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National Farm to School Network

News

Learning How to Gro More Good Indoors: A Pilot Project

NFSN Staff Wednesday, February 26, 2020
By Jenileigh Harris,  Program Associate
With a goal of connecting more students across the country to indoor gardening opportunities, the Scotts-Miracle Gro Foundation, Hawthorne Gardening Company and National Farm to School Network have launched a pilot project to integrate hydroponic growing systems into classrooms and science curricula this school year. 

Halfway into the pilot year the hydroponic gardens are overflowing and teachers, students and families are seeing the positive impacts in and outside of the classroom. Students are demonstrating an increased interest in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) concepts, as well as an increase in applying critical thinking skills. The hydroponic systems have also enhanced family and community engagement and fostered student behavioral and social-emotional development. 

Across all pilot schools, the hydroponic systems are encouraging students from pre-school to middle school to take ownership over the garden, deciding what to grow, monitoring the system daily, and leading care and harvest. According to teachers, student ownership of the hydroponic units has translated into improved attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors related to healthy eating, improved their knowledge about gardening, agriculture and food systems and provided valuable opportunities for peer learning. 
 
Students at Amidon-Bowen Elementary in Washington, D.C. excited about the fast growth of their salad greens.
Most classrooms are using their pepper, tomato, herb and salad green harvests in taste tests while teachers are incorporating plant parts, hydroponic vs. soil garden needs and life cycle lessons into existing STEM, food system, and/or nutrition curricula. At Kimball Elementary School in Washington, D.C., students in a FoodPrints classroom and lab incorporate their hydroponic produce into meals and snacks they prepare as a part of their cooking and gardening STEM curriculum. Recently, students used their hydroponically grown tomatoes to create a salsa for sweet potato quesadillas. “Our special education class has taken ownership of the hydroponic grow station. They put it together, take care of it and monitor the growth. It’s been a great experience for them,” describes Kimball Elementary School.

At P.S. 214 in the Bronx, New York sixth grade students had the opportunity to teach second grade students about the hydroponic garden. The sixth graders did a shared reading about plants as a system, and then created hydroponic bags to observe the growth of a lima bean. 


A classroom lesson, “Donde esta la tierra?” (“Where is the soil?”), at Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C. in which students compared and contrasted plant needs in a soil-based garden versus a hydroponic garden in both English and Spanish.

One of the things that makes the hydroponic systems such a great learning and teaching tool for plant life cycles and other STEM concepts is that they provide relatively instant results for both students and teachers. “Students can see the plants from seed to plant in record time. Seeds produce plants [which] produces tomatoes. They know that but to see it without waiting months is amazing. They run to the grow station every time they enter the classroom,” describes Kimball Elementary School.

And students’ general inquiry and interest in scientific process is increasing. “I have heard very fascinating ‘what if’ questions from my students like ‘what if we can grow a whole farm of vegetables just like this?’ which has led me to incidental exploration of other science avenue topics such as sustainability, pros vs. cons, and water as a resource,” reports Amidon-Brown Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

At Kimball Elementary, students counted the yellow flowers on their tomato plants in anticipation of the plant’s fruits. “They are very excited to see if we can produce as many tomatoes as predicted,” describes a Kimball Elementary teacher.
 
Students at Kimball Elementary School in Washington, D.C. taking care of their hydroponic tomatoes.

Many of the schools have had success engaging families and community with the hydroponic systems. Some schools have included families in the harvesting and tasting of the hydroponic plants while others have placed the unit in a shared space where the whole school community can observe, ask questions, and share in the excitement with the students. “We teach a family cooking class on Monday afternoons. Parents who might not have ever seen a garden or be interested in growing plants ask so many questions about the hydroponic system. It sparks conversations about the plants we are growing, healthy eating and how to cook those plants in a non-threatening informative way,” describes Kimball Elementary School.

Teachers have noticed marked changes in their students such as increased overall awareness and attentiveness to academic responsibilities as well as demonstration of social-emotional development. NFSN staff observed a young student at Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C. who had been struggling to concentrate in the classroom become much more engaged when the class visited the hydroponics unit, eagerly asking and answering questions.  At Sunrise Middle School in San Jose, California, students have started managing the hydroponic care schedule and consistently remind their teacher who is on deck to be the weekly garden helpers. 


 
Students at Community School 134 in the Bronx, NY taste testing and measuring their recently harvested greens.

Once spring arrives, many classes have hopes to transplant their tomatoes and peppers to outdoor gardens while others are planning to plant a new round of hydroponic pods at the same time they plant seeds, creating additional opportunities to explore STEM concepts, to encourage family and community engagement and support continued social-emotional development. 

Teachers anticipate the positive impacts to grow as they continue to integrate the hydroponics systems into lessons and families become more engaged in the delicious results.

This Week in Farm to School: 2/25/20

NFSN Staff Monday, February 24, 2020
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 



Grants & Funding
1. Action for Healthy Kids Grants
Deadline: April 3
Action for Healthy Kids is accepting applications for school grants for the 2020-2021 school year to help students thrive. Schools may apply for Game On grants to fund physical activity, nutrition, or social-emotional learning (SEL) initiatives. Parents and parent groups can apply for Parents for Healthy Kids grants to bring health and wellness programs to their children’s schools while also promoting parent engagement. The application deadline is April 3. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Register Today! 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is just two months away, and now is the time to get your tickets! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration closes this Friday, Feb. 28. Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more.

