Administrative & Technical - Consulting & Other Services

Issue Date: 05/23/2024 Contract Number: RFP0336

New York State Farm-to-School Grant Program 2024


 Release Request for Proposals (RFP)

May 23, 2024

Informational Workshop

June 4, 2024, 12:00 pm

Question and Answer Period

Final Questions and Answers Posted

May 23- June14, 2024

June 20, 2024

Deadline for Applications

June 27, 2024, 4:00 pm

Announcement of Grant Awards

September 2024

Webex Registration Link:


Program Description:

Farm-to-School is the promotion and use of foods produced by New York State farmers in meals served in cafeterias of K-12 schools. Associations between farms and schools through the cafeteria and classroom can enhance the quality of food served. With over 700 school districts in New York State, there is the opportunity to foster relationships among New York State farmers, food hubs, producers, processors, and distributors to benefit school-age children.

While serving New York State produced food in school cafeterias may seem simple, developing Farm-to-School connections highlights several challenges, particularly the lack of an established infrastructure or network of stakeholders that includes all the necessary parties: farmers, food service directors, food service contract management companies, food distributors, processors, agricultural organizations, and commodity organizations.

Other challenges include:
• Seasonality: Farmers plan their crops in January, long before schools make purchasing decisions and place bids for products in the summer. In addition, the summer growing season is when schools are not in session.
• Inconsistent quality, quantity, and sizing: schools require produce to be served in standard units and meet specifications.
• Processing and packaging: schools require vegetables and fruits to be processed and packaged in standard units.
• Bidding: sending and reviewing bids from individual farmers can be time- consuming and complex for school procurement and fiscal staff.
• Delivery/pick up: distribution can be complicated when purchasing from multiple growers.
• Lack of equipment and skills to store, prepare and serve fresh produce procured for school meals programs.
• Connecting diverse populations with their culturally appropriate foods.
• Lack of training and workforce development for culinary staff.

The New York State Farm-to-School Competitive Grants Program began in 2015 to increase school’s purchase of New York specialty crops by building relationships between schools and New York farm product suppliers. Secondary goals of the program include increasing agricultural education opportunities for students, improving nutrition and exposing students to new, local, culinary experiences.


Funding Available:

A total of $1,500,000 is available for the Farm-to-School Competitive Grants Program. This year, $300,000 will be set aside for first-time recipients. Grant awards may range from $50,000 to $100,000. Applicants may apply for only one grant per funding period. Applicants must apply for $50,000 to $100,000.


Eligible applicants include:

• K-12 School Food Authorities
• Charter schools
• Not-for-profit organizations
• Indian tribal organizations

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants must be registered and pre-qualified in the Statewide Financial System Grants Management System, and the organizations’ document vault must be up to date. 

Applications for funding must conform to the format provided in the Statewide Financial System. APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED via the Statewide Financial System Grants Management System (SFS GM) to be considered for funding. Faxed, mailed, or e-mailed applications will not be accepted. The name for this opportunity is “2024 New York State Farm-To-School Program” and the Grant Opportunity ID is AGM- FTS24.

Ineligible Applicants:

• For-Profit organizations
• Individuals


All questions about this RFP must be submitted in writing (fax or e-mail) to:

Courtney Bailey
NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
10B Airline Drive Albany, NY 12235

Fax (518) 457-2716


Due Date: 06/27/2024 4:00 PM

Contract Term: 2 Years


Ad Type: Grant or notice of funds availability

Primary Contact:     Agriculture & Markets, NYS Dept. of
Ag Development

Courtney Bailey
Economic Development Program Specialist 1
10B Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12235
United States
Ph: 518-948-4409

Secondary contact:     Agriculture & Markets, NYS Dept. of
Ag Development

Courtney Bailey
Economic Development Program Specialist 1
10B Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12235
United States
Ph: 518-948-4409