(877)TEX-MEAL
Grants in Action
Several farm fresh activities in Texas have been supported by TDA and USDA grant funding. This page includes a short description of funded projects.

Dallas ISD  Minimize 

USDA Farm to School Grant- Planning
Dallas ISD (DISD) has several initiatives that teach and model healthy eating including healthy menu planning, coordinated school health curriculum, local wellness policy, robust physical education, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and school gardens. However, DISD had not linked all of these activities together until this grant funding provided the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with local farmers, non-profits and food wholesalers/distributors, identify seasonal fruits and vegetables grown locally and in school gardens to include on school menus, identify curriculum to integrate gardening and experimental learning across core subject areas and identify strategies for evaluation and sustainability of a farm to school program. The Food and Child Nutrition Services worked with District Coordinated School Health and Texas A&M University to pilot test curriculum Texas Grow! Eat! Go!, Walk across Texas and CATCH Coordinated School Health Curriculum. The local fresh produce supplier helped to identify and track the volume of product and sales of locally/regionally grown foods. This grant opened another door to students to experience school-grown and locally-grown foods, as well as stimulate the local/regional economy.

Dallas ISD recently reflected on the successes. “Our greatest achievement came from the realization that as of to date, we have doubled the amount of local produce we purchase since we started tracking our local produce purchases in 2012. During the 2012-13 school year, Dallas ISD spent $320,000 on local produce (not including USDA Foods purchases). To date for the 2015-2016 school year (with April-June still to go!), we have spent $630,000.  We also anticipate featuring some locally grown items on our summer food service program menu during the summer months.”

USDA Farm to School Grant- Implementation

DISD’s Farm to School Implementation Project has three areas of focus. First, the district will encourage increased consumption of fruits and vegetables by expanding and building upon the existing Harvest of the Month promotional activities, taste tests, distribution of fresh produce at schools and other activities which promote the benefits of locally grown products. Second, the district will expand experiential and agricultural based learning opportunities through the expansion of school gardens, field trips and teacher trainings to integrate farm to school into the curriculum and classrooms. Lastly, DISD will expand the supply chain by increasing the pool of local farmers who can supply items for use in DISD child nutrition programs.


IDEA Public Schools  Minimize 
USDA Farm to School Grant- Planning

IDEA Public Schools (IDEA) is a network of 28 tuition‐free K‐12 public charter schools serving more than 12,000 students in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. IDEA has a system of three school‐based farms that have been recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture as the largest in the state, but production is uneven and a reliable crop cycle has not been established. This Farm to School Planning Grant will increase access to local and regional foods and integrate nutrition‐based efforts across the curriculum at all IDEA schools. Grant funds will provide an organic farm consultant, training for IDEA’s farmers and nutrition education programming for students. Potential partners include the University of Texas‐Pan American Border Health Office, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health/Brownsville Regional Campus, Recipe for Success and Infant and Family Nutrition Agency of Cameron County.


Elgin ISD  Minimize 
USDA Farm to School Grant- Planning

Elgin ISD will develop, implement and evaluate a farm to school work plan, create a comprehensive needs assessment, engage families and students and disseminate results. All five school campuses, including pre-kindergarten, will be involved in the farm to school program.


North East ISD, San Antonio  Minimize 
USDA Farm to School Grant- Planning

North East ISD will lay the foundation for a thriving farm to school program throughout the entire district of almost 68,000 students. The district will work to identify community partners and sources of fresh, local produce. Project goals include offering a farm to school training for community partners and creating a school garden how-to video and toolkit.


Sustainable Food Center, Austin  Minimize 
USDA Farm to School Grant- Training

Sustainable Food Center organized a Texas Farm to School training, which combined a preconference event at the 2016 Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Conference (TOFGA), along with a track of farm to school sessions during the conference. The training is designed for small-scale and larger-scale farmers and ranchers, and for farm advocates and agencies that support producers in farm to school efforts.


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, 
color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  
 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
 
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:  
mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2017 Texas Department of Agriculture