Farm to School Funding

Growing Minds Farm to School Funding Opportunities

We want to help fund your farm to school project in Western North Carolina! Mini-grants are available for schools to engage children in the following farm to school experiences:

  • Local food taste tests & cooking demonstrations
  • Incorporating local food into meals or snacks
  • Farm field trips or farmer visits to preschools and classrooms
  • Growing edible gardens

Funding can be used to start new projects, or to expand upon existing activities.

Pre-k through 12 schools and homeschool groups are eligible to apply. Schools must be located throughout our 23 westernmost counties of North Carolina. 

  • Smoky Mountains, NC: Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain
  • Southern Mountains, NC: Henderson, Polk, Transylvania 
  • Central Mountains, NC: Buncombe, Madison, Yancey 
  • Foothills, NC: Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, Rutherford 
  • High Country, NC: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes

Growing Minds 2023-24 Farm to School / Preschool Funding

Applications are due by: March 31, 2024 and recipients will be selected by April 15, 2024.                    

ASAP’s Growing Minds mini-grants help early childhood education (ECE) centers and K-12 schools provide children positive experiences with healthy local foods through these components of farm to school: school gardens, farm field trips and farmer classroom visits, and local foods served in meals, snacks, and/or taste tests.

Mini-grant applications are available three times during the 2023-2024 school year. You may apply one time during this cycle. Receive up to $500! The amount awarded will be based on availability of funding, number of applicants, and the scope of your project. Mini-grants must be used within a year after receiving the funding. 

If you have questions about your eligibility to apply for funding, please email us at before submitting your application. We are unable to provide mini-grants to schools located outside of our 23-county service area or to folks who have received a grant from us within the past year. 

The criteria for selection will be based on the following areas:

  • Priority will be given to classes that have not received this grant in the past year.
  • Priority will be given to Head Start and/or CACFP programs and schools with high rates of free and reduced lunch.
  • Proposals that plan for hands-on student experiences, and/or authentic farm experiences (please plan your activity with the idea that smaller groups make the experience better).
  • Connection with other Farm to School components (i.e. you are asking for funding for local food cooking but also plan to tie it to the school garden).

What is required of Farm to School Funding recipients?

After you are awarded Farm to School Funding and the activity has taken place, you are required to:

  • Complete a brief online reflection about the activity that you used the grant funds for. (Reflection form will be provided in your award notification.)
  • Submit electronic pictures of the activity.
  • Submit photo permission slips (provided by ASAP) for all students in the pictures you submit. 
  • If you or your school includes mention of this grant in any publications or announcements, we ask that you credit ASAP’s Growing Minds program and send us a copy. We will provide a document with talking points for any publications or announcements that you do around your farm to school activity and receiving the grant.

Please note that if you do not fulfill the above stated requirements, funds may need to be returned and / or you may not receive Farm to School Funding in the future.


Please feel free to contact our team at if you have questions or would like suggestions such as farms to visit, recipes to try, or tips for connecting an existing project to other farm to school components.


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