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This is the latest news from SCCAP. For more information, please contact Doug Wilson, Director of Communications and Development at

Growing Opportunities to receive $58,000 grant from Indiana State Department of Agriculture

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has approved an application for $58,000 in Specialty Crop Block Grant funds to support Growing Opportunities from Jan. 1, 2017-Dec. 31, 2018. This will be the second time SCCAP has received Specialty Crop Block Grant funds.

The new funds will be used to expand the impact of Growing Opportunities through pursuit of the following objectives:

1. Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of healthy leafy greens and herbs, especially among low-income people and people with developmental disabilities,
2. Increasing opportunities for Growing Opportunities students who may lack agriculture skills and other basic skills necessary for success in any job, and
3. Improving food access in the food desert area on the westside of Bloomington (and especially access to healthy fresh leafy greens for low-income families living in this area).

Initiatives will include:

  • A major expansion of the number of nonprofit partners involved in providing specialty crops and specialty crop education to people in the food desert area on Bloomington’s westside, along with a major increase in the number of people receiving these crops along with education on how to cook with specialty crops and nutrition education related to specialty crops. This expansion will include providing specialty crops and education to people with developmental disabilities as part of a weekly cooking class at Stone Belt. Other partners will include Community Kitchen of Monroe County, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard and SCCAP Energy Assistance Program, Head Start and Thriving Connections.
  • An expansion of the number of students receiving training and other support from Growing Opportunities.
  • Provision of new opportunities for Growing Opportunities’ students to use free commercial kitchen space at partner organizations and to learn how to prepare value-added goods made with specialty crops.
  • The use of the Growing Opportunities greenhouse as a Head Start field trip destination where children from low-income households learn about how plants can grow without soil and learn how to transplant seedlings and harvest specialty crops.

Support for Growing Opportunities through grants and donations is especially important as the program continues to develop and grow. We continue to work on plans to expand Growing Opportunities so that its sales revenue can more fully support its operating costs. SCCAP greatly appreciates the support of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and all of the grantors and donors who are helping Growing Opportunities' students to achieve their dreams by developing their skills and confidence, finding employment and becoming more financially self-sufficient.