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This Week in farm to school: 8/30/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Donating School Garden Produce to Those in Need
August 31, 3-4pm ET
As harvest season approaches, there are many ways to utilize your school garden produce. Donating to food pantries, soup kitchens, and meals-on-wheels programs is a great option that connects students to their community and educates around issues of hunger. Join Slow Food USA to learn how to identify community groups to accept produce donations, food safety in harvesting, and the logistics of a donation. Learn more here

3. Webinar: Local Wellness Policies with the CDC & USDA
NEW SESSION - September 7, 1-2pm ET
Due to high demand, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have scheduled a second webinar on Sept. 7 about the local wellness policy final rule. Join the webinar to learn how your school can start making changes before the implementation deadline (June 30, 2017) and what tools and resources are available to support your efforts. Register here

4. Webinar: Farm to Institution: Focus on Equity and Impact
September 8, 1-2pm ET
The Common Market partners with food service management companies to reach vulnerable communities and scale impact for sustainable farms. Through these partnerships, we can leverage the purchasing power of food service operations to re-invest in rural communities. In this webinar, you will learn more about specific tools and initiatives to measure and promote local procurement used by top food service management companies. Learn more and register here.

5. Webinar: School Fundraising Policies and Practices: A Shifting Landscape
September 9, 11am ET
Join Healthy Eating Research, Boise State University, and the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods project for the release of a new report: “School Fundraising Policies and Practices: A Shifting Landscape.” Following the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, schools are required to meet updated nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold at fundraisers during the school day, unless their state has established an exemption policy for occasional fundraising events. Using a series of interviews with key stakeholders in a sample of states that either prohibit or allow fundraiser exemptions, this project examined the impact on fundraising practices in districts and schools.  Findings explore the successes, challenges, and financial aspects of implementing these new fundraising policies. Register here

6. Registration Open: Vermont Farm to School Conference
November 2-3, 2016 // Fairlee, VT
Registration is now open for the Vermont Farm to School Conference happening November 2-3 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee. The conference agenda will include 26 workshops led by national, regional and local leaders in the farm to school movement. National Director of the USDA Farm to School Program Deborah J. Kane will address the conference as keynote speaker on Thursday, November 3. Betti Wiggins, Executive Director, Detroit Public Schools Office of School Nutrition, a 25+ year school nutrition veteran will present “How F2S Made Me a Triple A Threat” on Wednesday, November 2. Learn more and register here

7. Registration Open: 2016 Hunger Free Communities Summit
October 5-6, 2016 // Indianapolis, IN
The 2016 National Hunger Free Communities Summit is a two-day event providing current and aspiring Hunger Free Community organizers and the broader anti-hunger community a forum to learn, share and network while exploring best practices in hunger eradication. Learn more and register here

8. Registration Open: 3rd Annual UCLA-Harvard Food Law and Policy Conference
Food Marketing to Children: The Current Reality and What Can Be Done
October 21, 2016 // UCLA School of Law
The Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law and The Food Law Lab at Harvard Law School invite you to the 3rd Annual UCLA‐Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Conference, which this year will address the issue of food marketing to children. This one day long conference will convene an interdisciplinary group of experts from science, law, and policy to discuss these issues and consider the scale, impact of, and legal considerations with regard to food and beverage marketing to children in the United States. Learn more and RSVP here

9. Growing Power and GFJI Dismantling Racism Training
November 16 -18 , 2016 // Growing Power
This training is designed to build a community of leaders and provide intensive training and dialogue for participants to facilitate anti-racist food justice in their own programs and communities. The trainings will explore: examples of institutional and structural racism and how it operates; practical applications of facilitating change and becoming a change agent, including some personal identification to understand the kind of facilitator you are; and, opportunities to explore the individual role in the anti-racism process of your work with the opportunity to strategize with others to develop an action plan for next steps for implementation. Learn more here.