2. Applications Open: Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Systems Leadership Retreat
Deadline: February 27 // Portland, OR Area
Hosted by the Wallace Center's Food Systems Leadership Network, the Food Systems Leadership Retreat is a 2.5 day facilitated convening of food systems leaders from April 27-30 in Canby, Oregon. The retreat convenes food systems leaders to reflect and dig deep into the tools of systems leadership and systems thinking for social change. Participants are guided through hands-on, experiential workshops that will strengthen leadership skills, offer new tools for mapping and finding the change levers in the systems they are working on, and support their growth as effective facilitators of community change processes. Learn more here.

3. Registration Open: 43rd Annual National Food Policy Conference
March 11-12 // Washington D.C.
Coordinated by the Consumer Federation of America, the National Food Policy Conference is a unique collaboration between consumer advocates, the food industry, and government, and a key national gathering for anyone interested in agriculture, food, and nutrition policy. Breakout panels will examine timely food policy topics including changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the factors that define an environmentally sustainable diet, and the emerging evidence linking antibiotic resistant urinary tract infections to pathogens in food. Learn more here.  

4. Applications Open: TomKat Ranch Regenerative Ranching 2020 Summer Internships
Deadline: March 13 // San Francisco Bay Area
TomKat Ranch is a 1,800-acre grassfed cattle ranch in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the next 5 years, TomKat wants to have inspired the transition of 1 million acres of California rangeland to regenerative management. The Regenerative Ranching Summer Internship (June - August) is a paid educational opportunity that provides broad exposure and experience for individuals interested in regenerative food systems. Learn more here.

5. EQUITY Registration is Open for 2020 Racial Equity Challenge
March 30-April 19
Sign up for Food Solutions New England's (FSNE) annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge starting on March 30th! In its sixth year, the Challenge is a great way to learn about the history and impacts of racism on our current food system while inspiring participants with resources and tools to build racial equity in their work and lives. People from all over the country participate in the Challenge with the goal of raising awareness, shifting attitudes and changing outcomes. This year a Discussion Guide will be available for groups who want to do the Challenge together. Visit the FSNE Challenge website to learn more and register.


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community. Throughout February, National Farm to School Network is sharing stories, resources, articles and more that highlight histories and narratives that often go overlooked. This week, we encourage you to explore University of Missouri-Kansas City's definition of allyship here and ask yourself NCIEC's allyship question: "Allyship is about listening and valuing personal narratives. As an ally, how will you remind yourself to put forth a sincere effort to listen to the personal narratives?"

2.  NFSN's National Calendar of Farm to School Events
The National Farm to School Network hosts a national calendar of farm to school events, conferences and networking opportunities. Events are added on an ongoing basis. Submit your farm to school event to the calendar by clicking the green "Submit Event" button. To be considered, events should be open to the public and specifically related to farm to school content. View the calendar and submit events here.

3. Report: Farm to School Potential in New York
American Farmland Trust has released Growing Opportunity for Farm to School: How to Revolutionize School Food, Support Local Farms, and Improve the Health of Students in New York. This report reveals the incredible economic potential for the New York farm economy of recent farm to school initiatives, as well as their opportunity to increase access to healthy, local food for kids throughout the state. According to the report, New York schools could increase their purchases of food from New York farms threefold to nearly $150 million, which would generate over $210 million in economic impact while costing the state less than half that amount over the course of the next five years. Download the report here.


Job Opportunities
1. Food Systems Specialist, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (East Lansing, MI)
Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a full-time Specialist - Outreach to support capacity-building among and facilitate technical assistance to Michigan local food councils, Michigan food and health organizations, and countrywide grantees in the federal Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). The full position description is available on the MSU Careers website by searching for posting #636431. Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2020.

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 13. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Georgia Early Learning Center Wins Fight to Sell Homegrown Fruits and Veggies
Little Ones Early Learning Center, an Atlanta early learning center, took on city hall and demonstrated that little eaters can win. The Forest Park City Council voted Monday night to amend its zoning law to allow farm stands in more areas, including at the early learning center. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Oneida Farm to School model brings local food to students
Oneida Nation High School goes beyond local veggies for lunch. Students are growing aquaponic lettuce & herbs, tapping maple trees for syrup, tending to a fruit orchard and more to help bring fresh, local foods into their cafeteria. (FOX 11 News)

Podcast: The Way We Eat: Where We Went Wrong With School Lunches
The Way We Eat takes a look at the history of America’s school lunch programs:  from it’s earliest days in the late 1800’s as one of the main policy platforms of the progressive anti-child labor movement, all the way through to the modern-day rollback of Obama-era lunch programs by President Trump. Listen here


Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 2/18/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Grants & Funding
1. FY20 Team Nutrition Training Grants for School Meal Recipe Development
Deadline: April 3
A Request for Applications for the FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development is now available through Grants.gov. FNS expects to award approximately $5.2 million to state agencies (up to $300,000 per state) that administer the National School Lunch Program. The FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development will assist states in helping schools offer meals supported by recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. Using grant funds, state agencies will be able to develop nutritious and tasty recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. View the Request for Applications here

2. Action for Healthy Kids Grant
Deadline: April 3
Action for Healthy Kids' (AFHK) is providing schools the resources for students to eat better, stay physically active and be better prepared to learn. AFHK is offering two grant opportunities: Game on Grants for $1,000-$2,500 and Parents for Healthy Kids Grants for $1,000. Learn more and apply here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Register Today! 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is just three months away, and now is the time to start planning! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration is NOW OPEN!! Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more. 

