USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is Accepting Applications for the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program - Due June 4, 2020

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced that it is accepting applications for the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP) with a maximum funding level of $225,000 per project. There is no matching requirement.

What is the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program? The Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP) is intended to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children, and to 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 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.

Who is eligible to apply? Application to the FASLP is limited to the following groups:

  • 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.

What are eligible project activities? Project activities 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.

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.

What are other program priorities for the FASLP? The development of leadership skills, knowledge, and qualities are necessary to prepare students for agricultural and related careers in the private sector, government, and academia. Teaching applications must demonstrably incorporate a leadership development component to equip students with technical and leadership abilities upon graduation. Specific activities may include:

  1. Developing practical applications to increase understanding of leadership roles, including critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills; ethics and professionalism; and working in teams;
  2. Connecting the academic classroom experiences with daily leadership roles and organizational activities;
  3. Providing opportunities for mentoring and shadowing; and 
  4. Organizing leadership academies, workshops, trainings, etc.

What is the funding level for FASLP? The maximum award amount is $225,000. USDA NIFA anticipates granting approximately four awards for FY 2020; the total funding availability for this grant in FY 2020 is approximately $960,000.

Is there a matching requirement? The FASLP has no matching requirement. USDA NIFA will not factor matching resources into the review process as an evaluation criterion.

What is the project duration? The project duration is up to two years.

When is the deadline? The application deadline is June 4, 2020 by 5:00pm Eastern Time.

The full Request for Application (RFA) can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530-893-4764.

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