DATCP: Apply to be an AmeriCorps Farm to School partner-site

Contact: Camilla Vargas, 608-224-5017, Ashley Huibregtse, 608-224-5002

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is currently accepting applications for partner-sites to host members for the AmeriCorps Farm to School program. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2011.

The AmeriCorps Farm to School program provides an innovative approach to decreasing childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating habits in students K-12 and increasing access to local foods in schools. DATCP manages the program, providing support, technical assistance, and training. AmeriCorps Farm to School has worked with 10 host sites, placed 20 service members throughout the state, and has served over 10,000 Wisconsin students.

A partner-site may be a school, school district, group of schools or districts, non-profit organization, state agency, or university. Partner-sites must specifically outline the school(s) that they will serve and have a letter of support from those schools. In anticipation of receiving funding, new partner-sites would begin on August 15, 2011.

As a partner-site, recipients will receive a minimum of two half-time AmeriCorps members. One member is a community outreach member, serving as a liaison between the schools and the community. The second member is a nutrition education expert, building relationships with teachers and administrators.

Partner-sites must meet the following requirements to be considered:

* Assist with the recruitment and hiring of AmeriCorps members

* Identify an onsite supervisor

* Provide orientation, workspace, and office supplies

* Assist to form a local Farm to School Task Force

* Contribute $5,000 per full-time member and $1,750 per half-time member as a cash match for the estimated $600,000 annual program cost.

* Obtain evaluation forms from students, teachers, and staff including a record of pre and post student knowledge

Priority will be given to sites that outline other non-cash grant matches; provide room and/or board for members; show strong partnerships with school, community, and agriculture members; demonstrate strong supervisor dedication; and offer strong needs documentation.

If you intend to apply, DATCP highly encourages interested applicants to complete a Notice of Intent to Apply by Friday, March 18, 2011. The Notice of Intent to Apply, a one-page form, is not mandatory, but assists DATCP in planning for interested parties.

More information about the AmeriCorps Farm to School program and application materials can be found at datcp.wisconsin.gov, under Business, Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin, AmeriCorps Farm to School Program. For questions, please contact Camilla Vargas, Program Manager, at [email protected] or 608-224-5017.