2. Applications Open: Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Systems Leadership Retreat
Deadline: February 24
Hosted by the Wallace Center's Food Systems Leadership Network, the Food Systems Leadership Retreat is a 2.5 day facilitated convening of food systems leaders from April 27-30 in Canby, Oregon. The retreat convenes food systems leaders to reflect and dig deep into the tools of systems leadership and systems thinking for social change. Participants are guided through hands-on, experiential workshops that will strengthen leadership skills, offer new tools for mapping and finding the change levers in the systems they are working on, and support their growth as effective facilitators of community change processes.  Click here for more information and to apply. Contact Annalina Kazickas at annalina.kazickas@winrock.org with questions.

3. EQUITY Registration is Open! 2020 Racial Equity Challenge!
March 30-April 19
Sign up for the Food Solutions New England's (FSNE) annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge starting on March 30th! In its sixth year, the Challenge is a great way to learn about the history and impacts of racism on our current food system while inspiring participants with resources and tools to build racial equity in their work and lives. People from all over the country participate in the Challenge with the goal of raising awareness, shifting attitudes and changing outcomes. This year a Discussion Guide will be available for groups who want to do the Challenge together. Visit the FSNE Challenge website for more information or to register.

4. EQUITY Webinar Recording: The Roots of Injustice in Our Agricultural System
A conversation with key leaders in the farm workers movement to share how and why farm worker issues have historically been left out of U.S. labor law protections, and how farm workers are building powerful movements that integrate an analysis toward climate, migrant, food, and worker justice. Jeannie Economos (Farmworkers Association of Florida), Mily Treviño-Sauceda (National Alliance of Farmworker Women) and Diana Tellefson Torres (United Farm Workers Foundation) share their experiences from decades of organizing. They will also highlight upcoming campaigns and policy fights in 2020 that are critical to the building power over the longer term. View the recorded webinar here.


Research & Resources  
1. EQUITY February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community. Throughout February, National Farm to School Network is sharing stories, resources, articles and more that highlight histories and narratives that often go overlooked. This week, we encourage you to explore how communities of color are coming together to take a stand and reclaim their health while creating a just and intersectional food system in M. Jahi Chappell's Beginning to End Hunger: Food and the Environment in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Real Food Media's podcast of the book here

2.  NFSN National Calendar of Farm to School Events
The National Farm to School Network hosts a national calendar of farm to school events, conferences and networking opportunities. Events are added on an ongoing basis. Submit your farm to school event to the calendar by clicking the green "Submit Event" button. To be considered, events should be open to the public and specifically related to farm to school content. View the calendar and submit events here.


Policy News
1. U.S. Senators Cory Booker and John Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand School Nutrition Education
U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) today introduced a bipartisan bill to establish a new pilot program to fund nutritional education in schools. The Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act of 2020 would allocate federal funding for projects that educate students while connecting them to healthy food practices, with a priority given to schools in neighborhoods with high rates of childhood diet-related illnesses and those in which 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. The National Farm to School Network alongside many other leaders in the food systems community support this legislation. Read more here.

2. Legislative Spotlight on Farms Could Help Save an Industry in Wisconsin
State lawmakers in Wisconsin on both sides of the political aisle are talking about helping farmers and producers of agriculture products. When it all shakes out, legislators hope to see both short-term relief for farmers across the state and long-term initiatives that will help shore up the industry. Among Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers' policy proposals to be introduced t support farmers includes: Giving school districts that have a high percentage of low-income students priority in the awarding of state farm to school grants that help get locally grown produce food into school lunches. Read more here.


Job Opportunities
1. Food Systems Specialist, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (East Lansing, MI)
Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a full-time Specialist - Outreach to support capacity-building among and facilitate technical assistance to Michigan local food councils, Michigan food and health organizations, and countrywide grantees in the federal Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). The full position description is available on the MSU Careers website by searching for posting #636431. Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2020.

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 13. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Students in Louisiana show off healthy cooking skills in annual 'On Cuisine du Jardin Cook-Off'
The goal of the cook-off is to provide local youth hands-on experience using vegetables grown from their school gardens and/or local produce and knowledge of healthy food choices.Charles Hebert, LSU AgCenter County Agent, explained, "Many of them are taking those concepts home now and starting vegetables with their parents or grandparents at home. They're learning how to get back together as a family and cook their own produce that they're raising at home, and they're also cooking that produce in the school." (KATC 3)

One on One With: Broome Tioga’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services' Mark Bordeau on Building Successful Teams and Farm to School Programs in K-12 School Food Service
After nearly 30 decades in child nutrition, Mark Bordeau, senior food service director of the Broome Tioga BOCES in upstate New York has learned many lessons. He’s created a highly successful school food program that manages cafeterias in 15 districts, with a combined purchasing power of $18 million. He developed the Rock On Café a marketing program to promote fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk. Listen to the podcast here.

Food Waste in Maryland Public School System Could Be Lowered With the Idea of Giving Back
As food waste continues to be a problem in Frederick County Public Schools, Alysia Mason-Feuer, director of Farm to School in Frederick County, helped start the project of a share table in mid-January to help provide food that would otherwise be thrown away to those in need.. Her main objective has been working to get local fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias, but after seeing the amount of food thrown out, Mason-Feuer developed a plan to reduce waste. (The Frederick News-Post)

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 2/11/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Grants & Funding
1. FY20 Team Nutrition Training Grants for School Meal Recipe Development
Deadline: April 3
A Request for Applications for the FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development is now available through Grants.gov. FNS expects to award approximately $5.2 million to state agencies (up to $300,000 per state) that administer the National School Lunch Program. The FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development will assist states in helping schools offer meals supported by recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. Using grant funds, state agencies will be able to develop nutritious and tasty recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. An informational webinar will be hosted on Feb. 11. View the Request for Applications here

2. Action for Healthy Kids Grant
Deadline: April 3
Action for Healthy Kids' (AFHK) is providing schools the resources for students to eat better, stay physically active and be better prepared to learn. AFHK is offering two grant opportunities: Game on Grants for $1,000-$2,500 and Parents for Healthy Kids Grants for $1,000. Learn more and apply here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Register Today! 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is just three months away, and now is the time to start planning! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration is NOW OPEN!! Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more.

