Charleston, W.Va. – The Jefferson Growers, Artisans, Producers Coalition in Charles Town is among the 123 projects across the country to receive a 2022 Farm to School grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced the program was recently awarded a $54,723 grant to work with The Eastern Panhandle Farm to School Program.
Students can concentrate on their academics if they do not have to worry about an empty stomach. This is the type of security a child needs to succeed.
Amanda Harrison, WVDE Director of Child Nutrition
This award is a part of the $10.3 million Farm to School grants from the USDA to improve students’ access to fresh, local foods and foster economic opportunity for America’s farmers.
With this grant, the Coalition intends to build a sustainable, year-round system of support for farm-to-school programming across the eastern panhandle by leveraging key partnerships with local schools, community gardens and stakeholders. Furthermore, the funds can be used to provide technical support and professional development for teachers and engage the students, farmers and the community in sustained education-based agricultural programming. The goal is to grow farm-to-school activities that best fit the needs of schools and students in the eastern panhandle.
“Providing fresh, healthy food for students is a vital and foundational step to ensure student achievement,” said WVDE Director of Child Nutrition Amanda Harrison. “Students can concentrate on their academics if they do not have to worry about an empty stomach. This is the type of security a child needs to succeed.”
Farm to School increases the amount of locally produced foods served through child nutrition programs, while also educating children about how their foods are harvested and made. This is the seventh year that a West Virginia organization has received the USDA grant since 2013. WVDE remains committed to farm-to-school programs as a way to continually nurture teacher development and to ensure local foods are provided to school cafeterias.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.