USDA Farm to School Grant Awarded to Eastern Panhandle Program

Charleston, W. Va. – The Jefferson Growers, Artisans, Producers Coalition of Charles Town is among 123 projects across the country to receive a 2022 Farm to School grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced that the program recently received a $54,723 grant to work with the Eastern Panhandle Farm to School program.

This award is part of USDA’s $10.3 million Farm to School Grants to improve student access to fresh, local food and foster economic opportunity for American farmers.

With this grant, the Coalition intends to establish a year-round sustainable support system for farm-to-school programs in the Eastern Channel by leveraging key partnerships with local schools. , community gardens and stakeholders. Additionally, funds can be used to provide technical support and professional development for teachers and engage students, farmers and the community in sustained education-based agricultural programming. The goal is to develop farm-to-school activities that best meet the needs of schools and students in the eastern enclave.

“Providing fresh, healthy food to students is an essential and foundational step in ensuring student success,” said WVDE Child Nutrition Director Amanda Harrison. “Students can focus on their studies if they don’t have to worry about having an empty stomach. This is the kind of security a child needs to succeed.

Farm to School increases the amount of locally produced food served through children’s nutrition programs, while educating children about how their food is harvested and made. This is the seventh year a West Virginia organization has received the USDA grant since 2013. WVDE remains committed to farm-to-school programs as a way to continually foster teacher development and ensure that local food is provided to school cafeterias.

For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Communications Office, at 304-558-2699 or [email protected]

Ryan H. Bowman