2. Life Lab: Educator Workshops at the Garden Classroom
Spring - Summer 2020 // Santa Cruz, CA
Life Lab offers trainings and workshops for educators in their Garden Classroom on the UCSC CASFS Farm. Upcoming trainings this spring and summer include: School Garden Program Sustainability, The Growing Classroom, and Plant to Plate. Learn more here

3. 2020 California Farm to School and School Garden Conference
March 26-27 // San Diego, CA
Registration is now open for the California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork's (CDFA-F2F) 2020 California Farm to School and School Garden Conference. The conference brings together farm to school practitioners from across the school food and education spaces, offering professional development, networking and the sharing of best practices. It is hosted by CDFA-F2F in partnership with Community Health Improvement Partners in San Diego. Learn more and register here

4. Garden-To-Plate: A Day of Food Workshops
March 7 // Chaska, MN
A one day workshop for teachers, school administrators, school food service professionals, students, and all those passionate about actualizing farm to school are invited to attend this workshop to learn how to, with sparse staff time and limited resources, ensure maximum production of safe food for your efforts. This day of workshops will bring together the latest research and best practices to ensure Minnesota community food growers bring a bounty of safe produce to their communities. Learn more and register here.


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community. Throughout February, National Farm to School Network is sharing stories, resources, articles and more that highlight histories and narratives that often go overlooked. This week, we encourage you to explore Food First's multi-authored series, Dismantling Racism in the Food System, and listen to The Sporkful's "The Order That Changed The World" podcast, which explores the famous 1960 civil rights protest at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

2. Greenhouse Manual: An Introductory Guide for Educators
United States Botanic Garden, the National Association for Appropriate Technology and City Blossoms developed this freely available manual in response to an expressed need to help guide would-be greenhouse managers and educators as their schools explore ways to build new infrastructure or reinvest in existing greenhouse facilities. Its purpose is to support and expand the planting and use of school gardens and greenhouses, farm to school activities, and the integration of plant science in the curriculum. The manual lays out a basic understanding of greenhouses, how to integrate greenhouses into lessons, and how to use greenhouses in classroom curricula and after-school activities. View the resource here


Policy News
1. Minnesota Department of Agriculture Allocates Funding for First-Time Dedicated Farm to School Staff
Two farm to school policy wins were achieved in the 2019 Minnesota legislative session. Funding was allocated to create a new, permanent position, Regional Marketing Specialist, with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). That position, Regional Marketing Specialist, is now filled by Helen Schnoes. With MDA Helen will focus on supporting farm to school across Minnesota as well as other state agriculture and food business marketing efforts, including the wholesale directory with Minnesota Grown. Read more here.

2. Hawai‘i Food Coalition Endorses Farm to School Bills
The Hawai‘i Local Food Coalition endorsed 10 bills they dubbed “pro-agriculture”. Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau and member of the LFC, Brian Miyamoto said the coalition carefully considered which bills to best support in relation to local food production. “It’s not always easy to build consensus across a diverse industry, but we all agreed on the importance of getting these bills into the end zone." The bills endorsed by the Local Food Coalition include establishing a P-20 agriculture education coordinator position and a two-year farm to school grant pilot program among others. Read more here.


Job Opportunities
1. Equity Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network is seeking an Equity Consultant to support initiatives aimed at advancing equity at the organizational and programmatic levels. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of February 12. For more information, email Jenileigh Harris at jenileigh@farmtoschool.org.

2. Senior Outreach Specialist, The Common Market (Chicago, IL)
The Common Market is a nonprofit, multi-regional distributor that connects communities with good food from sustainable family farms. The Common Market seeks to explore replication of its successful model in Chicago, IL and is conducting an extensive search for its first employee in this region. The ideal candidate is highly motivated, results-driven, passionate about community and sustainable food, in addition to having the professionalism and experience to succeed in a demanding role that is critical to the success of the organization. Learn more and apply here.

3. 2020 Intertribal Agriculture Council Internship Opportunities
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) is recruiting innovative, collaborative, and focused high school and early college-aged youth that are passionate about promoting the regeneration of natural resources within their communities. Selected interns will engage in an 8-10 week paid internship between May and September 2020. This is a full-time, paid internship position. Each intern will experience a tailored learning plan to enhance their knowledge of natural resource management in Indian Country, exploring their strengths and improving their weaknesses. Learn more and apply here

4. FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 13. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Op-Ed: Why Are You Still Packing Lunch for Your Kids?
Jennifer Gaddis, an expert on school lunch policy, writes: While parents have been focusing on creating Instagram-friendly school lunches, the quality of cafeteria food has improved significantly. And when kids eat school lunch, they and their parents are supporting the efforts to improve the national program for current and future generations. (The New York Times)

Renowned Chefs to Spice up Food at Chicago Public School Cafeterias 
Chicago Public Schools has launched a brand new Chicago Chef Council — a panel of celebrated chefs who will contribute their culinary passion and creativity toward developing the daily breakfasts, lunches and after-school meals served by CPS’ Nutrition Support Services. They will also promote the CPS Farm to School program and engaging students and staff through demonstrations, in-café sampling and take-home recipes. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Minnesota District Serves More Local Foods
Through partnership with a local food hub and through direct outreach to farms, Prior Lake-Savage schools have been putting more local food on meal trays. Though, locally-grown food doesn’t do any good if the children don’t eat it. So every week, the schools offer a “Try-It Tuesday” experiment. Cafeteria staff walk around with samples of foods that might be unfamiliar like persimmons and artichoke hearts. The goal is to inspire students to make healthy and smart food choices not only in the schools, but also in homes. (CBS Minnesota)

