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National Farm to School Network

News

Celebrate CACFP with Farm to Early Care and Education!

NFSN Staff Monday, March 13, 2017

By Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, Farm to Early Care and Education Associate

While we aim to celebrate great nutrition for kids all year round, this week, we have a special reason to cheer. March 12 – 18 is National CACFP Week, a week devoted to raising awareness of how the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) works to combat hunger and bring healthy foods to the table for adults in day care and children in child care homes, centers, and in afterschool and summer feeding programs across the country. CACFP provides approximately 1.9 billion meals and snacks to over 3.3 million children every day. Studies show children who participate in CACFP programs have healthier eating patterns and are less likely to be overweight. CACFP may even contribute to reduced household food insecurity. There are so many reasons to celebrate this important program! 

Farm to early care and education (ECE) activities – including local procurement, gardening, and food-based education – offer valuable opportunities to support success in CACFP. In 2017, new CACFP meal patterns will go into effect that require programs to serve a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and lower sugar foods. Farm to ECE experiences, like taste tests, cooking activities and gardening, can encourage children to taste and accept new, diverse foods. Serving local and seasonal foods is even identified as a best practice in USDA’s “Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Pattern Revision: Best Practices.”   

The National Farm to School Network and ECE stakeholders will continue the celebration of CACFP when we convene for the National CACFP Conference in San Diego, Calif., April 18-20, 2017. Farm to ECE educational opportunities are highlighted throughout the conference schedule, ensuring even more CACFP sponsors and ECE stakeholders will take home resources, information and know-how to spread farm to ECE opportunities across the country. The National Farm to School Network will kick off the conference week by offering a preconference training session in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, Taking Root Tennessee, and YMCA Childcare Resource Service of San Diego. This four-hour session will demonstrate how farm to ECE initiatives not only integrate seamlessly with the learning style of young children, but are also an evidenced-based approach to meeting educational and nutrition standards (including CACFP meal patterns) and improving the quality of early care and education environments. Whether participants are seasoned experts or just ready to plant the first seeds, they will come away with concrete plans to “grow” health and wellness, experiential learning opportunities, and parent engagement through farm to ECE.  

The learning and fun continue with multiple break-out sessions devoted to the core elements of farm to ECE. The National Farm to School Network, USDA, the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute and North County Community Services will introduce participants to the ways that farm to ECE initiatives can support success in meeting new CACFP meal pattern requirements while increasing children’s acceptance of the new foods found on their plates. In another session, USDA will show participants how to use the popular Grow It! Try It! Like It! nutrition education curriculum to build lifelong healthy habits for young eaters. USDA will also join the Texas Department of Agriculture and Michigan State University to provide attendees with concrete steps to begin or increase their use of local products in menus and educational programming. Finally, Our Daily Bread of Tennessee will dig into the garden experience and demonstrate how gardening can promote healthier food choices and introduce science, math, and environmental stewardship concepts, while improving social and interpersonal skills.  

Find more ways to celebrate CACFP during National CACFP Week and learn more about National CACFP Conference from the National CACFP Sponsors Association. Learn more about farm to early care and education from the National Farm to School Network’s Farm to Early Care and Education landing page.   

Farm to School in the Every Student Succeeds Act

NFSN Staff Wednesday, March 08, 2017
By Ariel Bernstein, Farm to School and Education Fellow

Farm to school is a multifaceted movement with many intersecting components. As stakeholders continue to engage in policy levers for farm to school, a large piece of education legislation, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), comes into the conversation. To help you stay aware of and take advantage of the opportunities this legislation provides, the National Farm to School Network has created a toolkit outlining how farm to school engages with ESSA. As the farm to school movement continues to grow, it is imperative to seek new opportunities where farm to school can impact students and families. ESSA is one of them.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been one of the most important education policies to shape the way states and districts interact with their most vulnerable students and lowest performing schools. It has provided opportunities for low-income, migrants and native students, as well as outlined Title I funding, data reporting and many forms of enrichment education. In December of 2015, Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into legislation, reauthorizing ESEA and replacing its predecessor, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). ESSA has taken a different approach than NCLB did, shifting more decision making authority to states, opposed to having power concentrated at the federal level. Under the new legislation, State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) design their own education plans, giving them leverage to choose how federal funding is used. ESSA also has a heavy focus on non-academic factors that contribute to improving education. Aspects such as school climate, health and wellness, and family engagement are being pulled into conversations about student success, creating a more holistic and well-rounded educational environment for students.