Research & Resources
1. The GREEN Tool For Well-Integrated School Gardens
Why do some school gardens flourish while others start with a bang but fizzle over time? The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy identified 19 components shared by successful gardens at 21 NYC schools and determined how those components can work together. The result is the GREEN (Garden Resources, Education, and Environment Nexus) Tool - a practical, flexible, evidence-based tool designed to help gardens grow deep roots in schools. The research brief includes policy recommendations to strengthen NYC school gardens. Learn more here
 

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Program Coordinator, Edible Schoolyard Berkeley
Edible Schoolyard Berkeley seeks a Program Coordinator to join their team. The Program Coordinator supports the planning and execution of a fast-paced, innovative, and hands-on educational program within a public middle school of 1,000 students. Learn more and apply here

2. Campaign Manager, Food Policy Action
Food Policy Action Education Fund (FPA-EF) was established in 2015 to provide a platform for public education and engagement on the impacts of federal policy on the food system. FPA-EF is launching America's Hungry Campaign in early 2017; a cutting edge national messaging and digital advocacy campaign to change the way America thinks about hunger and advance policy solutions to hunger and poverty. FPA-EF is recruiting a Campaign Manager to coordinate all aspects of the America's Hungry campaign. Learn more here

3. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Project Coordinator, National Farmers Union
The FSMA Project Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the programmatic aspects of the FSMA Local Foods Project at National Farmers Union Foundation, including serving as liaison with partner organizations; assisting in preparation of project proposals, schedules and budget; and monitoring and tracking progress. The Coordinator will have technical expertise on either the legal components of FSMA and/or on other aspects of food safety. The Coordinator will assist in the drafting of resource materials. The position is full-time and the preferred location is in Washington DC. Some domestic travel will be required. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Why Farm-to-Institution Sourcing is the Sleeping Giant of Local Food
Each year, public and private institutions spend billions of dollars on food, and they prepare, cook, and serve thousands of meals every day. There is a rising national movement to persuade these institutions the source a higher percentage of their food from regional and local producers, specifically emphasizing farms, fisherman, and ranches that follow ecologically sound, socially just, and humane practices. (via Civil Eats)

Youth Academy garden to yield produce, learning opportunities
The cadets at Thunderbird Youth Academy in Oklahoma were happy to get their hands dirty and build a bed for their new school garden. With the Mayes County HOPE Coalition and the Northeast Oklahoma Community Action Agency, the school is now participating in farm to school activities. (via The Pryor Times)

School menus focus on local meats, produce
In Maine, food service directors are kicking off the school year with deliveries of local meat and produce to be just in school meals. Regional School Unit 71 Director of Food Services Perley Martin says 20 percent of the food budget, about $44,000 per year, is spent on ingredients purchased from local farms. “It's all about healthy choice and a better, healthier life down the road. We're in it for the long-term rewards.” (via The Republican Journal)

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. 

Abundant Potential for Farm to Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Programs

Anna Mullen Friday, August 26, 2016
By Abby Harper, Farm to School Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

Research shows interest, opportunity, and potential from Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs to expand farm to early care and education efforts.

All the milk served at Hart MSHS in Hart, Mich. now comes from within 15 miles.
Migrant and seasonal farmworkers are the backbone of the United States agriculture industry. Despite being essential to production in the modern food system, evidence suggests that these farmworkers and their children struggle with accessing nutritious food and face a variety of health concerns tied to poor nutrition. The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) program, founded in 1969, was created to help address unique challenges like these faced by farmworker families. The program provides an equitable approach to addressing the lack of available childcare options for low-wage earning farmworkers and support families that face barriers in accessing necessary services. Now in 38 states, MSHS programs operate during peak agriculture season and provide essential education, nutrition, and support services to more than 30,000 young children. 

