USDA Awards over $70 Million in Grants, Maine’s Fryeburg Academy among awardees

Boston, MA, July 26, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is awarding more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across the country. Additionally, for the first time, the department is empowering states with $60 million in non-competitive grants to develop stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs over the next four years. Both actions will help more kids nationwide eat healthy, homegrown foods.
The Fryeburg Academy has been awarded $49,693. The Fryeburg Academy Edible Garden Project represents an expansion of the existing edible garden, as well as related curricular and extracurricular agricultural education offerings that are currently available to 9-12th grade students as part of the science department and Outdoor Learning and Research Center. Students of Fryeburg Academy will grow and prepare vegetables in partnership with the Academy’s Food Services Department, and will serve as ambassadors for the nutritious, local food that they grow. The collective agricultural programs are intended to provide opportunities for science, wellness, and vocational education, building on the existing program that is available to district middle school students, and connecting Fryeburg Academy students to local farms and agricultural organizations.

“We’re so excited for this opportunity because it will allow us to connect our students to fresh, nutritious foods grown by their peers right on campus,” said Jennifer Solter-Jones, Fryeburg Academy Garden Manager.
Farm to School increases the amount of locally produced foods served through child nutrition programs, while also educating children about how their foods are harvested and made. Various child nutrition operators can participate in farm to school, from states and tribal nations to schools and community organizations. 

“The expansion of Farm to School is more important than ever for our kids,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “When schools and local producers work together, children benefit from higher-quality foods on their plates and program operators have stable sources for the products they need.” Vilsack added farm to school is an investment in the next generation and one of many ways the department is advancing nutrition security – the consistent, equitable access to healthy and affordable foods that promote well-being.

The 123 projects funded by the fiscal year 2022 competitive grants will serve more than 3 million children at more than 5,000 schools in 44 states and the District of Columbia.  Further, USDA acknowledges that many people have been historically underserved and marginalized through unfair food systems. The projects selected by the department reflect its commitment to transforming food systems to be more equitable through Farm to School:

  • An estimated 62% of students served by these projects are eligible for free and reduced-priced school meals.
  • 40% of projects serve rural areas or economically disadvantaged areas.
  • Nearly 30% of organizations are led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, with projects serving those same communities.
  • Seven projects are tribal nations serving Native American communities.
Since the USDA Farm to School Program’s inception in 2013, the department has awarded nearly $75 million in Farm to School Grants, funding more than 1,000 projects across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. These projects have reached over 25 million students in nearly 60,000 schools. For more information on how your community can get involved with Farm to School activities, please visit the FNS website. 

Additionally, as announced last month, the department’s $60 million non-competitive grants for states will allow them to better assist program operators in purchasing and using more local foods in meals for kids between Fiscal Years 2023-2026. The resources will also expand agricultural education for children. More information about the distribution of funds is coming soon.

“States and school districts with strong Farm to School programs have been more resilient in the face of recent supply chain disruptions, compared to operators lacking relationships with local producers,” said Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “The Farm to School program deserves to be at the forefront of long-term solutions that operators can lean on to ensure nutritious, local products are always within reach.” 

When schools source foods locally, it supports American farmers and strengthens the economy. USDA surveyed school food authorities nationwide in the 2019 Farm to School Census. According to the findings, in school year 2018-2019, school districts purchased nearly $1.3 billion in local fruits, vegetables, and other foods, totaling approximately 20% of all school food purchases. 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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List of 5 news stories.

  • USDA Awards over $70 Million in Grants, Maine’s Fryeburg Academy among awardees

    Boston, MA, July 26, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is awarding more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across the country. Additionally, for the first time, the department is empowering states with $60 million in non-competitive grants to develop stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs over the next four years. Both actions will help more kids nationwide eat healthy, homegrown foods.
  • FA Celebrates Faculty Years of Service

    On June 8, 2022, the Academy recognized faculty and staff for their years of service at the end-of-year staff meeting held in the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center.  Congratulations to the following faculty/staff who were recognized:

  • 1,000 Paper Origami Cranes & the Wish for Peace

    It was almost serendipitous that two simultaneous Peace Crane Projects were in the works during April and May to create an astounding 1,000 paper origami cranes. The project's roots are based on the ancient Japanese origami art form, where delicate and colorful kami paper is folded into ornate objects. And, according to ancient legend, "anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods." In this particular case, peace for Ukraine. 
  • FA Finance Class Teams Take First Place in the Maine Stock Market Game

    Students in mathematics teacher William Frey’s finance classes very successfully participated this semester in the SIFMA Foundation’s renowned ‘Stock Market Game,’ achieving a 1.9767% average return above S&P 500 growth– the lead return among the ten Maine schools participating. 
  • FA Places Second in the Biomimicry Institute’s 2021-22 Youth Design Challenge

    For a second consecutive year, Fryeburg Academy students placed in the top rankings in the Biomimicry Institute's 2021-22 Biomimicry Challenge. The team placed first last year with their MorphoBrick concept; they placed second this year, out of 125 competing teams from 12 countries, with their Syntrichia Hydrotrap design concept.

    FA's Biomimicry Challenger team, led by FA faculty member Jennifer Richardson, includes the following students: Yuna Lee '23, Grace Liu '23, Daryna Serediuk '22, May Shin '23, Stella Yoon '22, and Zoe Jung '22. This year's challenge was an advanced STEM-based competition that essentially had two goals: first, the design was required to model the structural and functional adaptation of at least one living organism. Secondly, the design needed to identify an environmental problem and propose a sustainable solution.

Fryeburg Academy

FRYEBURG ACADEMY
745 Main Street
Fryeburg, ME 04037
p. (207) 935-2001      
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admissions@fryeburgacademy.org
Fryeburg Academy is an independent boarding and day school, serving grades 9-12 and postgraduate. We invite you to explore our site and learn how students from around the globe find their place in the world through our exceptional academic, art, and athletic programs.