Connecticut School Draws Students With Experiential Agriculture Program 
Shepaug Agriscience STEM Academy has been combating it's declining enrollment by offering students within and outside the school district experiential learning opportunities focused on animal, food, plant and power sciences. The academy has become a breeding ground of new life both literally and figuratively. Students rotate through “pathways” to study animal science; food products and processing systems; plant sciences; and power, structural and technical systems once every nine weeks. (U.S. News

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 2/4/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Grants & Funding
1. FY20 Team Nutrition Training Grants for School Meal Recipe Development
Deadline: April 3
A Request for Applications for the FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development is now available through Grants.gov. FNS expects to award approximately $5.2 million to state agencies (up to $300,000 per state) that administer the National School Lunch Program. The FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development will assist states in helping schools offer meals supported by recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. Using grant funds, state agencies will be able to develop nutritious and tasty recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. An informational webinar will be hosted on Feb. 11. View the Request for Applications here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Registration Open! 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
Early Bird registration is now open for the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration is open through Feb. 28. Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org to register today. 

2. EQUITY Webinar Series: Food Literacy for All Evening Video Series 
Tuesdays // 6:30-8pm EST
Food Literacy for All is a community-academic partnership course at the University of Michigan. Structured as an evening lecture series, Food Literacy for All features different guest speakers each week to address challenges and opportunities of diverse food systems. The course is designed to prioritize engaged scholarship that connects theory and practice. By bringing national and global leaders, we aim to ignite new conversations and deepen existing commitments to building more equitable, health-promoting, and ecologically sustainable food systems.
Click here for the video schedule and archive of videos.

3. EQUITY Webinar: Learning "HOW" to Apply Racial Equity to Policies, Advocacy, Programs, and Service Provision to End Hunger 
February 5 // 1-2:30pm EST
The Closing the Hunger Gap (CTHG) webinar series is designed to foster shared learning and build shared understanding and analysis around the root causes of hunger and poverty. Learn from an array of food system advocates who are working to create a more just and sustainable system and create solutions to hunger grounded in social justice. Register here

4. Webinar Series: Montana Farm to School Successes
Wednesdays // 2-3pm MST
Join Montana Office of Public Instruction and Montana Team Nutrition Program for an exploration of farm to school successes across Montana in a three-part webinar series. Montana Team Nutrition Program’s Montana Farm to School Coordinator will provide a foundation of farm to school information, resources, and opportunities. Representatives from schools, organizations, and businesses from around the state will share their story and experiences. No pre-registration required. Learn more here

5. Edible Schoolyard Summer Training  
June 24-26 // Berkeley, CA
The Edible Schoolyard Summer Training is a three-day immersive training experience for teachers, educators, and administrators working with youth and food. The Summer Training includes workshops on teaching technical gardening and cooking skills in a classroom setting, sessions sharing best practices in curriculum planning and school lunch reform, and discussions on important issues in edible education such as developing culturally relevant curriculum and avoiding food shaming. The training is an opportunity to connect with individuals from across the country and globe who are working to educate youth and build a healthier and more just food system. Learn more and apply here by March 1st. 

6. Applications Open: 2020-2021 Northeast Farm to School Institute
Deadline: February 14
The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for selected school, early childhood, or district teams from New England and New York. The Institute kicks off with a Summer Retreat held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT June 29–July 1, 2020. Whether you're a long-time farm to school advocate or looking to begin integrating food, farm, and nutrition programs into your school community, you're invited to form a team and apply. Apply by Feb. 14. Learn more here

7. Call for Abstracts: American Public Health Association's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo
Deadline: February 20
Submit an abstract by to present and share your research at APHA's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo in San Francisco, Oct. 24 – 28. APHA accepts abstracts from all areas of public health but encourages you to submit abstracts related to the APHA 2020 theme “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence.” Anyone can submit an abstract however, accepted presenters must become individual members of APHA and must register for the Annual Meeting by the Advance Deadline. Learn more about deadlines and requirements for presenters here


Research & Resources 
1. EQUITY February is Black History Month 
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community. Throughout February, National Farm to School Network will be sharing stories, resources, articles and more that highlight histories and narratives that often go overlooked. This week, we encourage you to explore Teaching Tolerance's Black History Month: Teaching the Complete History article and resources here.
 
2. A Policy Analysis of Current Farm to Early Childhood Education Legislation in the United States
Law Review of John Hopkins  
It is evident from the outcomes of state farm to school legislation that such legislation provides for promising impacts for our children. State legislation is especially important to create wide-ranging impacts, whereas state farm to school laws indicate increased fruit and vegetable availability and consumption, regardless of whether the individual schools within the state establish an farm to school program. Because the farm to early care and education movement is still in its infancy, this presents an ideal opportunity for state representatives to be innovative by molding farm to ECE policy needs specific for their state constituents. Read the full analysis, published by the Law Review of Johns Hopkins, here

3. Report: Growing Opportunity for Farm to School in New York
American Farmland Trust and Farm to Institution New York State
In 2018, the state of New York created a major new incentive to encourage schools to buy more food from New York farms. This incentive enabled schools that spend at least 30% of their lunch food budget on food from New York farmers, growers, producers, or processors to receive 25 cents per meal in state reimbursement - quadruple the 6 cents reimbursement they had received for the past 40 years. This report details these challenges, and makes eight recommendations the State of New York can act on to ensure this program reaches its full potential, and for other states to learn from when considering this type of incentive program. Read more here


Policy News
1. New York FY 2021 Executive Budget Supports Farm to School New York
Governor Cuomo has announced that the FY 2021 Executive Budget would raise the spending threshold for school districts procuring local food for breakfast and lunch through the federal Child Nutrition Programs. This change will give schools more flexibility in realizing the Governor’s goal for schools to source 30 percent of their menu items from local farms as part of the No Student Goes Hungry initiative. Read more here.


