The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) was one of two Virginia recipients to receive the USDA Farm-to-School Expansion Grant to fund an expansion of the VSDB Educational Urban Farm Program.
The USDA Farm-to-School grants provide funding to increase the amount of local foods served to students and develop capacity for schools and farms to participate in Farm-to-School programs. The money will also go toward teaching students about food sources, healthy choices, and agriculture through garden and classroom education.
Katrina Beitz, the VSDB Educational Urban Farm Manager expressed her enthusiasm stating, “It’s very exciting, like a dream come true because we’ve been given this money to start all these new projects, and improve this already amazing space that we have.”
Among the activities planned through the grant, VSDB will create a paved handicapped accessible section of the garden for its students who utilize wheelchairs, purchase irrigation supplies, and establish an apiary with two beehives.
The VSDB Educational Urban Farm will also invite community participation through workshops, Work-on-the-Farm days and other activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.