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Project SCALES

SCALES (Supporting Community Agriculture and Local Education Systems) logo

The Center for School and Community Partnerships has been selected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service, as one of four teams to collaborate on the School Food Systems Transformation Challenge. This initiative aims to catalyze locally-developed innovations and partnerships that ensure a resilient and equitable school food system across the nation.

With this $16.1 million cooperative agreement from the USDA, we are launching SCALES (Supporting Community Agriculture and Local Education Systems), a project that will provide grant funding and technical assistance to 70 school districts nationwide over the next five years. The project is led by Dr. Lindsey Turner. Our key partner is LunchAssist (, an organization that provides expert technical assistance to school nutrition professionals. Our team includes collaborators Dr. Erin Hager at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Hannah Lane at Duke University. Project SCALES will also be guided by several consultants, an expert advisory board with representatives from many large national organizations, and dissemination partners including the National Farm to School Network. We look forward to doing this exciting work in collaboration with our partners!

The first cohort of school districts (2024-2026) will be from rural communities and the second cohort (2026 to 2028) will be from rural, suburban, or urban areas. For more information about the project, please visit

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