I've received a couple of grant and scholarship opportunities for developing local food systems in the Spokane area so I thought I would pass them along:
First up, Washington's Department of Health is offering 10 grants for local food advocates to partner with WIC offices to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables as part of the WIC program. One of the challenges with WIC (Women, Infant, Children) vouchers is that many of the vouchers issued go unused. Here's a link to the doc explaining the opportunity: Download Letter to food advocates-final.
Quillisascut Farm in Rice, WA is offering an educational event this coming August 14-18 for those interested in starting a school garden:
A School Garden workshop for school teachers,administrators, parents, or volunteers who are wanting to start a school garden or evolve their present garden: We will explore how planting a garden can feed us healthy foods as well as save the Earth, how composting closes the loop in our farm to table cycle, and how we can learn from ‘Natures Operating System’ and the simple joy of putting ourselves back in the garden circle.
Tuition $355 (Half of the tuition has been covered by a grant from the Community Building Foundation) tuition includes food and lodging (you will learn to prepare produce fresh from the garden!)
If you're looking for a last minute Christmas gift stop by your local bookstore and get Chef's on the Farm written by the folks at Quillisascut.
Finally the USDA is starting a project funding high tunnels (hoop houses) for farms in an effort to study the potential for increasing the supply of local food:
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide financial assistance for the project through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the EQIP Organic Initiative, and the Agricultural Management Assistance program. NRCS will fund one high tunnel per farm. High tunnels in the study can cover as much as 5 percent of 1 acre.