These themes provide great potential for farm to school and early care and education (ECE) to interact with this legislation. There are opportunities for the inclusion of farm to school and ECE in the design and implementation of state and local plans for ESSA. Farm to school can improve educational outcomes through methods such as social and emotional learning, health and food education, family and community engagement, and healthier school climate, just to name a few. ESSA’s focus on well rounded education is a great connection point for farm to school, and one that should be taken advantage of by educators, school health professionals, parents advocates and all other farm to school stakeholders.

With education as one of the three core elements of farm to school, it is key that we stay engaged with this legislation and the opportunities it provides. This new toolkit is designed for educators, advocates, parents and farm to school and ECE stakeholders to understand and act upon the opportunities ESSA offers, and to continue to expand the reach of farm to school and ECE in our communities. 


Ready to learn more? Join us on March 21, 3-4pm ET, for a Q&A style webinar about farm to school in ESSA. Register here. Or, contact Ariel Bernstein, National Farm to School Network Farm to School and Education Fellow, at ariel@farmtoschool.org

This Week in farm to school: 3/7/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 07, 2017

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. Request for Applications: Native Communities with Farm to School
The National Farm to School Network is pleased to announce a new mini-grant project: Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School. This project aims to expand farm to school activities (procurement of local and traditional foods, school gardens, and food and agriculture education) in Native communities as a strategy to leverage community-wide initiatives towards building food security and food sovereignty and towards revitalizing use of traditional foods. The project will provide five Native schools mini-grants in the amount of $5,900 to expand and promote farm to school. Native schools/early care and education sites will be selected through an open application process to partner on this project. The full RFA can be found here. Applications are due March 22, 2017 at 6pm ET. 

2. United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grants Program
The United Fresh Start Foundation is now accepting applications for its new Community Grants Program, established to help advance the organization’s mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetables. The Community Grants Program extends the foundation’s work beyond the school day, with the goal to provide children in communities across the country with access to fresh fruit and vegetables afterschool, on weekends, during summer breaks and in other creative venues. Local community organizations and groups that share the United Fresh Start Foundation’s mission are encouraged to apply. Not-for-profit organizations focused on child nutrition, food access and creating healthy communities through increased access to fresh produce, can download the grant application here. Applications are due by Monday, April 20, 2017.

3. Voices for Healthy Kids: Incubator Grant Opportunity
The purpose of this Strategic Campaign Fund Incubator opportunity is to support innovative advocacy approaches that align with Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities. Incubator opportunities should identify additional partners and strategies through the empowered engagement of populations that are in the greatest need for helping all children achieve a healthy weight. All grants awarded within this opportunity will be 100% non-lobbying funding. The deadline for application submission is Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5pm EST. Learn more here

4. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program 2017 RFA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, AMS, requests applications for the FY 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to award grants to eligible State departments of agriculture to carry out projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Approximately $60.6 million, less USDA administrative costs, is available to fund applications under this solicitation. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
March 14, 2pm ET
With the goal of bringing practical information to improve the lives of agricultural producers, consumers, families, and children, extension is a natural fit for partnership in farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives. The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, will be offering a webinar to share extension and farm to ECE partnerships and projects. Register here.

2. Webinar: Farm to School in the Every Student Succeeds Act
March 21, 3-4pm ET
Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this webinar will discuss new opportunities for  farm to school under the newest authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this legislation, there are various funding opportunities and policy levers that advocates and educators on the ground can utilize to move farm to school forward in their communities. This webinar is open to the public. Register here

3. Webinar: Statewide Farm to ECE Network Building
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 3:30 – 4:30 PM ET
Statewide farm to early care and education (ECE) network building is a key approach to institutionalizing farm to ECE and increasing opportunities for all children, families, and communities to reap the many benefits of farm to ECE. Join us for the April NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar where we will hear from Emily Jackson of the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network and Erin Croom of the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition who will share models from their states and identify keys to success in building a statewide farm to ECE network. This webinar is open to the public so please share through your networks. Register here.