Throughout 2014 and 2015, the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Collaboration Office and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems collaborated on research and outreach to better understand the interest in, motivation for and barriers to implementing farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives at MSHS sites. Key efforts included surveys of 42 directors and coordinators at MSHS programs in Florida, California and Washington, along with surveys of parents attending a farm to ECE session at the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association’s Annual Conference in 2014. Surveys found that interest in pursuing farm to school activities – particularly local purchasing – was high, and that because of natural connections to local agriculture, some farm to ECE activities are already taking place.

Directors and parents alike recognize the great potential of farm to ECE. All 42 directors surveyed expressed interest in developing farm to ECE activities, and 39 believed that buying locally produced foods would improve the quality of meals served at MSHS sites. The top three motivators reported for encouraging farm to ECE in their programs were: 

  1. Creating good public relationships with farmers
  2. Teaching children about where food comes from
  3. Providing learning experiences for children
Other frequently cited motivators included providing access to fresher or higher quality foods for children and expanding food access. Additionally, all parents surveyed reported interest in supporting farm to ECE initiatives at the center where their children attended.

Another benefit of farm to ECE in MSHS programs is its natural connection to family ties with local farms. Most of the directors reported some level of local sourcing already taking place through donated produce from farms employing migrant labor. Directors appreciate these relationships because, in addition to getting healthy, local food into meals, they create connections between children and the work of their parents. Both directors and parents reported seeing potential in sourcing more from these farms. 

With interest high, now is an opportune time not only to expand farm to ECE outreach to MSHS, but to address the barriers to entry for MSHS programs. The top three barriers noted by survey respondents were:
  1. Institutional purchasing policies
  2. Federal and state procurement regulations
  3. Shifting current purchasing practices
Though shifting current institutional purchasing policies and practices can take time, efforts could be made to educate MSHS programs on local product lines available through their current purchasing avenues, which include broadline distributors and local grocery stores. 

Across the country, farm to ECE support organizations are helping MSHS programs strengthen their local purchasing efforts. In California, the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, which runs MSHS programs in nine counties, has created a farm to ECE position to increase local purchasing in their centers. In Michigan, the MI Farm to School Grant Program has provided funding to four MSHS centers to assist with changing purchases practices that increase access for children to fresh, healthy food. This has resulted in a network of MSHS programs that will be able to share best practices and strategies for finding new procurement sources and developing connections with new local suppliers, and in turn, positively affect children’s’ access to local food and nutritional meals.

The interest in and motivation for farm to ECE revealed in this research is impetus for increasing outreach and engagement in the 38 states where MSHS operates. By reaching out to MSHS programs interested in farm to ECE and supporting them with technical assistance and resources, we can support good food access for some of the country’s most vulnerable children. The Cultural Relevancy Ad-hoc group of the National Farm to School Network Farm to Early Care and Education working group, along with other initiatives, are aiming to increase outreach and engagement to MSHS centers and highlight stories of MSHS farm to ECE successes. Connecting MSHS programs with local and state farm to ECE support organizations can support the creation of successful local purchasing strategies and increase good food access for vulnerable children and families of migrant and seasonal farm workers.

For more information on the surveys, trainings or to become involved in the Cultural Relevancy Ad-hoc group, contact Abby Harper, Farm to School Specialist at MSU Center for Regional Food Systems at harperab@msu.edu. Learn more about farm to early care and education here

This Week in farm to school: 8/23/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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. Target Field Trip Grants
Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside the classroom. Target’s Field Trip Grants help make it possible for schools to give their students these unique learning opportunities. As part of the program, Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700. Consider applying for a grant to take students to a farm, farmers market, or other food production site. Applications are due Oct. 1. Learn more here

2. Youth Educator Grants
North Central Region SARE recognizes that youth programs are a way to introduce new and exciting farming and ranching options to youth, parents, and community members. This program supports opportunities for youth educators to research, demonstrate, and learn more about sustainable agriculture. Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded. Proposals are due in November. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Local Wellness Policies with the CDC & USDA
September 1, 1-2pm ET
Alliance for a Healthier Generation is co-hosting a webinar with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture about the local wellness policy final rule. Learn how your school can start making changes before the implementation deadline (June 30, 2017) and what tools and resources are available to support your efforts. Register here.