Job Opportunities
1. Equity Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network is seeking an Equity Consultant to support initiatives aimed at advancing equity at the organizational and programmatic levels. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of February 12. For more information, email Jenileigh Harris at jenileigh@farmtoschool.org

2. Greenhouse and Garden Manager, University of Colorado Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, CO) 
The UCCS Farm Manager will supervise, oversee and coordinate the UCCS Farm program activities and operations in the UCCS Auxiliary unit of the Division of Student Success. The Farm Manager is responsible for the health, care and maintenance of plants, flowers, trees, bees and chickens in a controlled environment where the growth and availability of produce is scheduled to coincide with the buying public. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Inside New York’s Pursuit to Bring Local Food into More Schools
During the 2018-2019 school year, the Buffalo School District more than doubled its spending on local produce compared to the year before—from about $300,000 to $700,000—while also buying more local milk and meat, spending $2.6 million total on foods produced in the state. The effort was an attempt to qualify for the state’s new farm to school purchasing incentive, which would significantly increase the amount the district received in meal reimbursement money at the end of the year, if it managed to spend 30 percent of its lunch budget on local food. (CivilEats)

It’s Summer All Year Long in This Ohio Classroom
With snow on the ground in Coventry Township, the tomato plants are two to three feet high, the zinnias are in bloom and the lettuce is ready to pick. The extensive hydroponics setups of grow lights, trays, tubing and buckets allows plants to grow in water year round. Science teacher Jim Trogdon said he wants his eighth-grade students to be a part of saving the world, making growing practices more sustainable. Their generation, he said, “has to help to come up with the solutions” to the challenge of feeding a growing population as the climate changes. (Akron Beacon Journal)

Michigan Farm to Freezer | In Good Co. Detroit
In Good Co. Detroit highlights Michigan Farm to Freezer, the work of NFSN Advisory Board member Brandon Seng, and his colleague Mark Coe. Farm to Freezer is leading the charge in providing access to Michigan grown fruits and vegetables to schools, low-income communities, and Michiganders across the state all year long, despite Michigan's notoriously short growing season. (In Good Co. Detroit)

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 1/28/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is just four months away, and now is the time to start planning! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration opens the last week of January. Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more. 

2. Webinar: Classroom Management in the Garden
January 28, 3pm ET
Employing solid classroom management techniques is a key factor for educational success. In this webinar, hosted by the School Garden Support Organization (SGSO) Network, explore classroom management strategies specifically in the garden setting and the importance they play in creating a successful and sustainable school garden program. Topics covered will include how to create consistent routines, organize equipment, involve volunteers, utilize garden stations, and more. Register here

3. Farmers and School Food Services Workshop
January 30 // Walla Walla, WA
Farmers and school food services can find out how to help schools purchase more locally grown foods at a Walla Walla Valley Farm to School workshop on January 30. The workshop will explore interests that exist to purchase locally grown products; explain local and federal procurement standards that control most K-12 schools’ food purchases; connect local farmers and school buyers; share past and current successes and challenges; and, establish next steps to increase local foods in area school cafeterias and other institutions. Learn more here

4. Common Ground Winter Farm and Garden Conference
February 1 // New Haven, CT
Common Ground Farm and The Schoolyards Program in New Haven, CT are hosting a day of learning perfect for the school educator, backyard gardener, small scale farmer, curious food explorer and food justice activist. (There's a kids track for ages 5-12, too!) The workshop includes: planning your learning garden, backyard chicken keeping, Black folxs and farming, traditional medicinal Korean and Indian cooking, composting at home and more. Learn more here

5. Nebraska Food Systems Summit
February 4 // Papillion, NE
Learn about key challenges in the Nebraska food system and help identify people and organizations who can build policy solutions to support the direction of food systems work for 2020. Those involved in food production, transformation and processing, distribution and marketing, consumption and access, and resource management will get the most out of this event. Alena Paisano, Program Manager with the National Farm to School Network, will be the featured capnote speaker.  Learn more here

6. Mississippi Farm to Cafeteria Conference
February 11 // Jackson, MS
The annual Mississippi Farm to Cafeteria Conference brings farm to school practitioners and future practitioners together from across the state and region to share, learn, and help grow the farm to school movement. Food service directors, farmers, school administration, teachers, students, and community advocates are encouraged to attend. This year’s conference features Wande Okunoren-Meadows as the keynote speaker. Learn more here

7. Food Connects Vermont's Farm to School Conference
April 8 // Brattleboro, VT
The conference brings together Vermont teachers, administrators, child nutrition professionals, parents, and other school-based staff for a day of learning, networking and resource sharing. Hear from regional farm to school experts and harness inspiration for your school’s farm to school programming. The agenda will include a keynote speech by Joseph Kiefer, Food Justice Educational Consultant, as well as three breakout sessions and a locally-sourced lunch. Learn more here.


