USDA will give almost $30M to small and rural schools as part of its Healthy Meals Incentives initiative

The USDA partnered with Action for Healthy Kids to award the funding.
Students eating lunch in the cafeteria
The grant funding is part of the USDA's Healthy Meals Incentives initiative. | Photo: Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding nearly $30 million in subgrants to 264 small and rural school districts as part of its Healthy Meals Incentives initiative

Each district will receive up to $150,000 to go towards kitchen upgrades, staff training and more. 

“When we strengthen school meal quality, we strengthen child health,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Stacy Dean said in a statement. “These grants are the largest targeted investment USDA has ever made for school meal programs in small and rural communities. We want to ensure every child in America has the opportunity to attend a school with high quality, nutritious meals, and this support is a step in that direction.”

The USDA partnered with Action For Healthy Kids to oversee the grant program. Action for Healthy Kids is also teaming up with the USDA, RMC Health and the Chef Ann Foundation to implement a Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition awards program, which will honor school nutrition programs that have made meaningful strides in improving the nutritional quality of their meals. 

The USDA’s Healthy Meals Incentives initiative was launched last summer as part of a larger effort by the department to strengthen the supply chain and tackle inflation. 



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