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Nonprofit receives $249K USDA grant | Local

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Project GROWS received a $249,190 grant award by the United States Department of Agriculture. The award is meant to expand local food and nutrition education programs throughout Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County.

Project GROWS is a nonprofit, educational farm based in Augusta County.

The grant will span three years and focus on developing self-reliant local food systems that bring nutritious food to low-income communities, a press release said. Funding is available through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program.

“Over the last six years, Project GROWS has been working steadily within our local community to strengthen our food system and connect youth with the source of their food,” Jenna Clarke, executive director, said in the release. “This transformational grant will give our local children and community partners the support they need to make a deep and lasting impact on health and food access.”

Members of the organization plan to expand nutrition education in schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Central Shenandoah Health District, Augusta Health, Allegheny Mountain Institute and more.

The press release listed specific programs Project GROWS plans to expand: farm-to-school tastings with fresh produce from the farm, hands-on garden-based education on the farm and in the classroom, off-site gardening, nutrition, food preparation education and increased support for low-income individuals and families purchasing fresh food at local farmers markets.

For more information, visit ProjectGROWS.org.

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