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Healthy Farms, Healthy Schools Grant Applications Available
Date:5/15/2008

Applications Due June 17

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- School districts interested in developing programs that steer kindergarten students and their parents toward healthier lifestyles are eligible for up to $15,000 in grants, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced today.

The investment is part of the Healthy Farms and Healthy Schools Program, which helps kindergarten classes promote healthy eating and locally grown food through lessons, classroom activities and field-based training. Applications are due June 17.

"The grants are an important investment in the health of our youth and Pennsylvania agriculture," said Wolff. "Funding will help school districts provide educational programs that encourage our children to choose high-quality and nutritious food, which will help to ensure a healthier future for our youth and the commonwealth's agricultural industry."

Qualified applicants may be awarded grants of up to $15,000 to cover up to 75 percent of the cost of a project; districts must provide the balance through funds or in-kind services. Any public school district, charter or private school with a kindergarten program is eligible to apply for the money. Eligible projects include:

-- Providing nutritional and agricultural education, including the

integration of such information into regular classroom subjects;

-- Focusing on locally-grown food produced by Pennsylvania farms;

-- Teacher and educational staff training on nutrition and agricultural

education;

-- Educational activities that include parents, caregivers and community

groups; and

-- Field trips to Pennsylvania farms or other direct agricultural

educational experiences that teach children about sources of food and

Pennsylvania agriculture.

The Healthy Farms and Healthy Schools Program was established to educate kindergartners and their families about the importance of choosing healthy, locally produced foods while increasing awareness of Pennsylvania agriculture. This past year, 44 school districts were served by the $500,000 grant program.

Applications should be sent to JoAnna Gresham, Bureau of Market Development, PA Department of Agriculture, 2301 N. Cameron Street, Room 311, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

For more information, visit http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on "Students & Educators," or contact Gresham at 717-772-3094.

CONTACT: Nicole L. Cullison

(717) 787-5085


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
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