Division of Agriculture Awarded Farm to School Grant by USDA for Rural Alaska Projects
(Palmer, AK) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the Alaska Division of Agriculture a $100,000 grant to strengthen Farm to School efforts in the Last Frontier. A total of 65 projects were awarded grants by the USDA nationwide.
The Alaska Farm to School program will utilize the grant funding in two project phases over the next two years. The first phase of the proposed project will include a pilot program in the Bristol Bay region that will focus on analyzing current available local food sources and connecting those food resources into area school nutrition programs. The Bristol Bay region has four school districts with nearly 1,500 students using the student nutrition programs. A needs assessment for the region will be conducted and a toolkit will be created so that other rural regions in the state can apply the methods and processes used to implement local food sources into their school nutrition programs. The second phase of the proposed project will include implementing the toolkit created in phase 1 into another rural region in the state.
“We are excited about this grant funding opportunity and the progress we will make connecting our rural school systems with local food resources,” said Alaska Farm to School Coordinator Jodie Anderson. “Local agriculture is growing in many rural regions of our state and we look forward to connecting those growers with their local school nutrition programs.”
The Alaska Division of Agriculture was one of 17 state agencies to receive grant funding by the USDA for the Farm to School program.