Research & Resources 
1. EQUITY An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System, Seventh Edition
The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food System has compiled the seventh edition of its annotated bibliography identifying literature that links the social construction of Whiteness and its intentional or consequential impact on structural racism within the United States’ local food movement. It is focused on recent peer-reviewed and gray literature materials that are national, regional, and local in scope that included significant references. The seventh edition contains 279 sources, including 10 new videos and 46 new journal citations. Notably, a significant number of these new additions discuss food sovereignty within the frame of structural racism in the food system. Learn more here

2. Study: Rural School Gardens Get Students Back in Touch With Their Food
Agriculture and Human Values
As technology and supermarkets have made buying food easier and more convenient than ever, researchers believe people are growing more distant from the food they consume. As knowledge about crops, food production and healthy eating is lost over generations — a process sociologists call “de-skilling” — some school districts are looking to reconnect children with their food by educating them in a garden setting. In a new study from the University of Missouri, researchers observed one such school garden in a rural Midwestern school district, in which classes were held outside in a garden one or two times per month. They found that not only was the concept successfully integrated into an otherwise normal public school district, but it also fostered an appreciation for fresh, healthy foods. Read more here.


Policy News
1. NFSN Statement Newest USDA Proposed Changes to School Nutrition Standards
On Jan. 17, USDA announced new proposed rules to further modify nutrition standards established by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. These proposals - which follow other highly contested changes that have rolled back nutrition standards - would loosen restrictions for school meal requirements that could result in less fruit available at breakfast, reduce vegetables at lunch, and make it even more difficult for students to make healthy choices in the cafeteria. National Farm to School Network advocates that any proposed changes be informed by both the needs of children and the capacity and expertise of the staff feeding our children. Program flexibility and efficiency should not sacrifice quality and nutrition in school meals. With more than 20 million children receiving free and reduced-price meals and relying on school meals for the majority of their daily calories, the nutritional quality of these meals is of utmost importance in ensuring a lifetime of health and wellbeing. Read the full statement here

2.  PA Farm Bill Included $500,000 for Ag Education Grants 
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Education Executive Deputy Secretary David Volkman have announced $500,000 in agriculture education grants as part of the PA Farm Bill. Gov. Tom Wolf signed Act 40 to restart the Ag and Youth Grant Program in July last year. The money will 55 fund ag-related projects and equipment purchases in 25 counties. Read more


Job Opportunities
1. Equity Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote) 
National Farm to School Network is seeking an Equity Consultant to support initiatives aimed at advancing equity at the organizational and programmatic levels. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of February 12. For more information, email Jenileigh Harris at jenileigh@farmtoschool.org

2. Statewide Program Coordinator, California Food for California Kids / Center for Ecoliteracy (Berkeley, CA)
The Statewide Program Coordinator maintains relationships with school districts and allied organizations throughout California to cultivate, support, and sustain active implementation of the California Food for California Kids program. This position engages with partners through site visits, technical assistance, and network communications for a variety of school community stakeholders. Learn more here

3. FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 13. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Minnesota school district is making students more environmentally conscious
A Minnesota elementary school is doing its part to make the world a little greener. Each year North Park takes on a new initiative as a means of growing and learning. This year’s initiative is to get rid of single-use plastic, and a group of students called the "Green Team" are helping make it happen by sorting waste in the cafeteria. (ABC Newspapers)

Oregon's Find Your Farmer cultivates connections
The Find Your Farmer event in Klamath Falls, Oregon provided a training for school officials, agricultural producers and business owners interested in the process of buying local products and those interested in selling their products locally to school districts and nonprofits. “What an opportunity to meet these farmers and we would like to understand where they’re coming from and hopefully they understand where we’re coming from." (Herald and News)

Training the Next Generation of Farm to School Educators in North Carolina
ASAP’s Growing Minds @ University program is offering training for future educators and dietitians who want to integrate local food and farm to school programming into their careers. "Wouldn’t it be nice if we embedded this idea and this notion into the pre-service training or the training for future teachers and future dietitians? If we embedded farm to school and local food activities into that training, then we’d be graduating people who have this mindset and hopefully this desire to integrate this into their future professional practice,” said Emily Jackson, director and founder of ASAP’s Growing Minds program. (ASAP - Growing Local

A Look Back at Michigan's Six-Year Farm-to-Institution Program
In an effort to both provide local farmers with a more steady stream of income and help local produce get into the bellies of more local residents, public health experts and advocates have been making more of a concerted effort to make sure that the food supplied to these institutions come from local sources. “It may have been aspirational, but it is pushing the movement forward,” says Brandon Seng, co-owner of Farm to Freezer and NFSN Advisory Board member. (Next City)

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

NFSN Statement on Newest USDA Proposed Changes to School Nutrition Standards

NFSN Staff Thursday, January 23, 2020

On Jan. 17, USDA announced new proposed rules to further modify nutrition standards established by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. These proposals—which follow other highly contested changes that have rolled back nutrition standards— would loosen restrictions for school meal requirements that could result in less fruit available at breakfast, reduce vegetables at lunch, and make it even more difficult for students to make healthy choices in the cafeteria.

National Farm to School Network advocates that any proposed changes be informed by both the needs of children and the capacity and expertise of the staff feeding our children. Program flexibility and efficiency that does not sacrifice quality and nutrition should be the primary goal of any proposed rules. Ultimately, these programs exist to serve our children and to support their wellbeing. Many of the 20 million children receiving free and reduced-price meals rely on school meals for the majority of their daily calories and nutrition, and for some children, these are the only meals they eat. These children are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of malnutrition, so the nutritional quality of these meals is of utmost importance in ensuring a lifetime of health and wellbeing.

