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Higgins announces application period for five Department of Agriculture grants

by jmaloni


Thu, Mar 19th 2015 06:25 pm

Grant announcement was on National Agriculture Day 

Congressman Brian Higgins announced the opening of the application period for five U.S. Department of Agriculture grants on Tuesday, National Agriculture Day. The specific USDA programs are the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, the Farmers Market Promotion Program, the Local Food Promotion Program and the competitive Farm to Schools Program grants.

All applications submitted to the USDA go through a nonpartisan, merit-based review.

"Promoting healthy, nutritional lifestyles for Western New York's children and families through support of local agriculture improves public health and the economy," Higgins said. "I encourage local organizations to apply for these federal resources."

The Department of Agriculture is providing $96 million to innovative projects designed to support specialty crop producers, local food entrepreneurs, and farm-to-school efforts, which, in turn, will increase access to healthy food for American families and children.

The announcement is part of USDA efforts during National Nutrition Month to focus on improving access to fresh, healthy and nutritious products for millions of Americans.

The Buffalo Public Schools were recently awarded a grant through the Farm to School program. Buffalo's Farm to School plan involves cooperation from students, teachers, parents, food service staff, farmers and food distributions, alongside project partners the City of Buffalo School District, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, the Massachusetts Avenue Project, and Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities.

For more information, including grant deadlines, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSgrants; for the Farm to School Grant Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school-grant-program.

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