Introduction to the Food Corps Program
Food Corps is an Americannon-profit organization whose goal is to operate in partnership with communities to promote health and fitness. The organization offers its services in the areas of nutrition, agriculture, rural development, food processing and distribution. As one of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved food providers, it strives to strengthen the country’s farming base and increase food production while reducing costs and preserving the environment. In keeping with the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Service (VDAS) program, Food Corps enrolls individuals in community food programs. These programs provide a variety of services to an extensive range of eligible participants. The following are some of the services provided by Food Corps:
Nutrition Education and Training Food Corps work closely with local agriculture departments to provide education and training for local farmers. They conduct nutrition educational sessions that include discussions on current market trends, marketing, agriculture product management, and sales. Nutritionists at Food Corps also conduct a portion of the coursework in partnership with local universities. These sessions focus on topics such as agriculture marketing strategies, food safety, public health, and business nutrition.
Nutrition Programs Food crops are grown according to the guidelines set forth by the National Organic Program established by the United States National Agriculture Association (NIA). NOP specifies the nutritional values of food crops, including nutrient content, amount of water used, environmental practices, and other factors. Foods that are certified as organic meet the requirements set forth by the US government regarding cleanliness and animal welfare. As such, all food grains, vegetables, fruits, and meat are sold through the NOP.
Farm and Ranch Marketing Food crops are grown according to standard farm policies. However, Food Corps often differs from these policies. As such, the organization works with ranchers and small family farms in providing services that promote a healthy local food economy. In order to be eligible for Food Corps financing, farmers must meet several criteria. Among these are: be current with crop sales; selling food products to consumers who buy locally; sell food products from sustainable agriculture; and selling food products that are certified as healthy, among others.
The NOP’s mission is to promote a healthy living and provide nutrition programs that promote quality nutrition in local communities. Through these programs, participants will gain access to high quality professional training and expert advice on matters ranging from plant nutrition to food safety. To be eligible for Food Corps, farmers must pass both a written and oral screening process. Once accepted into the program, participants will have access to over 500 quality agriculture training and nutrition programs, including: food handling and display techniques, sales, retail, and marketing, and agriculture industry news and trends.
Individuals who wish to start or expand their own food business will greatly benefit from Food Corps. However, the organization does have certain requirements for enrollment. In order to enroll, individuals must be US citizens, not on parole or on probation, or suffering from serious medical conditions. Applying directly to Food Corps will also get you an interview, which can be followed up by a phone call or e-mail to determine if you are a good fit for the program.
Food Corps Program