In an effort to honor the tireless dedication of both School Nutrition staff and Educators to meet the nutritional and educational needs of our children during COVID-19 related school closures and acknowledge the financial, logistical, and equity challenges this pandemic has created or magnified, the Farm to School Coalition of NC (F2SCNC) has launched Rapid Response funding for farm to school efforts. We seek to support schools and School Nutrition Programs in building farm to school capacity, believing that farm to school is a valuable contribution to the health and wellbeing of our kids and our communities.
We have provided 18 LEAs with $4,000 in funding to support urgent need and long term capacity building for
local food purchasing for school meals or student connection to local food/farmers, and/or
local foods educational programming (gardens, cooking, other education efforts) in ways that increase the skills, knowledge, and connection to local foods for children and their families.
And we Congratulate all these local teams and look forward to sharing out success stories and learned lessons from their work over the coming months.
Our application asked three short narrative questions (maximum of 500 words for all three), and should take less than 2 hours to complete. We also REQUIRE by Friday at 1pm financial documents be submitted for payment processing. Delay in receipt of these financial documents will result in significantly delayed receipt of funds. Please either email these documents as directed when you submit your application or have them prepared and ready to send in one email on Friday by 1pm after notification. We regret the tight turn around, and wish to make this process as simple and fast as possible. If our available funds are not expended, we will consider a second round of applications. Send application queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and payment questions to email@example.com.
This funding is open to North Carolina K-12 Local Education Agencies (LEAs), public school districts and charter schools, who participate in School Nutrition/Summer Nutrition Programs. Only one application per LEA will be funded. Eligible applicants must
- participate in School Nutrition/Summer Nutrition programs, and
- demonstrate a high need (defined by the potential number of low-income, highly vulnerable children to be reached, potential impact of farm to school and community connections through the project, stretched capacity of the LEA and/or School Nutrition/Summer Nutrition Program, and other determinants created by COVID-19 pandemic as determined and explained by you, the applicant).
The criteria for selection and priority for funding will be based on the following areas:
- public and charter schools with a clearly identified high need due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- proposals focused on providing summer response through feeding or summer educational efforts in response to COVID-19 pandemic challenges;
- proposals which in some way build long-term capacity through establishing new relationships (with new suppliers, new partners), enhancing infrastructure (professional development for staff), developing permanent built environment/equipment (such as new gardens, new refrigeration units or food transport equipment, etc.), strengthening the knowledge and skills of children and their families, and/or aiming to develop or enhance farm to school supporting policy (approval for mixed use access to school gardens, naming of farm to school in local wellness policy, incorporation of farm to school in SHAC plan of work, local food procurement tracking commitment, etc.);
- proposals that show commitment to beginning or continuing their farm to school work; and
- proposals that show engagement in advancing racial equity.
TO APPLY and RECEIVE FUNDING
- Complete online application
- Complete and send in one email by 1pm Friday if not when application is submitted ALL financial paperwork required by NCSU to receive payment as an approved vendor (this can be done and submitted with the actual application, ensuring the fastest disbursement, or submitted after award notification which may cause a significant delay in payment). Please note the short turn-around time is due to university limitations on setting up new vendors and processing payments at this particular time, thus meeting deadlines is essential).
Required documents which must be provided/completed (likely by accounting administrator):
- W9 Form Please email form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- EFT/ACH form Please email form to email@example.com
- Scan/Picture of a voided check or a direct deposit authorization form from your bank;
- Invoice including required wording.
FOR POST AWARD and USE OF FUNDS
- Complete a short report of work done including a brief note of expenditures, and submission of electronic photos including any needed photo releases. (Reporting form will be due by December 15.)
|Release of Application||May 20|
|Application Deadline||May 28|
|Notification of funding award||May 29 (noon aim)|
|Release of Funds||
Mid to late June with timely submission of payment documents
Late July if payment documents are delayed
|Report due||Dec 15|
ONLINE form application asks for LEA and county plus contact info for Project Lead, School Administrator / Superintendent, Nutrition Administrator, and Finance and Business / Accounting Administrator, as well as asks these questions:
Funding you are applying for will address: (check all that apply)
- Gardens support for local food education/experience for children and their families
- Cooking support for local food education/experience for children and their families
- Local Food education/experience support for children and their families
- School Nutrition support for incorporating local foods into meals for children
How many children will be reached/impacted through your farm to school grant funds project?
What are the demographics of the children who will be reached/impacted?
What is the percentage of students in your LEA who qualify for free and reduced price meals?
Which grade level(s) of children/students will be reached/impacted?
In what School Nutrition Programs does your LEA participate?
- Describe (100 words max) how the pandemic has resulted in a high need for your LEA and your community. (Particularly address any intensified racial inequities, and you might address the potential number of low-income, highly vulnerable children to be reached, stretched capacity of the LEA and/or School Nutrition/Summer Nutrition Program, extreme challenges with distanced education, and other determinants created by COVID-19 pandemic as determined and explained by you, the applicant.)
- Describe (200 word max) what you will do with the funds to support connections to local food for children and families, including potentially how it may address racial inequities, how this work will connect to other farm to school efforts and/or partnerships you already engage in, and/or how it will initiate your farm to school programming (local food procurement in school nutrition programs, local food cooking education, garden education, and/or local food education).
- Describe (200 word max) how this work will BOTH address your current high need WHILE building your capacity for on-going farm to school work. (see examples in selection criteria)
Thank you for your application and your work to support all NC children!
Submit the application through online form; Documents for processing funding are emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org at the time of submission OR at the time of notification of funding approval. Please note, the university has strict deadlines so timely submission of documents is essential to a speedy receipt of funding; a delay could mean funds are not dispersed until late July. Applications received by the 28th of May will be reviewed immediately with notification of status made by June 1st. Send questions, concerns, or queries to email@example.com –subject line Rapid Response F2S Support.
The Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina (F2SCNC) brings together a group of farm to school (F2S) stakeholders that collaborate to expand and strengthen farm to school initiatives across the state. F2SCNC envisions a vibrant and robust food system whereby everyone affiliated with the school community has knowledge of and access to locally produced, nutritious foods, resulting in healthier citizens, communities, and economies.
We thank Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina for making this response possible and for their continued support of farm to school as a
strategy for both wellness and community food security.