Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program Funds Available
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP) for fiscal year (FY) 2024 and FY 2025 to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children. The maximum award amount is $240,000; FY 2024 applications are due on December 7, 2023 and FY 2025 applications are due on December 5, 2024.
What is the purpose of the FASLP? With the purpose of increasing knowledge of agriculture and improving the nutritional health of children, the primary goals of FASLP are to:
- Increase capacity for food, garden, and nutrition education within host organizations or entities and school cafeterias and in the classroom;
- Complement and build on the efforts of prior farm to school programs implemented;
- Complement efforts by the Department 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 section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966;
- Carry out activities that advance the nutritional health of children and nutrition education in elementary schools and secondary schools; and
- Foster higher levels of community engagement and support the expansion of national service and volunteer opportunities.
FASLP supports projects that bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system 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. The goal of these efforts is to not only increase access to school meals for underserved children, but also to dramatically improve their quality and to decrease food loss and waste through student, school, and community engagement.
Who is eligible to apply? Eligible applicants include state agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations, non-profit organizations, foundations, or corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of two or more entities described herein.
What are the project types available for FY 2024? In FY 2024 the FASLP requests proposals for two types of grants: 1) FASLP Projects; and 2) FASLP Technical Assistance, as summarized below.
FASLP projects are intended for eligible applicants to expand existing farm-to-school initiatives and other food and agriculture experiential learning initiatives, such as training and technical assistance, evaluation activities, curriculum development, or incorporate farm to school strategies in trainings and professional opportunities along with working closely with agricultural producers in the local and regional areas with primary and secondary schools.
Potential project activities may include, among others:
- Expanding farm-to-school programs beyond lunch to bring local or regional food products into the School Breakfast program;
- Operating service projects (e.g., AmeriCorps, VISTA, Food Corps, local service corps programs, etc.) that support farm to school initiatives in schools;
- Readying producers to participate in school food service by providing training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and other food safety-related topics;
- Providing technical support in the form of face-to-face and/or virtual 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 school districts;
All projects must involve underserved rural and/or urban communities and facilitate a connection between elementary schools and secondary schools with agricultural producers in the local and regional area. All applicants are also encouraged to incorporate food loss and waste efforts into their FASLP projects.
FASLP Technical Assistance
In FY 2024, NIFA will competitively award one technical assistance grant within FASLP.
Expected deliverables for this project type are:
- Common metrics. Identify and/or develop common FASLP metrics and processes that can be used in year three to collect nationally aggregatable data, using annual FASLP reports, expertise of current FASLP awardees, and other informed resources, as appropriate.
- Report. By the end of year three, produce an annual report of FASLP which: aggregates common metrics data across current FASLP projects which highlights impacts for FASLP goals and priorities; strengthens the evidence-base of effective FASLP approaches to meet program goals – i.e., identify and confirm what works; provides examples of projects and strategies that: are innovative; can be tailored to community specific characteristics and needs; and leverage and extend FASLP goals; and Identifies outreach gaps and opportunities to increase awareness and understanding of how FASLP can better engage underserved youth and communities.
- Project director meetings. Collaborate with organizers of community nutrition project director meetings to ensure that FASLP needs and interests are met where program areas have been combined; attend annual project director meetings with other FASLP awardees and NIFA staff.
- Capacity. Facilitate strengthened relationships among FASLP grantees, sharing of best practices, networking across FASLP projects, and development of stakeholder project reports among current grantees; establish a model or process for continued sharing, networking, and reporting in future years. Food loss and waste. Include food loss and waste reduction data aggregation and reporting as an integral component of FASLP.
- Technical assistance. Provide technical assistance to FASLP project awardees, as needed.
What are the funding amounts available? The maximum award amount for FASLP projects is $240,000. The anticipated funding availability is approximately $1,920,000 in FY 2024 and approximately $1,920,000 in FY 2025.
Are matching funds required? The FASLP has no matching requirement.
What is the timeline for this grant opportunity? FY 2024 applications are due on December 7, 2023 and FY 2025 applications are due on December 5, 2024.
FASLP Projects will have a grant duration of two years and FASLP Technical Assistance will have a three-year grant duration.
The full Request for Applications can be found here.
Morrison has extensive experience writing successful applications for clients for NIFA programs. For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 530-893-4764.