Kentucky schools receive grant funding to expand farm-to-school efforts

The recipient schools will use the money to purchase walk-in coolers and other equipment to improve their farm-to-school programs.
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The grants will allow schools to purchase walk-in coolers and other equipment needed for their farm-to-school programs. | Photo: Shutterstock

Six schools in Kentucky have received grant funding from the state to grow their farm-to-school programs.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture awarded the funds using money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program food service projects involving high school Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters.

“This project is the next step for growth in our Farm to School Program,” Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Jonathan Shell said in a statement. “It gives us the ability to provide education and procurement training opportunities to our young future farmers as well as school food service professionals, all to provide a brighter future for Kentucky agriculture.”

Grant recipients were chosen by their adherence to the three “C’s”— classroom, cafeteria, and community, according to the state. Each of the schools will use the grant money to purchase walk-in coolers and freezers so they can store local produce. The funds will also be used to obtain other equipment needed to further improve their farm-to-school program.

“This grant empowers our team to cultivate a holistic approach to nutrition, education, and community engagement,” said Shane Bosaw, director of food services at Union County High School, one of the grant recipients. “With the support of this grant, we look forward to nurturing a sustainable and integrated Farm to School Program that not only enriches the quality of our cafeteria offerings but also fosters a deeper connection between our students, the classroom, and the local community, including a deeper understanding of the quality and nutrient content of locally sourced food.”

Farm-to-school efforts across the country have grown in recent years. The USDA has invested millions of dollars to boost local economies and help K-12 operators tackle supply chain issues. The department also awarded 103 farm-to-school grants to schools last summer.



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