DATCP: AmeriCorps Farm to School sites selected for the year

Contact: Ashley Huibregtse, 608-224-5002

Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON – It is time to go back to school, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has selected seven partner sites to implement the AmeriCorps Farm to School Program in the 2012-2013 school year. These sites will work to decrease childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating habits in students and increasing access to local foods in schools.

Two new sites will join the program this school year, Brown County’s Live54218 and Milwaukee’s Growing Power. Five sites returning to the program include: REAP Food Group, University of Wisconsin-Extension Crawford County, Viroqua School District, Spooner School District and a partnership between the Ashland, Washburn and Bayfield School Districts.

With addition of the new sites, this year’s AmeriCorps Farm to School program will reach an estimated 10,000 students. Each site will be provided at minimum two half-time AmeriCorps members. One member will focus on community outreach, identifying and addressing hurdles for local food procurement. The second member will focus on nutrition education, working to develop and implement curriculum and wellness plans to teach students about local food options.

DATCP’s AmeriCorps Farm to School Program began in 2008. Funds are provided through the Corporation of National and Community Service. Partnering organizations include the Department of Health Services, the Department of Public Instruction and the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For additional information on the AmeriCorps Farm to School Program, contact DATCP’s Camilla Vargas, the program manager, at 608-224-5017 or [email protected].