4. 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit
April 5-7 // Leominster, Mass. 
Are you working to mobilize the power of schools, colleges, hospitals, corrections, and other institutions to transform our food system? You’re invited to the 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit on April 5-7 in Leominster, Massachusetts! The #F2ISummit will feature 65+ sessions, inspiring speakers, local tours, good food, an exhibitor fair, and more. Please join us – along with hundreds of other farm to institution advocates – for up to three exciting days of learning, sharing and connecting. Early bird rates end on March 10th. Register online: www.f2isummit.org/register

5. National Children & Youth Garden Symposium: Scholarships Available
July 12-25 // Greater Portland, Oregon & Vancouver, Washington area
NCYGS is a national networking event for like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world. A limited number of scholarships for discounted or complimentary registration are available for the 25th annual National Children & Youth Garden Symposium (NCYGS). The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, March 17. Learn more here


Resources
1. 500 Cities Map: Local data for better health
CDC has launched an interactive web application for the 500 Cities Project. The interactive web application allows users to view chronic disease risk factors such as obesity, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities. The interactive mapping application also enables users to zoom in to their neighborhood and explore their local data in the larger context of their city. View the map here.


Action Opportunities
1. Survey: how can NFSN better support your farm to school efforts?
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is partnering with the STAR program at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School to identify new and innovative ways NFSN can better support farm to school and farm to early care and education efforts to keep the movement growing strong. All farm to school and ECE practitioners and stakeholders are invited to take a short (15 minute) survey to offer their perspective on opportunities for additional services, platforms and content that the National Farm to School Network may offer. Take the survey here, and please share widely with your networks. The survey closes March 19.


Job Opportunities
1. Development Director, National Farm to School Network
The National Farm to School Network seeks a Development Director to lead the organization is strategic growth and diversification of its funding base. This is a remote position and candidates will be considered from any location within the United States. The deadline to apply is March 20, 2017. Learn more here

2. Communications Intern, National Farm to School Network
The National Farm to School Network seeks a Communications Intern to support content development and dissemination of information and resources to Core Partners and general membership. This is a paid, twelve-month position, with approximate 10 hours of work per week. The deadline to apply is March 13, 2017. Learn more 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. 

Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to ECE

NFSN Staff Wednesday, March 01, 2017
 The MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center offers up close experiences with goats and other animals as part of the Farm Sprouts Preschool Program. 

By Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, Farm to Early Care and Education Associate


Cooperative Extension programs have been bringing quality research and education to rural and urban communities for over 100 years. With the goal of offering practical information to improve the lives of agricultural producers, consumers, families, and children, extension is a natural fit for partnership in farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives. Across the U.S., extension provides a vital link to resources and information and builds connections between producers and communities, expanding opportunities for local procurement, gardening, and food and agriculture education in schools and ECE settings. 

Extension supports farm to ECE efforts in a variety of ways with diverse models of success emerging in communities across the country. Some extension programs bring local foods, gardening, and food-based education directly to the ECE classroom. In Maricopa County, Ariz., University of Arizona Cooperative Extension has a family resource center housed in a school that serves Head Start families and children with special needs. The resource center features 15 raised garden beds as part of an outdoor learning center where extension staff engage children, parents, and teachers in “Play and Learn” workshops and professional development opportunities. University of Maryland Extension brings gardening along with food, nutrition, and wellness education to children and teachers at Head Start locations in Princess Anne, Md. Children plant seeds, learn about fruits and vegetables, and sing and dance to songs about healthy food through culturally adapted curriculum. Parents join in the fun, too, with family days offering healthy snacks and family gardening time. 

