November 17, 2015


Washington, D.C. - Congressmen Joaquin Castro (TX-20) today announced $45,000 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support a healthy eating initiative for San Antonio children. The North East Independent School District (NEISD) will receive the funding through the Farm to School Grants fund, which supports efforts to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers and ranchers through USDA's Farm to School Program.  
"Understanding where their food comes from and the importance of good nutrition sets up young Americans to live healthier, more engaged lives,"? said Rep. Castro. "USDA's Farm to School Program not only helps our kids learn to eat nutritionally balanced meals, it connects our region's farmers and ranchers directly with local schools and a reliable market. I look forward to seeing the innovative ways NEISD uses this funding to improve students' long-term health and support the broader San Antonio food community."?
USDA's Farm to School Grants fund assists school districts, state and local agencies, tribal nations, agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations in their efforts to increase local foods served through child nutrition programs, teach children about food and agriculture through garden and classroom education, and develop schools' and farmers' capacities to participate in farm to school. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 are distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training. The grant USDA awarded NEISD falls in the Planning category. 

The North East Independent School District will use the funding to lay the foundation for a thriving farm to school program throughout the entire district of almost 68,000 students. The district will work to identify community partners and sources of fresh, local produce. Project goals include offering a farm to school training for community partners and creating a school garden how-to video and toolkit.