AmeriCorps Farm to School Program Overview
In September of 2008, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) launched a regional, multisite, AmeriCorps Farm to School Program. DATCP secured funding from Serve WI which supports organizations that provide citizens with the opportunity to serve their community by granting AmeriCorps funds through the Corporation of National and Community Service. Citizens participating in AmeriCorps programs not only enrich the lives of the people and communities they serve, but also their own lives through professional and personal development.
The goal of the AmeriCorps Farm to School program is to provide an innovative approach to decreasing childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating habits in students and increasing access to local foods in schools. The program provides two half-time AmeriCorps members per site; a local food procurement member and a nutrition education member. The food procurement member is focused on identifying and addressing hurdles facing local food procurement in school districts including: distribution, processing, and pricing while building relationships with farmers. The nutrition education member works to develop and implement curriculum and wellness plans that teach students about healthier eating habits.
The program was designed and developed by DATCP and it’s partner organizations which include: the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Wisconsin Rural Partners (WRP) and the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2008-2009 the program supported 20 half-time members in nine communities reaching 22 school districts in WI. DATCP received funds to continue this work in the 2009-2010 school year and is currently supporting 22 half- time members in 10 communities impacting 28 school districts in WI.
For questions contact Camilla Vargas, AmeriCorps Farm to School Program Manager at 608-224-5017 or Camilla.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program Overview (1 page PDF)
2010 – 2011 Request for Partnership (5 page Word doc)