News Release

September 27, 2019

Nebraska Thursdays Mini-Grants Awarded

The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) has awarded mini-grants for Nebraska Thursdays, a program that supports schools statewide in serving and promoting locally-grown or locally-produced foods in school cafeterias on the first Thursday of each month.

Funded by the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, 11 schools were awarded a total of $5,265 in mini-grant funds to assist with implementation and promotion of Nebraska Thursdays and provide expansion of local food, agriculture, and/or garden-based education.

The mini-grant recipients are:

  • Gering High School, Gering $500
  • East Butler Public Schools, Brainard $500
  • Mary of the Seven Dolors Catholic School, Osmond $500
  • Banner County School, Harrisburg $265
  • Superior Elementary School, Superior $500
  • Peter’s School, Lincoln $500
  • Riverside Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids $500
  • Norris Middle School, Firth $500
  • Overton Public School, Overton $500
  • Christ Lincoln Schools, Lincoln $500
  • CEDARS Emergency Shelter, Lincoln $500

Nebraska Thursdays is supported by the NDE and the Center for Rural Affairs, and in collaboration with schools statewide. According to the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census, schools with strong farm to school programs report higher school meal participation, reduced food waste, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables. In addition, in the 2013-2014 school year alone schools purchased more than $789 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors, and manufacturers.

October is National Farm to School Month and the perfect time for Nebraska schools to register for Nebraska Thursdays. Registration is open to all Nebraska schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Once registered, a district will have access to Nebraska Thursdays resources, promotional items, and an interactive recipe portal.

To register for the Nebraska Thursdays program and learn more visit

To see an example of Nebraska Thursdays in action, you can watch how Wayne Community Schools kicked their year off with fresh local beef in our latest Good News Series.

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education