Local Food Makes Cents

For Iowa Kids and Farmers

About the pilot program

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. This infographic shows an overview of the application data and how interest far exceeded available funding. 

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. 

Resources for participants

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)
Grantee Reporting Instructions

Grantee Webinar (recorded March 3, 2021): shares information for grantees about the project timeline, local food procurement guidelines and resources, and reporting instructions. 

Local Food Makes Cents Informational Webinar (recorded December 18, 2020): shares information about the project timeline and application process. See the slides from the presentation here.

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

Back to Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Network.