- Author: Kathleen P Nolan
USDA NIFA is soliciting application for the FY21 Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program.
The purpose of the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program is to increase the knowledge of agricultural science and improve the nutritional health of children. The program's goal is to increase the capacity for food, garden, and nutrition education within host organizations or entities, such as school cafeterias and classrooms, while fostering higher levels of community engagement between farms and school systems by bringing together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system. The initiative is part of a broader effort to not only increase access to school meals for low-income children, but also to dramatically improve their quality.
Food and agriculture service learning activities supported by the program may include, but are not limited to:
1. Expanding farm to school programs beyond lunch to bring local or regional products into the School Breakfast program;
2. Operating service projects (e.g. AmeriCorps, VISTA, Food Corps, local service corps programs, etc.) that support farm to school initiatives in schools;
3. Readying producers to participate in the school food market by providing training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and other food safety-related topics;
4. Providing technical support in the form of face-to-face trainings, consultations, webinars, etc.;
5. Developing promotional campaigns in support of farm to school initiatives;
6. Expanding strategic planning efforts to expand or coordinate efforts across multiple districts;
7. Conducting farm to school evaluation efforts;
8. Establishing new or strengthening existing community partnerships (e.g. working with personnel to identify appropriate suppliers, etc.);
9. Encouraging increased consumption of fruits and vegetables through promotional activities, taste tests, and other activities;
10. 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; and,
11. Developing and evaluating integrated curriculum to reinforce food and nutrition-based learning throughout the school environment.
No single FASLP award request may exceed $225,000 (including indirect costs) for project periods for up to 2 years.
Applications are due May 3, 2021.
For additional information, please visit the program's website: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/food-and-agriculture-service-learning-program
Kathleen Nolan, Director, ANR Office of Contracts & Grants (OCG)