Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

February 8, 2024
Contact: Garnet McLaughlin |

Senator Lesser Welcomes State Grants for Local Farms, Schools Collaboration

HARTFORD, CT — Today, State Senator Matt Lesser welcomed the announcement that three programs in the 9th District are set to receive funds through the Connecticut Department of Agriculture Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Grant program:

Rocky Hill Public Schools, High School Botany: Hydroponic Greenhouse Garden

  • $32,450 to support students in the Botany, UCONN Horticulture, Culinary, Marketing, and Business classes to delve into the farm to table experience through the creation of a hydroponics growing house that will produce different lettuces, herbs, cucumbers, and strawberries. The addition of this technology will also allow educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students.

ACES Early Head Start, Middletown: Gardening at Early Head Start

  • $5,000 to create and maintain community family gardens both inside and outside of their location which will allow families in their program to access fresh fruit and vegetables year-round while engaging them in hands on projects with their children, peers, and community members.

Little Wise Daycare LLC, Wethersfield: Planters & Cooking Activities

  • $4,037 to build projects that will allow students to connect with nature, grow their own food, and interact with the garden, as well as do cooking activities.

“The Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids puts our money where our mouths are – literally and figuratively,” said State Senator Matt Lesser. “This program invests in student nutrition, our local food systems and our agricultural industry, creating educational opportunities and healthy eating habits. I’m so pleased that our state budget allows this program to continue over the next two years, and I look forward to continuing to make meaningful investments in programs like this one.”

The Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Grant (CTG4CTK Grant) is intended to increase the availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, allow educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students about nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustain relationships with local farmers and producers, enrich the educational experience of students, improve the health of children in the state and enhance the state’s economy.

This is the third round of the program, which was funded for two years as a pilot through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and administered in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the Connecticut Farm to School Collaborative (FTSC). The latest state budget allocated another $1 million to award annually for the next two years. Eligible entities were able to apply for up to $50,000 in funding with no match required.

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