School districts and dining facilities will benefit from $26 million in USDA grants aimed at improving nutrition among children.

Some $6.5 million in School Food System Transformation Challenge Grants, which seek to support marketplace collaboration through food procurement, were awarded to Boise State University and Chef Ann Foundation, according to a Food and Nutrition Service press release. The money will go toward helping establish fresh produce partnerships between school districts, producers and food purchasing cooperatives. 

Another $10 million is being awarded to states to improve food safety in schools through Equipment Assistance Grants. The program selects eligible school districts for funding to improve food safety, expand school breakfast or implement scratch cooking.

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USDA also announced it is taking applications for $9.6 million in Team Nutrition Training Grants to promote best practices for nutrition and food prep professionals. States may apply for awards of up to $800,000.

“School meals are vital to the health and well-being of our nation’s children, and we have a responsibility to provide the highest quality of meal service,” said Acting Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kumar Chandran.

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