The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is awarding $10,000 in competitive mini grants to nine schools to develop Farm to School activities in New Jersey schools.
Funds have been made available through legislation signed into law in 2014, which allows contributions to the New Jersey Farm to School Program through the Farm to School and School Garden Fund tax check-off. Additional legislation signed in 2014 created the Farm to School Donor Fund, making it possible for private donations to enhance and expand Farm to School activities in the state.
The selected schools currently participate and administer, in good standing, the US Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program and provided an explanation of how they will utilize the funds for Farm to School activities:
- Canfield Avenue School in Minehill Township, Morris County – take students to a local farm to reinforce agricultural education curriculum at the school.
- Elms Elementary School in Jackson, Ocean County -- support their school garden preschool program.
- Hamilton Primary School in Bridgewater, Somerset County -- enhance their school garden program with professional development for teachers and increased access to their “farmer in residence” educator.
- Lakeside Middle School in Millville, Cumberland County -- connect science classes to a new school garden and connect to local agricultural organizations.
- Newark Educators Community Charter School in Newark, Essex County -- enhance their rooftop garden and create more local produce taste test opportunities for classroom instruction.
- Pace Charter School in Hamilton, Mercer County – take students on a farm field trip to a local farm.
- Passaic Valley Regional High School in Little Falls, Passaic County -- reboot an existing garden space to connect to culinary classes, outside organizations, and to enhance their school’s healthy juice bar.
- Sharon Elementary School in Robbinsville, Mercer County -- take students to visit a local indoor growing farm located on municipal property to learn about agriculture science and indoor growing.
- Washington Avenue School in Pleasantville, Atlantic County -- enhance their school garden program with a “Make a Salad Day” and nutrition education lessons.