We Got a USDA Grant: How Should We Use It?

Lisa Mosca, Food Moxie Executive Director

In late July, we were excited to learn that we are a 2019 USDA Farm to School Planning Grant recipient. This will help Food Moxie staff — along with partners Weavers Way Farms, W.B. Saul Agricultural High School and Martin Luther King High School — plan for increased farm-to-school activities.

We’ve been brainstorming different ways to use the grant money. We could purchase tools to help with harvesting and/or coordinate volunteer gleaning efforts with willing local farms, with the harvested produce coming to school cafeterias for free or at a lower cost. In addition, we want to identify and decrease infrastructure barriers to purchasing more local foods, such as the lack of refrigeration or adequate space to wash produce. As part of this effort, we hope in the near future to be able to get farms into the Philadelphia School District vendor system. Lastly, we want to improve curriculum opportunities with students, and create workforce development opportunities that also involve agriculture (think workshops that provide certifications that will build student resumes and improve their job prospects).

Food Moxie is excited to work with our partners in 2019/2020 to create a farm-to-school action plan that matches each school’s needs. If you are a cooperator interested in supporting these activities, please check out opportunities to volunteer under Food Moxie cooperator shifts or contact us through info@foodmoxie.org.