Farm to School Funding

2024 Local Food Purchasing & Equipment Mini-Grant Application

Applications are due by: May 31, 2024                  

ASAP’s Growing Minds program is providing mini-grants up to $500 to early care and education (ECE) sites throughout the 18 westernmost counties in North Carolina to help them provide fresh, local food to their students.

Funds can be used to purchase fresh, local food from a farm, farm stand, and/or farmers market in your community. Funds can also be used to purchase equipment that will be used to prepare and cook local food for students, or to engage students in cooking activities involving local food. Some examples of equipment that could be purchased with this mini-grant include refrigerators, freezers, crockpots, pots and pans, cutting boards, and utensils/tools such as measuring cups and child-safe knives.

If you need help connecting with a local food source, make sure to complete our Local Food Questionnaire as well.

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 18-county service area or to folks who have received a grant from us within the past year. 

  • 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, McDowell, Rutherford 
  • High Country, NC: Avery, Mitchell

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.


Subscribe Now

Are you interested in receiving our Farm to School Monthly newsletter? Receive lesson plans, teaching resources, and more, delivered to your inbox each month. You can also sign up for ASAP's other newsletters.