California’s First Partner encourages LEAs to apply for Farm to School grant funds

California’s First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom wrote the following letter to local educational agency leaders to inform them of opportunities available through the California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program:


Dear California Superintendent and School Administrators,

As a mom of four young kids and First Partner of California, I share with you a passion for looking after the health and well-being of California kids. That’s why I launched California Farm to School in 2019 in partnership with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). This innovative grant program works in concert with California’s Universal School Meals program, which guarantees two free school meals a day for all public school students. Farm to School connects school district grantees with local farmers to expand the use of fresh, nutritious, and locally-sourced produce and food products in school meals. And it doesn’t stop there. Farm to School funds are also being used by school districts to invest in creative, hands-on food education programming like school gardens and culinary classes, as well as school kitchen infrastructure upgrades.

To-date, 163 school districts and educational entities have become Farm to School grantees, which means over 1.5 million California students are experiencing the benefits of Farm to School programming. However, to truly bring the full benefits of Farm to School — improving children’s health, bolstering local economies, and mitigating climate change — to every child and community in California, we must partner with every school district in the state. For this reason, I am writing to ask you to join us in this transformative work by applying to the California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program.

The positive impacts of California Farm to School are limitless, and with the support of our CDFA Regional Network team, school districts are empowered to customize their programming to meet the unique needs of their students and community. In addition to this personal, hands-on support, your district will be added to a growing network of committed partners throughout the state, with opportunities to convene, collaborate, share best practices, and engage in peer-to-peer learning.

For more information about California Farm to School, please take a look at the attached fact sheet, and to find your nearest Regional Network lead, please visit the “Meet the Farm to School Team” webpage.

In partnership,
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
First Partner of California