Operation Food Search Receives $34,000 USDA Farm to School Grant

Non-profit organization named sole recipient from Missouri.

Operation Food Search (OFS), a non-profit hunger relief organization, recently received $34,144 from the USDA’s Farm to School Grants fund. OFS will utilize the funds for its newest partnership with Gateway Greening and Normandy High School (NHS).

The USDA’s Farm to School grant is presented to recipients who incorporate local products into school meals, integrate agricultural education into the classroom, and cultivate farm to school efforts. OFS was the only 2019 grant recipient from Missouri.

The grant will be used to create a multi-year plan that transforms the NHS campus into a teaching farm. The farming space will address hunger, advance nutrition, and facilitate the integration of nutrition and agriculture into the school’s curriculum.

The fund distributed 126 grants totaling more than $9 million for the 2019-2020 school year. These grants will serve over 5,400 schools and 3.2 million students, 63% of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

β€œThis is quite an honor for our agency to be selected as the only grantee in the entire state of Missouri,” said OFS’s Executive Director Kristen Wild. β€œWe look forward to our partnership, as well as creating our very first teaching farm that will be an integral resource for Normandy High School.”

Normandy High School students and faculty assisting with mulching at International Institute’s South Farm during a summer field trip.

Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization founded in 1981 that provides food and nutrition education. The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of whom are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties.

With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food. OFS is also a partner with St. Louis startup, GiftAMeal.

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