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Monday, December 17, 2012

USDA grant will enable Fayette County schools to expand Farm to School programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service has awarded Fayette County Public Schools a $45,000 Farm to School planning grant, which will improve access to local foods in eligible schools. The goal is to help students understand the connections between local food and science, agriculture, nutrition and health. The federal grant will enable FCPS to expand its Farm to School program districtwide.

Several pilot sites in FCPS already have provided in-school taste tests, field trips, community events and educational opportunities in the classrooms. Coordinating partners include the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, the Cooperative Extension Service, the Farmers’ Market and the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky.

During the next year, FCPS will be part of a cohort of schools and districts planning robust Farm to School programs and sharing their processes, successes and lessons learned. FCPS representatives will attend monthly webinars and a springtime face-to-face meeting, use USDA’s Farm to School modules to develop an implementation plan, and participate in an online communications and sharing forum.