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KSDE receives $100,000 grant to help bring local flour to child nutrition programs

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TOPEKA — A $100,000 federal grant will help the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) connect child nutrition programs in the state with locally produced flour.

This federal grant will allow KSDE to award subgrants through a competitive application process. The funds will also support education, equipment and assistance in accessing locally produced flour. Child nutrition programs will benefit from learning how to incorporate more locally produced whole grains into menu items for Kansas students, said Barb Depew, KSDE’s Farm to Plate project director.

“With this grant, we are hoping to address supply chain issues, allowing child nutrition programs ranging from schools to CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program) home providers better access to locally milled flour,” Depew said.

Farm to School increases the amount of locally produced foods served through child nutrition programs, while also educating children about how their foods are harvested and made. Various child nutrition operators can participate in Farm to School, from states and tribal nations to schools and community organizations.

The grant is a two-year project that will include program years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024.

In addition to the subgrant opportunities, KSDE will develop educational opportunities with child nutrition programs in cooperation with the Kansas Wheat Commission.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico, according to a USDA news release. Since the USDA Farm to School Program’s inception in 2013, the department has awarded nearly $75 million in Farm to School Grants, funding more than 1,000 projects across all 50 states.

In addition to KSDE’s grant award, two other Kansas nonprofit organizations received funding. Quality Care Services in El Dorado received a turnkey grant of $49,970 to create edible gardens, and KC Farm School at Gibbs Road in Kansas City, Kansas, received a turnkey grant of $49,772 to expand agricultural education.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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