2. NESAWG It Take  Region Conference
November 10-12 // Hartford, CT
Earlybird registration for NESAWG's 2016 It Takes a Region Conference is now open. The Conference, now in its 23rd year, brings together practitioners and professionals from across the Northeast to explore ideas that move us towards a more sustainable and just farm and food system. This year's conference theme is Tackling Wicked Problems in Food Systems.  To learn more, visit here


Research & Resources
1. NFSN Named Pioneer in Wellbeing Initiative 
NFSN is proud to be named a Pioneer in the RWJF and Ashoka Childrens Wellbeing Initiative. Visit our project page to learn more about how NFSN's Farm to Early Care and Education Working Group is supporting child wellbeing across the country. "Like" our project to show your support for farm to early care and education as a vital initiative to empower families and communities and connect children to healthy, local foods and high quality education opportunities.


Farm to school in the news
Norwich's farm-to-school program prepares food for new school year
Norwich Public Schools (Conn.) is preparing for the new school year by filling its cafeteria freezers with fresh, local produce, including corn, summer squash and apples. “This started as an experiment, and now it's a model. We hope we'll be able to increase the amount of Connecticut-grown food in schools across the state.” The Day

At schools, healthier options pass the taste test
In schools across Massachusetts, school officials are striving to empower mindful eaters by teaching children where their food comes from while simultaneously supporting local farmers. From school gardens to taste tests to food demonstrations in the classroom, there are many ways these schools are bringing farm to school. Boston Globe

Back to School: Local school gardens help kids
In Wisconsin, school gardens are helping students eat more fruits and vegetables and improve their social skills by working with others. "When you can plant something from a seed and you can see it from little plant to a producing plant that is more valuable than a picture in a textbook showing you the life cycle of a bean plant.” WSAW

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: 8/16/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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. Voices for Healthy Kids Grants
Voices for Healthy Kids has two funding opportunities now accepting applications: Strategic Campaign Funds Open RFA and Incubator Grants. The goal of the grant opportunities is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Voices for Healthy Kids is focusing efforts in schools, community, and out-of-school time/early care and education. Applications are due August 18 (Incubator Grants) and September 1 (Open RFA). Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Innovative Distribution Strategies for Increasing Access to Local and Healthy Foods
August 17, 2-3pm ET
This webinar will provide strategies on how community health organizations can help expand the availability and quality of affordable healthy food, including locally-grown food, as part of a comprehensive approach to supporting equitable and healthy communities. Subject matter experts will share the results on a national study of small store food distribution strategies. Community presenters will share stories from three healthy corner store programs, each using different innovative distribution models including food hubs, gleaning (or collecting excess fresh foods), working with community gardens and urban agriculture, hub-and-spoke delivery systems, and leveraging The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs. Learn more and register here

2. Registration Open: Growing Power’s Urban and Small Farms Conference 2016
November 18-20 // Milwaukee, WI
Every two years, hundreds of people from around the world travel to Milwaukee to participate in an intensive three day conference that covers urban aquaculture, urban farming, planning strategies, education, youth programming, food policy and food justice. The conference theme for 2016 is Let's Scale it Up! Growing Food and Farmers: Best practices in growing, distribution and community building. It is time for the Good Food Revolution to scale up and really push ourselves to move beyond just one garden or one market but how can we make things better for ourselves, our neighbors, and our world. Learn more about the conference and register here


Research & Resources
1. Research: The Influence of School Nutrition Programs on the Weight of Low-Income Children
This study reiterates the link between schools meals and obesity in low income children, and identifies farm to school as a potential policy strategy for improving school meal programs’ effectiveness at promoting better nutrition. An overview of the study is available here


Farm to school in the news
Rootstock Radio: Farm to School with Anupama Joshi
Last week on Rootstock Radio, co-host Anne O’Connor spoke with Anupama Joshi, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the National Farm to School Network, about the benefits of farm to school and healthier school meals. Listen here.

