Grant Helps WCSD Implement Farm to School Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has selected Waukee Community School District (WCSD) to receive a 2018 Farm to School Planning Grant for $46,927.

Farm to School helps schools to increase the number of local foods served through their programs; provide education about food and agriculture; and increase partnerships between local farmers, food hubs and the school system.

“Bringing Farm to School to the district will connect students to healthy food options in their community,” said WCSD dietician, Kaitlyn Scheuermann. “This grant will allow us to make a plan to educate our students about where their food comes from and provide hands-on experiences growing and tasting fresh, local foods.”

WCSD demonstrated strong experience and readiness to conduct farm to school initiatives, showed they are thinking critically about opportunities and challenges and outlined goals that closely aligned with farm nutrition service goals of the program, the USDA said in a statement.

The nutrition services department will spend the next two years creating a strategic plan to implement the farm to school program into the district. The planning grant will be used for the following:

  • Personnel Costs
    • Reimbursement of staff salary for time spent preparing the grant and meetings with stakeholders
    • Stipends for teachers involved in the process for summer care of gardens and education/events
  • Travel Cost:
    • Required grantee gathering in Detroit, MI; a potential trip to Minneapolis, MN to see how they implement farm to school and learn best practices for local food procurement, school gardens and curriculum integration that can be replicated in WCSD; Farm to Cafeteria conference in Ohio in April of 2020.
  • Supplies
    • Planning supplies for meetings
    • Supplies for local food production infrastructure for educational purposes
    • Taste testing supplies to allow students to taste local foods
  • Marketing, Promotion, and Printing

“We are ecstatic about this opportunity. This grant will enable us to expand how we educate our students about food, nutrition, and agriculture. We hope that our students gain a new appreciation for their food, where it comes from and healthy habits through this grant.” said nutrition service director, Jeannie Allgood.

The USDA awarded 73 Farm to School Grants for the 2018-19 school year that will serve more 2.8 million students in over 6,000 schools across the country.