardens, food bank gardens, etc., regardless of their location. Deadline is November 12.  Learn more about Seed Money Grants and their online tools for garden projects.


NCR-SARE Youth Educator Sustainable Agriculture Grants

North Central Region-SARE recognizes that youth programs are a way to introduce new and exciting farming and ranching options to youth, parents, and community members. Youth Educator grants support projects by youth educators which encourage youth to try sustainable practices and explore sustainable agriculture as a viable career option. Applicants can request up to $4,000 for youth education projects. Deadline is November 14, 2019. Applications and more information are available on the NCR-SARE website


Slow Food Plant a Seed Kits
Slow Food believes biodiversity is key to a sustainable, adaptable — and delicious — future. The Plant a Seed kit features six seed packets: three from the Ark of Taste, and three from Row 7. There is a limited number of free kits available for school gardens, request one here.


Farm Credit Services of America

Working Here Fund has two options of funding available. One provides grant funding of up to $2,000 each. The second provides up to $10,000 each for larger, more long-term community projects.


Salad Bars to Schools Grant Applications

The Salad Bars To Schools program is focused on donating salad bars to school districts so every child across our nation has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  Learn everything you need to know about salad bars to schools grants here.


*NEW* Farm to School Stories

Take a peek at farm to school stories from five Nebraska districts and four Nebraska farmers. Each school is unique in their farm to school goals, and each farmer has a unique business profile. Get inspired by the creative work and outcomes described in each of these stories!

Farm to School Stories


How Are Nebraska Schools Sourcing Local Foods?
A new resource developed in partnership with farm to school partner, Center for Rural Affairs, outlines the many different ways local foods are accessible to schools!

How Are Nebraska Schools Sourcing Local Foods


Additional Resources

USDA Greenhouse

Photo courtesy of the USDA

Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.


Farm to school is a win across the board for students, school staff, parents, communities, farmers and food producers. Learn more about the many benefits of farm to school at; and additional economic benefits in the Economic Impacts of Farm to School report.


We’re excited to announce that USDA is in the final stages of planning for the next USDA Farm to School Census, coming out in the winter of 2019. The Census is the only national survey that examines local food purchasing by schools, school garden efforts, and agricultural-education. As such, the Census allows us to track progress and measure growth in farm to school across the nation and over time to demonstrate impact. Regardless of farm to school participation, ALL SFAs should complete the Census. More info will be sent out in the coming months.

Nebraska schools are getting involved in farm to school.

Contact us at:

NDE – Nutrition Services
(402) 471-2488

Updated September 10, 2019 1:03pm