The Washington State Department of Agriculture is providing over $3.5 million in grant funding to help grow farm-to-school programs across the state.
Over 80 farm-to-school programs were awarded funding for this school year, which was supplied by the Washington State Legislature. Recipients were given anywhere from $2,900 to over $400,000.
Farm-to-school efforts continue to expand throughout the country. Over the summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded over $10 million in grant funding to farm-to-school programs, and it also recently signed a cooperative agreement with Minnesota to increase local procurement for school meals.
In addition, farm-to-school initiatives and local sourcing have been a focus for many districts as supply chain struggles persisted in recent months. Some have increasingly turned to local sources for produce and proteins, finding them to be more reliable than nationwide distributors.