Foundation acquires farm to provide fresh produce to D.C.’s poorest areas
The Bainum Family Foundation has acquired a 263-acre farm and plans to distribute produce — seasonal vegetables such as kale, chard, broccoli and squash — to early childhood centers and schools, develop an educational program about food, and sell some of its produce through a mobile market in some of D.C.'s poorest neighborhoods. The Washington Post

Good to Grow: Back-to-School Gardens
It's almost back-to-school time, which means many students will soon be heading back into school garden. Learn how schools are creating and maintaining different types of school gardens with the help of Master Gardeners. KETP Radio

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: 8/9/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 09, 2016

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. Voices for Healthy Kids Grants
Voices for Healthy Kids has two funding opportunities now accepting applications: Strategic Campaign Funds Open RFA and Incubator Grants. The goal of the grant opportunities is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Voices for Healthy Kids is focusing efforts in schools, community, and out-of-school time/early care and education. Applications are due August 18 (Incubator Grants) and September 1 (Open RFA). Learn more here

2. EcoLab Foundation Grants
Through the Ecolab Foundation, grants are made to qualifying non-profit organizations in the St. Paul, MN area and U.S. Ecolab regional locations that align with their focus areas:  Youth & Education, Civic & Community Development, Environment & Conservation, Arts & Culture. The application process is now open.  Deadline to submit applications:  August 31, 2016, 11:59pm CDT. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Explore the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census 
August 11, 3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network and USDA FNS Office of Community Food Systems on Thursday, August 11 at 3pm ET for an in-depth review of the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. Presenters will provide an overview of the Farm to School Census website, including the recently posted raw data files and soon to be released data explorer tool. Presenters will also describe ways in which Census data can be used at the local, state, and national levels in support of farm to school. Register for the webinar here.

2. Webinar: Local Wellness Policies with the CDC & USDA
September 1, 1-2pm ET
Alliance for a Healthier Generation will be hosting a webinar on local wellness policies with the CDC and USDA on Thursday, September 1 from 1-2pm ET. The webinar will help assist you with the implantation of the USDA’s new final rule on local school wellness policy. Learn more here

3. Registration Open: Growing Power’s Urban and Small Farms Conference 2016
November 18-20 // Milwaukee, WI
Every two years, hundreds of people from around the world travel to Milwaukee to participate in an intensive three day conference that covers urban aquaculture, urban farming, planning strategies, education, youth programming, food policy and food justice. The conference theme for 2016 is Let's Scale it Up! Growing Food and Farmers: Best practices in growing, distribution and community building. It is time for the Good Food Revolution to scale up and really push ourselves to move beyond just one garden or one market but how can we make things better for ourselves, our neighbors, and our world. Learn more about the conference and register here


Research & Resources
1. Report: Getting it There: The Role of New England Food Distributors in Providing Local Food to Institutions
Farm to Institution New England has announced the publication of the first in its new series of research reports designed to help food system stakeholders understand the impact of institutional markets on New England's food system. “Getting it There: The Role of New England Food Distributors in Providing Local Food to Institutions” presents in-depth findings and makes specific, data-based recommendations for food distributors – including food hubs – as well as government officials, funders and institutions. Explore the report here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Executive Director, Green Mountain Farm-to-School
Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) seeks a dynamic, passionate, experienced nonprofit leader who will grow their efforts to strengthen local food systems in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. The ED must have a passion for the GMFTS work, demonstrated strengths in marketing and fundraising, a strategic vision, and the ability to support day-to-day operations of a small organization. More information here

