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Funding available for school, community partners in AmeriCorps program

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Staff | April 25, 2014

MADISON – Schools and communities interested in becoming AmeriCorps Farm to School partner sites should submit requests for partnership (RFP) by May 16 to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Funding could be available for as many as two new host sites for the 2014-2015 program year. Schools that become host sites would be assigned at least two half-time AmeriCorps members to provide farm to school programming through nutrition education and community outreach. The members would be managed by a central program manager working at DATCP.

Farm to School provides programming that promotes healthy eating habits among students in grades K-12 and works to increase access to local foods in schools. AmeriCorps is a national service program that provides members opportunities to learn valuable work skills while serving communities in need.

If an RFP is approved, an AmeriCorps community outreach member would work with school foodservice directors and local farmers to develop and support relationships and identify opportunities to purchase local foods. He or she also would develop a volunteer network, coordinate farm tours and work to make the program sustainable. The nutrition educator would work closely with the outreach member as well as with teachers and administrators to plan lessons that would enhance nutrition education in classrooms and lunchrooms plus build partnerships for such things as local food tastings or school gardens.

Funding for AmeriCorps Farm to School is provided by Serve Wisconsin through the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps Farm to School is possible with partnerships from UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The program has worked with more than 14 host sites throughout the state and has served more than 15,000 Wisconsin students.

RFP's are due to DATCP by 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 16. Awards are expected to be announced in mid-June, and programming is expected to start in August.

Learn more about the AmeriCorps Farm to School program or download an RFP at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Local_and_Regional_Food_Program/. For additional details, contact Sarah Larson at Sarahm.larson@wisconsin.gov or 608-224-5017.



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