Promote healthy eating habits, decrease childhood obesity and increase access to local foods in schools by applying now to be an AmeriCorps Farm to School partner-site. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) encourages schools, school districts, organizations, state agencies, and universities to complete an application to be a partner-site.
"AmeriCorps Farm to School aims to build healthy communities by providing educational activities to students and connecting schools with local farmers and food businesses," said Camilla Vargas, the Program Manager at DATCP. "DATCP is now seeking partner-sites to host AmeriCorps members during the 2012-2013 school year."
DATCP currently has 17 AmeriCorps members at seven partner-sites impacting 22 school districts. In anticipation of receiving funding, DATCP plans to expand the program with additional partner-sites.
Each partner-site would receive, at least, two half-time AmeriCorps members. A half-time community outreach member would serve as the main liaison between the schools and community. A half-time nutrition education member would focus on building relationships with teachers, school administrators, and students.
Partner-sites must commit to the following responsibilities:
? Assist with recruitment and hiring of members for your site.
? Identify an on-site supervisor for the members.
? Provide orientation, workspace, and supplies to your members.
? Assist with the creation of a local Farm to School task force.
? Contribute $5,500 per full-time member and $2,000 per half-time member as a cash match.
? Obtain evaluation forms to measure impact and success of the program.
Preference will be given to partner-sites that can outline other non-cash grant matches, provide room and/or board for members, show strong partnerships in the community, demonstrate strong supervisor dedication, or document a strong need. DATCP provides management of the program including training.
On Jan. 25, there will be a Wisconsin Farm to School Summit in Delavan showcasing current efforts, new resources available and upcoming opportunities. The day will include poster displays, speakers and breakout sessions. Registration materials can be found at http://healthinpractice.org/farm-to-school-summit.
"I encourage potential partner-sites to attend the Wisconsin Farm to School Summit to learn more about the possibilities available for your community through AmeriCorps Farm to School," added Vargas. "Farm to School has the potential to stimulate the economy through increased local food sales and change students' lives by promoting healthy lifelong habits."
In order to be considered as a partner-site, a Notice of Intent to Apply is due by 4:30 p.m. on March 16. The Official Request for Partnership Form is due by 4:30 p.m. on April 20. While the Notice of Intent to Apply is not mandatory, it is encouraged so planning can begin.