2. Lead Educator + School Gardens Coordinator, City Blossom

City Blossoms seeks a Lead Educator + School Gardens Coordinator to join their team. This position is designed to expand and lead City Blossoms' programming at partnering early childhood centers and elementary schools. The position will include further designing the year-round educational programs at various sites throughout Washington, DC, leading regular workshops and documenting the process. Learn more here

3. Vice President of Finance and Administration, Healthy School Campaign

Healthy Schools Campaign is seeking a Vice President of Finance and Administration. This key position will serve as a strategic thought partner and a hands-on manager who will lead a team in the following areas: finance; planning and budgeting; human resource administration; administration and IT and CRM. More information about the position and the application can be found 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: 8/2/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 02, 2016

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. Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation Accepting Applications for Toolbox for Education Grants
The Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation has announced the opening of its Fall 2016 Toolbox for Education, which supports projects that encourage parent involvement in local schools and build stronger community spirit. One-year grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to projects with the potential to have a permanent impact on a school community, such as facility enhancement (indoor or outdoor) or landscaping/clean-up projects. In addition,  Toolbox grants can be used as part of a large-scale project like a playground, as long as the grant will be used to complete a phase of the project that can be completed within twelve months of the award. Learn more and apply here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Explore the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census 
August 11, 3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network and USDA FNS Office of Community Food Systems on Thursday, August 11 at 3pm ET for an in-depth review of the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. Presenters will provide an overview of the Farm to School Census website, including the recently posted raw data files and soon to be released data explorer tool. Presenters will also describe ways in which Census data can be used at the local, state, and national levels in support of farm to school. Register for the webinar here.

2. Webinar: Make Healthy Food the Easy Choice - Best Practices for Healthy Food Promotion

August 8, 10am-12pm ET
You’re invited to join Ecology Center, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, and Taste the Local Difference as they explore ways to promote healthy, local, and sustainable food efforts at your business, school, hospital, or food pantry. Register here

3. Three Perspectives on Food: A Conversation between Will Allen, Ron Finley and Alice Waters

November 18 // Milwaukee, WI
Join Leaders in the food world as they come together to share their perspective on how farming, social justice and the culinary arts can be powerful tools for equity, locally, nationally, and internationally. How can we scale up from small school gardens to school farms that can nourish a community? How do we connect and support permanent land use by the community for food production as well as economic and cultural development? This event also coincides with Growing Power's National-International Urban and Small Farms Conference. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Institutional Food Networks Survey
A Seattle based researcher is developing recommendations for a network of service providers that assist institutions (schools, hospitals, corporate campuses, corrections, sporting centers, and others) in locating and purchasing local and regional food - both direct through farmers and food hubs, but also through traditional supply chains. She seeks information about networks that are established and support similar Farm 2 Institution/Farm 2 Cafeteria efforts. If you have information about networks like this, please fill out this survey by Friday, August 12. 


Farm to school in the news
Educators embrace school gardens as multidisciplinary teaching tool
Teachers in Oregon are learning how school gardens can be used to engage students in fun, outdoor, hands-on science lessons. Students “actually learn to garden — they learn how to grow their own food and make a connection with it and start to see how they fit into the web of the world. It’s so comprehensive.” (via The Register-Guard)

Schools nurture students’ agriculture interests
Agriculture offers a hands-on way to study STEM, and provides an avenue to hundreds of potential careers in biology, chemistry, veterinary science, environmental policy, food science and nutrition, entrepreneurship and more. Penn Manor High School (Pa.) and Schurz High School (Ill.) explain their programs. (via USA Today)

Another Reason To Buy Directly From Farmers: You Could Help the Local Economy More
A new study from UC Davis took a look at the way buying directly from farmers affects the economy in the Sacramento, Calif. At its core, the study (coauthored by NFSN’s Policy Director, Erin McGuire) found that a dollar spent buying directly from a farmer has about twice the impact on the local economy as spending a dollar on food that goes through a middleman. (via Modern Farmer)

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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