Resources and Grants
SFUSA School Garden Guide
From design, implementation and curriculum to fundraising, volunteers and school policy, this comprehensive “how-to” guide offers a clear roadmap for developing a successful school garden program in any community, based on Slow Food values of:
Good, Clean and Fair
“Good” food that is delicious and healthy for the body; “clean” food that is sustainably grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and “fair” food that provides reasonable compensation and safe working conditions for those who grow and prepare the food.
Access, Taste and Joy
Grow fresh food where processed and/or fast foods are prevalent, with an emphasis on seasonality (for best flavor) and community in growing, preparing and sharing the food.
Biodiversity, Culture and Traditions
Demonstrating respect for local food cultures, protecting these traditions and creating awareness of growing foods that are at-risk of extinction.
View the School Garden Guide
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You can view by individual chapters (1–2.1 MB each) or see the full guide (9.4 MB).
You can also purchase a hard copy of the printed guide here.
In this section, we provide a list of various grants available to school gardens. While it's certainly not an exhaustive list, we hope it will give you good insight into the possible funding opportunities. Additionally, we offer templates/sample grant applications to inspire you.
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens and Bonnie Plants
The AHA Teaching Gardens and Bonnie Plants Grant is a great resource for a school that is motivated to start a new garden project. Schools may apply for funding or a tool kit, which includes building plans as well as lesson plans.
Annie's Homegrown Garden Grants
Annie’s mission is, “A garden in every school.” The Annie's Homegrown website has many resources to help start and sustain a school garden. There are two application cycles a year. Application cycle is currently closed. Annie’s also offers a Garden Funder, which is a platform for schools to use to fund their own garden projects. It is free to use!
Captain Planet Foundation
The Captain Planet Foundation considers grant proposals that have external resources committed to matching the awarded grant money by 50% or higher. Apply to this grant if your school has a partner in the community that is willing to help fund your school garden. Projects must be completed by students. Application cycle is currently closed.
Fiskars Project Orange Thumb
Fiskars Project Orange Thumb awards 30 schools across the nation each year with $3,500 in grant money and gardening tools. Fiskars’ goal is to beautify neighborhoods, promote community involvement and teach the importance of sustainability and healthy eating.
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation accepts grant applications on a rolling basis. Geared towards public schools, FTPF seeks applicants with enough space to support a fruit tree grove, as well as a long term plan on how the fruit trees will serve the community at large.
Jamba Juice and KidsGardening.org “It’s All About the Fruits and Veggies”
The “It’s All About the Fruits and Veggies” grants give $500 to schools to help start a school garden project. Projects should support nutrition programs as well as introduce healthy food into the school curriculum. The grants are awarded to 30 schools, nationwide. Applicants must live within a 50 mile radius of a Jamba Juice store. Application cycle currently closed.
The Katie's Krops grant is available to applicants ages 9-16. The funding from this grant is intended to help those in need in a community, whether that be a student body or other organizations in the neighborhood, like a homeless shelter. Grantees are required to document the progress of their garden as well as where the produce from their garden is distributed.
Levitt Foundation offers large scale funding opportunities for schools in New York City and Long Island. The Levitt Foundation grants are intended to bring locally sourced food to food deserts and teach children about healthy eating. The foundation accepts proposals by invitations only. Email them directly with your project ideas and questions.
Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant
The Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant Fall 2015 cycle opens in August. Lowe's will donate up to $5 million to public schools and public school parent teacher groups - at as many as 1,000 different public schools per school year. Preference is given to project proposals that create permanent results in schools. Sample projects include gardens, fitness areas, landscaping projects, nature trails, art exhibits, and peer tutoring centers. Spring application cycle is currently closed.
Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
The Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation offers large scale grants, from $5,000-$25,000. Proposals should include a community outreach program. Grants are only available to public schools. Find other eligibility requirements here.
Mission Nutrition- Chef Ann Foundation
If your school is participating in the National School Lunch Program, the Mission Nutrition grant is an excellent opportunity to help engage your students with fresh fruits and vegetables. Grants of $2,500 are used to fund projects that promote healthy eating for the entire school. Food Service Directors are to apply. Application cycle is currently closed. Please see Chef Ann website for other grant opportunities.
Nature Works Everywhere
The Nature Works Everywhere grant cycle is currently closed. This grant will award between $1,000-$2,000 to schools starting or maintaining a school garden program. Preference is given to projects that include aspects of natural infrastructure. Get creative with habitat gardens, rain conservation or pollinators. Visit their website for more information.
The Sow It Forward School Garden Grant
The Sow It Forward School Garden Grant 2016 grant cycle is now closed. Sow It Forward is the grants and partnership program of Kitchen Gardeners International. The grant is for nonprofit causes or organizations (schools, 501c3s, food banks, community gardens, colleges, libraries, prisons, senior programs, etc.) interested in starting or expanding food garden projects that are of general benefit to their community. Past grantees include school gardens, community gardens, food bank gardens, library gardens, senior gardens, prison gardens and homeless shelter gardens among others.
Safer® School Garden Grant
Providing a chance for a healthier future is exactly why Safer® Brand is giving away a $500 school garden grant. Submit your application between September 1 to December 1. The grant will be awarded on February 1 to the school. Check out the Safer® School Garden Grant page for more information on why school gardens matter, how to build one and to apply for the Safer® School Garden Grant.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) offers a number of different grant opportunities in all of its regions. Grant proposals should focus on research and education. In the North Central region, for example, there is a grant of up to $2,000 awarded to Youth Educators. Check out your region to get a better idea of which grants your school garden could apply for.
USDA Farm to School
The USDA offers highly competitive, large-scale grants in four different categories: Planning, implementation, support service and training. All grants are intended to help connect farms to schools.
Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant
Slow Food chapters have a rich history in helping school garden programs successfully write grants to the Whole Kids Foundations to support school gardens. The 2015-2016 School Garden Grant application cycle is currently closed. If you would like any future assistance in applying for a Whole Foods School Garden grant, please contact the National School Garden program at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Wild Ones- Seeds for Education
Perfect for a school garden, the Wild Ones grant is intended to introduce native plants into your school’s ecosystem. The money awarded, from $100-$500, will be used for the purchasing of native plants and native seeds. Applicants are required to show how the plants will be incorporated into the school curriculum. The 2015 application cycle is currently closed.
School Seed Fundraiser
- Terroir Seeds in Prescott, Arizona, is offering to donate 50% of the sales from four seed bundles (all with different themes) to local school garden programs.