Other extension models bring children to the farm for immersive experiences with food and agriculture. In Pima County, Ariz., at the Tucson Village Farm, young children and their parents dig into the Lil’ Sprouts Program to learn about a wide variety of food and agriculture topics from seeds to worms to farmers. As children are immersed in hands on, scientific discovery, parents gain understanding of the important skills children develop by working in the garden, from developing self-regulation as they wait for a radish to emerge from the soil to the math skills necessarily to evenly divide seeds for sprouting. At MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, the Farm Sprouts Preschool Program focuses on developing scientific thinking and understanding through discovery, experimentation, and sensory experiences. Young children explore the farm and contribute to the farm community by caring for the farm animals, tending and harvesting in the gardens, and engaging in meaningful projects. The program encompasses cross-institute components, within MSU Extension, related to child development, health and nutrition, natural resources, agriculture and food systems, environmental science, and global and cultural education. 

Young students visit Down’s Produce as part of the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative. 

In other programs, extension agents act as liaisons and connections to local producers and support the integration of local foods into meals and snacks in ECE settings. The Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative aims to make the region a place where all people have access to healthy, local foods. One component of their multi-faceted approach is to integrate healthy, local food options into early care and education settings. One of the vital partners of the Initiative is Iowa State University Extension and Outreach which, through the development of the Iowa Food Hub, plays a primary role in production, access, and procurement of local food. In Wake County, N.C., the Wake County Farm to Child Care program has worked closely with county extension since the development of the project. In addition to helping to write the project plan, a local extension partner supports on-going connections with farmers and helped support the projects “farmer liaison” in understanding how farmers and ECE programs can work together. Through this partnership, Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) and cooperative extension staff also developed a series of publications titled "Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens."

The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, will be offering a webinar to share more about these and other extension and farm to ECE partnerships and project. Register here and join the webinar on March 14, at 2 PM ET. To learn more about how you can work with extension, find your local Cooperative Extension and check out tools and resources from extension at https://extension.org.    

This Week in farm to school: 2/28/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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. Smart from the Start Awards
The Smart from the Start Awards are designed to encourage preschool teachers to create practical, long-term improvements in nutrition and physical activity at their preschool. The grant prize is $20,000 grant and prize pack of books. 10 runners-up will receive $2,500 grants. Apply by March 2. Learn more here

2. Call for Proposals: Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health
Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health (P4A) was created to help build the evidence base for policies that can help build a Culture of Health. Approximately $2 million will be awarded through this call for proposals. Approximately $500,000 of the $2 million will be awarded for research on the implementation and/or impact of policies relevant for early childhood or school environments that aim to support children’s healthy weight and/or reduce childhood obesity. Brief proposals are due March 10. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
March 14, 2pm ET
With the goal of bringing practical information to improve the lives of agricultural producers, consumers, families, and children, extension is a natural fit for partnership in farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives. The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, will be offering a webinar to share extension and farm to ECE partnerships and projects. Register here.

2. Webinar: Farm to School in the Every Student Succeeds Act
March 21, 3-4pm ET
Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this webinar will discuss new opportunities for  farm to school under the newest authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this legislation, there are various funding opportunities and policy levers that advocates and educators on the ground can utilize to move farm to school forward in their communities. This webinar is open to the public. Register here

3. Webinar: Plate to Politics: Letters to the Editor 101
March 7, 12-1pm CT
Join the Women Food & Ag Network for an educational webinar on writing effective letters to the editor. Presenters include Angie Carter, Environmental Sociologist at Augustana College; Patti Edwardson, Farmer in Greene County, Iowa; and Ahna Kruzic, Publications & Communications Coordinator at Food First. Together they will discuss writing effective letters, including finding your voice, framing your argument, how to submit a letter, writing as a coalition and handling reactions. Register here

4. 5th Annual Ideas & Innovations Virtual Conference
March 14-16
Join Share My Lesson’s virtual conference March 14-16 for a line-up of educational thought leaders, including staff from the National Farm to School Network. Get new ideas for creating healthy school and community climate, addressing standards and assessments and topics that matter most. Find subject-specific tracks in 30+ free professional learning sessions that span the curriculum and levels early childhood through 12th grade. Plus, earn PD credits. Learn more here

5. The Edible Schoolyard Intensive: Farm to School
July 9-11 // Berkeley, Calif.
Develop your team’s holistic approach to program success and strengthen relationships between food service staff members, school and district leadership, and classroom, garden and kitchen educators. Applications due March 5. Learn more here