For these reasons, the National Farm to School Network firmly opposes any of USDA’s proposed changes that would reduce the nutritional quality of school meals. USDA’s own School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study found that the stronger standards are having positive impacts, and numerous studies have shown that they’re working to get students eating more fruits and vegetables, maintaining NSLP participation, and not increasing plate waste.

We recognize that the nutrition standard changes from 2010 can be challenging to implement because children need time to adjust to new and unfamiliar foods and child nutrition staff need time, training, and support to adapt to new guidelines. Farm to school practices are a solution to many of the challenges that schools are facing as they continue to transition. Farm to school activities like taste tests, school gardens, farm visits and cooking demonstrations are part of the equation that’s helping students get excited about trying and liking these new, healthier foods. As our kids continue to grow accustomed to the healthier nutrition standards and our country remains plagued by childhood obesity, it’s a disservice to them and their future to turn back on nutritional quality.

USDA’s new proposals were entered in the Federal Register on Jan. 23, and will be open for public comment for 60 days. In the coming days, we will share additional information and materials about how you can join us in submitting comments on these proposed changes. Contact Chloe Marshall, NFSN Policy Specialist, at chloe@farmtoschool.org with questions.

This Week in Farm to School: 1/21/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is just four months away, and now is the time to start planning! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration opens the last week of January. Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more. 

2. Webinar: Classroom Management in the Garden
January 28, 3pm ET
Employing solid classroom management techniques is a key factor for educational success. In this webinar, hosted by the School Garden Support Organization (SGSO) Network, explore classroom management strategies specifically in the garden setting and the importance they play in creating a successful and sustainable school garden program. Topics covered will include how to create consistent routines, organize equipment, involve volunteers, utilize garden stations, and more. Register here

3. EQUITY National Day of Racial Healing 
January 21, 2020 
Launched in 2017, the National Day of Racial Healing (Jan. 21) is a call to action for racial healing for all people. It originated as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s national Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts. On this day, individuals, organizations and communities across the U.S. come together to explore their common humanity and build the relationships necessary to create a more just and equitable world. Racism affects all of us, regardless of our backgrounds or circumstances. We all live in a world born from historic injustices that have led to broken systems and division, where we don’t know one another and our shared history. These significant challenges will not be solved by one individual or group. To ensure our communities are free of systemic injustice, we must come together to heal, exploring and unraveling the deeply held racial biases of the past. Visit www.dayofracialhealing.org to learn more. 


Resources & Research 
1. EQUITY Article: Reaching American Indian and Rural Kindergarteners with Nutrition Info
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
Young children living on American Indian reservations, and children living in rural areas adjacent to them, often have limited access to nutritious fruits and vegetables, as well as to nutrition education. Professor Staci Emm and colleagues at University of Nevada, Reno Extension have been conducting the Veggies for Kids Program to address the issue and published a JAFSCD paper on the program and its results. Read more here.


Policy News
1. USDA Moves to Relax School Nutrition Standards
The Trump administration has proposed changes relaxing nutrition standards under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, permitting schools to reduce fruit servings in breakfasts, offer burgers and pizzas as a la carte food items and provide potatoes as a daily vegetable. The proposals will be entered in the Federal Register on Jan. 23, and will be open for public comment for 60 days. National Farm to School Network opposes these proposed changes, and continues to advocate for stronger nutrition standards that have been shown by USDA’s own findings to have positive impacts. In the coming days, we will share additional information and materials about how others can join us in submitting comments opposing these proposed changes. Contact Chloe Marshall, NFSN Policy Specialist, at chloe@farmtoschool.org with questions.

2. California Gov. Newsom Proposes $70+ million for Healthy School Meals in 2020-21 Budget 
Students across California may soon be able to enjoy more fresh, nutritious food in school meals, thanks to a new budget proposal introduced today by Governor Gavin Newsom in his 2020-21 preliminary budget. This budget proposal, if signed into law, would provide at least $70 million in funding—a 40 percent increase—to strengthen food service programs’ efforts to improve the quality of school meals. This will support efforts to purchase and serve more freshly prepared, locally grown food, and fuel farm to school and sustainability initiatives. Read more from the Center for Ecoliteracy here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 13. Learn more here.

2. Americrops VISTA, Food System Expansion in Wyoming (Laramie, WY)
This VISTA position supports the Wyoming Food Coalition as they develop an action plan to advance priorities for production, policy, marketing, food access, and education. The position is housed on the University of Wyoming campus with UW Extension. Duties include facilitating the efforts of coalition leadership as well as engagement with producers, retailers, educators, health and nutrition experts and consumers across Wyoming. Learn more here.  


Farm to School in the News
Nevada school builds garden in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Ries Elementary might soon look a little greener after some help from the nonprofit Green Our Planet (NFSN NV Supporting Partner). Together, students, staff and community volunteers built a garden at the school today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (KLAS)

Farm-to-table teaches Ohio kids to eat local, taste new foods
Each month, a different item of freshly grown produce is picked right from a local farm and brought straight to Ohio schools. Sometimes the program makes students want to take the foods from their trays to their plates at home. Even french-fry loving Paige said she often asks for more. “I tell them that I like the food at school and I want to try it at home,” said Paige. (WLWT)

North Dakota school hosts Farm to School Day
On Friday, Jefferson Elementary promoted farmers and North Dakota agriculture education. In addition to learning from local farmers, students enjoyed a feast of locally cultivated beef for pot roast and gravy, mashed potatoes grown from the Red River Valley, local vegetables, and a homemade oatmeal cookie made with locally-grown oats. (The Dickinson Press

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

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