Caledonia, Winona schools get Minnesota Farm to School grants

Minnesota Farm To School Logo

ST. PAUL (WKBT) — Caledonia Area Public Schools and the Riverway Learning Community in Winona were awarded Farm to School grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The awards are new initiatives — labeled First Bite Mini-Grant and Full Tray Grant — created to increase the amount of healthy local foods in school meals in the department’s Farm to School programs.

The grants were among a total of nearly $742,000 the ag department awarded Thursday to 46 districts to help provide local, nutritious school meals. The districts are to use the money to buy Minnesota-grown foods for school meal programs.

Caledonia schools received a $5,000 First Bite grant, tailored for school districts that have little to no experience with local procurement as part of a Farm to School program.

Riverway, a public charter school in Winona, obtained a $2,728.66 Full Tray grant, intended for school districts that have some Farm to School procurement experience.

“We’ve expanded our investment in new markets that directly benefit both farmers and children through our Farm to School programs,” said Patrice Bailey, the department’s assistant commissioner.

“That means more schools participating for the first time, and longtime participants expanding their offering of healthy, nutritious, local foods for students,” Bailey said.

Grant funding comes from the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) program, which administers grants to farmers, agribusinesses, schools and more throughout the state.

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