Local Food Makes Cents

For Iowa Kids and Farmers

Preschool boy with snack plate gives thumbs up.

Partners within the Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Coalition recently won a Farm to Early Care and Education Implementation Grant (FIG). The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) awarded the grant. Learn more about the overall project here

One grant strategy focuses on improving child nutrition. Partners plan to invest in Iowa agriculture through a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) incentive pilot. The pilot, “Local Food Makes Cents: For Iowa Kids and Farmers,” offers a total of $43,000 in local food reimbursement funds to eligible centers and home providers. They must participate in the CACFP and purchase local foods from Iowa farmers, food hubs and farmers markets.

Grants awarded!


Throughout January 2021, nearly 200 ECEs that are enrolled in the CACFP submitted applications to participate in the “Local Food Makes Cents” grant pilot. The scoring process prioritized sites serving higher percentages of children receiving Child Care Assistance and sites serving children of color.

The fair-share funding model used to determine award amounts is as follows: October 2020 meal claims x 6 months x $0.10 = award amount. With this funding model, 125 ECEs across 41 Iowa counties will receive grants, ranging from $50 (for smaller in-home sites) to $4,200 (for larger centers), totaling $43,000. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will reimburse providers after they buy the local food. The local food must be incorporated into a CACFP-reimbursable meal or snack. 

Grantee webinar March 3

Grantees are invited to join grant coordinators for a grantee webinar on Wednesday, March 3 at 1 p.m. We’ll review reporting requirements, local procurement resources, and answer additional questions. The call information has been sent to all grantees. Please email Chelsea Krist with any questions. 

Resources about the grant

Review these resources for more information about the Local Food Makes Cents: For Iowa Kids and Farmers grant program. 

About the Program
About the Application 
Frequently Asked Questions 
Sourcing Local Meats 
(guide for providers)

Watch our informational webinar (at right) recorded on December 18, 2020, to learn about the project timeline and application process. See the slides from the presentation here

Application is now closed

Applications were accepted January 4–31, 2021 and the application is now closed. 

Information for grantees

Grantees can learn more about the grant program in the recorded webinar at right.

Contact Chelsea Krist at cekrist@iastate.edu with questions.

Back to Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Network.