Jan Hochadel

State Senator

Jan Hochadel

Deputy Majority Leader


February 23, 2024

Senator Hochadel Praises Grant Awards for Cheshire and Middletown Farm and School Programs


Today, Senator Jan Hochadel, D-Meriden, welcomed news that the state Department of Agriculture had awarded Connecticut Grown for Kids grants to help support farm and gardening initiatives through Cheshire Public Schools and the ACES Early Head Start program in Middletown.

Grants announced by the department last week will include funding for:

  • Cheshire Public Schools, which will receive $49,965 for the renovation of a kitchen space to facilitate lessons on processing student-harvested produce. The school system will also host a farmers market at each of the schools and plans to organize a field trip to a working farm where students will learn hands-on skills.

  • The ACES Early Head Start program, which will receive $5,000 to support the creation and maintenance of indoor and outdoor family gardens. The gardens will give families an opportunity to participate in hands-on programs with their children and provide access to fresh produce.

“These projects combine practical agricultural lessons with access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” Senator Hochadel said. “I’m thrilled to see these grants fund healthy learning experiences for kids in Cheshire and Middletown.”

The Connecticut Grown for Kids Grant program awards grants of up to $50,000 for projects that support farm-to-school initiatives. The program seeks to improve student health by including locally grown food in dietary programs and reinforce relationships between local farms and educators who wish to provide hands-on instructional tools.

This year’s grants represent the third round of funding under the program, which has been supported by funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Last year, state legislators allocated another $1 million in the state budget to continue the program as well as another $2 million in ARPA funding for shipping container gardens to grow fresh produce for schools and food pantries.