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The Department has moved to 135 Santilli Highway in Everett. The Department's office and Licensure Welcome Center are open. The new location has free parking and is a short walk from the Wellington station on the MBTA's Orange Line.
Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: MA Farming Reinforces Education and Student Health (FRESH)

Fund Code: 715


The purpose of this state funded competitive grant program is to encourage existing National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) sponsors to build capacity to grow or purchase locally grown and produced ingredients, prepare nutritious scratch-cooked meals and educate students about the food system.


Competitive priority will be given to schools and early education providers who prepare meals from scratch with high percentages of students eligible for free and reduced price lunch and shall aim to promote geographic equity.

Additional competitive priority will be given to districts and schools in chronically underperforming status and the Strategic Transformation Region


Existing NSLP or CACFP sponsors, including School Food Authorities, government, for profit, and community-based organizations may apply. If an organization would like to apply to become a sponsor of NSLP or CACFP email .

Funding Type:



Approximately $300,000 is available for Sponsors of Child Nutrition Programs in good standing, operating NSLP or CACFP in Massachusetts, the funds are prioritized for sites who prepare some food from scratch with high percentages of students eligible for free and reduced lunch and shall aim to promote geographic equity. Grant proposal can be submitted in the follow fund brackets.

  • Significant Investment: proposals by NSLP or CACFP Sponsors approximately up to $50,000 to support sustainable plans to integrate farm to school into their Child Nutrition Program or curriculum.
  • NSLP Startup/Expansion: proposals by NSLP sponsors approximately $5,000 – $25,000.
  • CACFP Startup/Expansion: proposals by CACFP sponsors approximately $5,000 – $25,000.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

Fund Use:

All goods, services and contractual duties budgeted in FY23 must be delivered by June 30, 2023.

Funds may be used for, but not limited to: (a) adequate kitchen equipment used to prepare food for school meals and snacks including, but not limited to, local, fresh produce, meats, seafood and dairy items; (b) training school kitchen staff in preparing fresh meals using local ingredients and in procuring such ingredients; (c) training educators and other school staff in adding or integrating food system lessons to their curriculum; and (d) infrastructure and programming for curricular and extracurricular activities, such as school gardens, for students to learn about agriculture and the food system.

Funds cannot be used to purchase food served as part of a reimbursable meal in Child Nutrition Programs or sold as a competitive food and beverage or fundraiser. Salaries or stipends for existing staff time to work on the grant must be allocated in kind, funds can only be used to expand staffing to meet grant objectives.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 06/30/2023

Pending appropriation and the meeting of grant requirements, awarded grantees will be eligible for a one-year continuation grant in Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 (Upon Approval – 6/30/2024)

Program Unit:

Office for Food and Nutrition Programs


Phone Number:

(781) 338-6463

Date Due:

Tuesday January 31, 2023*

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the date due.

*All responses must be received by the due date listed above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Responses not submitted on time will not be reviewed. Applicants applying after the due date may be notified their application was received late and will not be reviewed. Applications must be submitted as directed in the Submissions Instructions below. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. If you need assistance with submitting your application, please reach out to the contact person listed on this funding opportunity.

Required Forms:
Additional Information:

Child Nutrition Program Sponsor awardees will adhere to all Federal, State, and Local procurement laws and standards, including, if applicable, as found in 7 CFR Part 210.21 and 2 CFR 200.317 through 2 CFR 200.326

All equipment competitively procured using these grant funds must be necessary, reasonable, and allocable.

State Contract User Guide

Submission Instructions:

Email a completed application with all required forms and supporting documents to . Within three business days of receipt, you will receive a confirmation email.

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: November 29, 2022

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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