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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program

Deadline: June 4, 2019

The Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP) seeks to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children.

The primary goals of the FASLP are to:

  1. Increase capacity for food, garden, and nutrition education within host organizations or entities and school cafeterias and in the classroom
  2. Complement and build on the efforts of the farm to school programs implemented under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act
  3. Complement efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and school food authorities to implement the school lunch programs established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the school breakfast program established by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966
  4. Carry out activities that advance the nutritional health of children and nutrition education in elementary schools and secondary schools
  5. Foster higher levels of community engagement and support the expansion of national service and volunteer opportunities

Food and agriculture service learning activities supported by Food and Agriculture Service Implementation grants may include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanding farm to school programs beyond lunch to bring local or regional products into the School Breakfast program
  • Operating service projects (e.g., AmeriCorps, VISTA, FoodCorps, local service corps programs, etc.) that support farm to school initiatives in schools
  • Readying producers to participate in the school food market by providing training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and other food safety-related topics
  • Providing technical support in the form of face-to-face trainings, consultations, webinars, etc.
  • Developing promotional campaigns in support of farm to school initiatives
  • Expanding strategic planning efforts to expand or coordinate efforts across multiple districts
  • Conducting farm to school evaluation efforts
  • Establishing new or strengthening existing community partnerships (e.g., working with personnel to identify appropriate suppliers, etc.)
  • Encouraging increased consumption of fruits and vegetables through promotional activities, taste tests, and other activities
  • Expanding experiential or agriculture-based learning opportunities, such as the creation of school gardens, support to ag/food clubs, or increased exposure to on-farm activities
  • Developing and evaluating integrated curriculum to reinforce food and nutrition-based learning throughout the school environment

All projects must involve underserved rural and urban communities and facilitate a connection between elementary schools and secondary schools with agricultural producers in the local and regional area. Applicants are encouraged to seek and create partnerships with public or private, nonprofit or for-profit entities, including links with academic institutions (including minority-serving colleges and universities), and/or other appropriate professionals, community-based organizations, school districts, and local and state government entities.

Amount: Approximately $8,694,989 is available to make awards of up to $225,000 for project periods of up to two years.

Eligibility: State agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations, foundations, or corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of two or more entities described herein.

Applicants must:

  1. Have experience in the area of (i) community food work, including the provision of food to people in low-income communities, including farm to school programs, and the development of new markets in low-income communities working closely with agricultural producers; (ii) job training and business development activities, curriculum, and development for food-related school activities in low-income communities; or (iii) efforts to reduce food insecurity in the community, including food distribution, improving access to services, or coordinating school services and programs, and; (iv) applicants must show evidence of existing community support and engagement with school districts and agricultural producers via no less than three letters of support
  2. Demonstrate competency to implement a project, conduct an evaluation, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation
  3. Demonstrate competency in the implementation of a food and agriculture and/or school service learning program
  4. Demonstrate a willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators, practitioners, and other interested parties, including a plan for dissemination of results
  5. Collaborate with one or more local partner organizations to achieve at least one hunger-free communities goal (https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/resources/Goals_for_aHungerFreeCommunity.pdf)

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=315257

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