The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 4721. Local foods grant program
(a) There is created in the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets the Rozo McLaughlin Farm-to-School Program to execute, administer, and award local grants for the purpose of helping Vermont schools develop farm-to-school programs that will sustain relationships with local farmers and producers, enrich the educational experience of students, improve the health of Vermont children, and enhance Vermont's agricultural economy.
(b) A school, a school district, a consortium of schools, a consortium of school districts, a registered or licensed child care provider, or an organization administering or assisting the development of farm-to-school programs may apply to the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets for a grant award to:
(1) fund equipment, resources, training, and materials that will help to increase use of local foods in child nutrition programs;
(2) fund items, including local food products, gardening supplies, field trips to farms, gleaning on farms, and stipends to visiting farmers, that will help educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach children about nutrition and farm-to-school connections;
(3) fund professional development and technical assistance, in partnership with the Agency of Education and farm-to-school technical service providers, to help teachers, child nutrition personnel, organizations administering or assisting the development of farm-to-school programs, and members of the farm-to-school community educate students about nutrition and farm-to-school connections and assist schools and licensed or registered child care providers in developing a farm-to-school program; and
(4) fund technical assistance or support strategies to increase participation in federal child nutrition programs that increase the viability of sustainable meal programs.
(c) The Secretaries of Agriculture, Food and Markets and of Education and the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with farmers, child nutrition staff, educators, organizations administering or assisting the development of farm-to-school programs, and farm-to-school technical service providers jointly shall adopt procedures relating to the content of the grant application and the criteria for making awards.
(d) The Secretary shall determine that there is significant interest in the school community before making an award and shall give priority consideration to schools, school districts, and registered or licensed child care providers that are developing farm-to-school connections and education, that indicate a willingness to make changes to their child nutrition programs to increase student access and participation, and that are making progress toward the implementation of the Vermont School Wellness Policy Guidelines developed by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Agency of Education, and the Department of Health, updated in June 2015 or of the successor of these guidelines.
(e) No award shall be greater than 20 percent of the total annual amount available for granting except that a grant award to the following entities may, at the discretion of the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, exceed the cap:
(1) Farm-to-School service providers; or
(2) school districts or consortiums of school districts that completed merger under 2010 Acts and Resolves No. 153, 2012 Acts and Resolves No. 156, or 2015 Acts and Resolves No. 46 on or before July 1, 2019, provided that the grant is used for the purpose of expanding Farm-to-School projects to additional schools within the new school district. (Added 2007, No. 24, § 2; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 250, 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2017, No. 63, § 1; 2019, No. 34, § 1; 2019, No. 64, § 4.)