Danone Institute North America, a nonprofit innovation center established by Danone North America, said it launched its second annual "One Planet. One Health" grant program on April 22. Academic and community leaders from across the United States and Canada are invited to apply for the program, under which teams will design, implement and evaluate community-based projects that drive the sustainability of local food systems.

Danone North America, a White Plains, N.Y.- and Broomfield, Colo.-based subsidiary of the global food and beverage company Danone, has a mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible and a vision of "One Planet. One Health." This vision reflects Danone's belief that the health of people and the health of the planet are inseparable. As a reflection of this vision, the goal of the "One Planet. One Health" Initiative is to foster transdisciplinary, community-based work to promote sustainable food systems globally, Danone North America said.

Now in the grant program's second year, Danone Institute North America will again award a total of up to $90,000 to four selected teams to implement their projects and amplify their messages to a broader audience – including individual grants of $20,000 each, plus a $10,000 incremental award for the team with the strongest communications plan. The initiative will provide seed funding for projects such as pilot studies, feasibility testing, needs assessments and planning grants.

"The 'One Planet. One Health' Initiative grant program is about bringing together the next generation of thought leaders in sustainable food systems, to support them in creating a healthier world through food," said Miguel Freitas, Ph.D., vice president, scientific affairs for Danone North America. "As a food company and a Certified B Corporation, we have a responsibility to seek food systems solutions that benefit the public. Supporting scholars and practitioners who are advancing this work gives us a chance to learn from one another."

The teams receiving grants will attend a four-day program in Boulder, Colo., that will include training on sustainable food systems from experts in sustainability, implementation science, communication, nutrition and economics, as well as presentations and panels of community stakeholders involved in the food sustainability ecosystem, Danone North America said.

In the first year of the program, project topics have included urban agriculture, household food waste reduction, local food options for school menus and energy-efficient food production in food-insecure neighborhoods. Grant winners included teams from the University of Guelph and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, as well as nonprofit organizations Project New Village in San Diego and the city of Minneapolis, the company noted.

"The first year of the 'One Planet. One Health' Initiative grant program showed us that academic and community-based teams representing a wide range of practices, fields of study and experiences can work together to uncover innovative solutions to food systems challenges," said Leslie Lytle, president of Danone Institute North America and professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "Now in our second year, we look forward to expanding the network of sustainable food systems leaders by inviting the first class of participants to share their lessons and successes with the new award recipients. We encourage all practitioners and scholars interested in being change agents for sustainable food systems to submit a project idea that brings together both human health and environmental stewardship."

The call for entries officially opens today and will remain open through June 22, 2020. For more information and to submit an application, visit www.danoneinstitutena.org.