The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the 2022 California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program. California producers are eligible to apply for Track 4, the California Farm to School Producer Grant, which covers costs related to producing, processing, and distributing food to schools as well as establishing or enhancing climate smart agriculture practices and hands-on educational opportunities.
Eligible expenses include infrastructure such as greenhouses and building upgrades, equipment such as refrigerated trucks and coolers, organic and food safety certifications, licenses and insurance, rent, labor, consulting services, and other costs related to farm to school.
Organic producers and socially disadvantaged producers will receive additional points on their applications because CDFA is prioritizing applicants who practice climate smart agriculture and who have been historically underserved. CCOF commends CDFA for adopting key CCOF recommendations to improve the program, including adding organic to the definition of climate smart agriculture, eliminating paperwork requirements for organic producers, and requiring verification processes for non-organic producers who make a climate-smart claim.
To be eligible for the program, producers must show evidence of a relationship with a school through a letter of intent from a school nutrition services director (or equivalent district or organizational official who oversees the school meal program) with which the producer intends to collaborate.
Producers who do not yet have established relationships with schools are eligible for free, noncompetitive technical assistance from the CDFA Office of Farm to Fork and the California Farm to School Network. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for support and to connect with a Farm to School Marketplace Specialist.
To learn more and apply, visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/caf2sgrant/. The application period will close July 6, 2022, at 5 p.m. PT. To learn more about CCOF’s farm to school efforts, please contact Laetitia Benador at email@example.com.