Opportunity for food safety outreach grants

This grant is directed at smaller organizations, but if any of you work with people in local communities, please tell them about this grant.

In FY 2015, NIFA and FDA began funding an infrastructure of National and Regional Centers to extend food safety education, training, and technical assistance to specific audiences affected by new guidelines established under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) (7 U.S.C. 7625), specifically small and medium sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. In FY 2016, the Food Safety Outreach Program at NIFA will build upon the national infrastructure, with a focus on delivery of customized training to very specific target audiences. To this end, grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities – to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups. Because the size and capabilities of applicants will vary widely, this Request for Applications (RFA) will solicit proposals for three project types: 1) Pilot Projects (awards not to exceed $50,000); 2) Community Outreach Projects (awards not to exceed $150,000); and 3) Multistate Education and Training Projects (awards not to exceed $400,000).

Pilot Projects will support the development and implementation of new and potentially high-risk, high-impact food safety education and outreach programs in local communities that address the needs of small, specialized audiences from among the various target groups. For example, Pilot Projects may target non-traditional, niche, or hard-to-reach audiences.

Community Outreach Projects will support the growth and expansion of already-existing food safety education and outreach programs that are currently offered in local communities. These projects will enable those existing programs to reach a broader target audience, or to expand to include new audiences not currently being served within local communities.

Multistate Education and Training Projects will support the development and implementation of multi-county, state-wide, or multi-state food safety education and outreach programs where there are common food safety concerns, but the counties and states are not necessarily located within the same regions. For example, this would support a project where collaborators are located in California, Arizona, and Florida.

All awardees for Pilot Projects, Community Outreach Projects, and Multistate Education and Training Projects will be required to interact with project teams at established Regional Centers by reporting project outcomes to the centers to ensure that activities and efforts undertaken by all FY2016 awardees are well integrated with the national infrastructure established by NIFA and FDA. Both NIFA and FDA will actively facilitate communication and interaction among project teams and the Regional Centers.

The Food Safety Outreach Program will support projects that encourage those from local communities, community based- and non-governmental organizations, universities, extension, and state and federal agencies to develop and implement food safety outreach programs that facilitate the integration of FSMA food safety guidelines into a variety of agricultural production and processing systems, including conventional, sustainable, and organic systems, among others.

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