6. RFP Open: Community Food Systems Conference
December 5-7 // Boston, Mass. 
New Entry Sustainable Farming Projects is seeking proposals for workshop sessions at its Community Food Systems Conference from leaders in food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. They anticipate 500-600 attendees. Proposals are due April 3. Learn more here


Action Opportunities
1. National Young Farmer Survey
Take the National Young Farmer Survey and let Congress know that #FarmersCount! The survey is conducted every five years by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) in order to understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers and aspiring farmers. Take the survey today and share it broadly. It is crucial that the survey results represent all young farmers and aspiring farmers, no matter where they live or what they grow. Survey answers are completely confidential. Take the survey at youngfarmers.org/survey

2. High School Garden Programs Survey
Noehealani Antolin, a graduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is conducting an online survey to ascertain information on high school garden programs across the United States. The purpose of the study is to describe educators’ perspectives about high school gardening programs across the nation, including benefits associated with having a school garden and barriers encountered with implementation and sustainability of a school garden. Please share this survey widely with your networks. All who are directly involved in high school garden programs are encouraged to participate. Learn more here


Job Opportunities
1. Project Director, HOPE Collaborative
HOPE Collaborative is a hiring a Project Director to lead the collaborative through a time of exciting growth. The Project Director will manage a staff team, oversee program design and delivery and strategy development, and enhance, strengthen, and ensure long-term sustainability of HOPE’s flagship initiatives, such as the Healthy Corner Store Project, HOPE in the Neighborhood, and HOPE’s community and youth leadership development programs. Applications due March 10. Learn more here.  

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
FoodCorps is recruiting talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. FoodCorps AmeriCorps members teach student hands on lessons in growing cooking and tasting healthy food; promote healthy eating onions in the cafeteria; and, make schools healthier place to eat, learn and grow. The FoodCorps application is open now through March 15th. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
How Schools Can Get Children to Eat Their Vegetables
Schools, nutritionists and behavioral scientists are putting science to work to figure out how to get children to reach for a carrot instead of a candy bar. On the list of proven strategies: nutrition education, with actives like field trips to farms and Harvest of the Month dishes. (via Wall Street Journal)

Kids learn about healthy eating with farmers - and microgreens
Preschoolers in North Carolina are learning about the life cycles of plants and why healthy eating is important. Farmers Wes and Anna recently visited the preschool with tiny kale and sunflower plants, and gave the young eaters a chance to try microgreens. (via WLOS)

'I didn’t know chickens had bones'
When the Cocalico School District (Pennsylvania) served chicken drumsticks in its lunchrooms recently, one student wasn’t sure what he was eating. “I didn’t know chickens had bones,” he said. Connecting what goes on at a farm to what is served in a school cafeteria can help educate students about food and farming. (via Lancaster Online)

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: 2/21/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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
Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to a third party vendor for any items that make a critical difference in the launch of a young farm business. In addition to monetary awards, the Fellowship provides support in the form of guidance in production, business planning, and marketing. Awards are also made in the form of a scholarship to study for a career in agriculture at a closes March 20, 2017. Learn more here


Events & Webinars
Webinar: Curbing Marketing to Students: What the Final Wellness Policy Rule Means for Schools
March 9, 2-3pm ET
On July 29, 2016, USDA finalized regulations that strengthen requirements for local school wellness policies. Among other requirements, the final rule allows in-school promotions only for foods and beverages that meet the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. This webinar explains how the USDA's final rule affects food and beverage marketing in schools. Presenters will provide practical tips for school districts on how to remove unhealthy food marketing and handle challenges that arise as they work to comply with the new rule. Register here

Webinar: Local Meat to Local Schools: Lessons Learned from the Montana Beef to School Project
March 23, 12-1pm EST
Many folks all over the nation are organizing to get local ingredients into public schools and other institutions as a way to support local farmers as well as improve the quality and healthfullness of school food. Fruits and vegetables have been the low-hanging fruit; local meat and animal products can be much more challenging to get on school menus. The Montana Beef to School Project is a three-year collaborative project between several Montana beef producers and processors, schools and many stakeholders represented in the Montana Beef to School Coalition. Hear from one of the project leaders, Thomas Bass of Montana State University Extension along with one of the key processing partners, Jeremy Plummer of Lower Valley Processing in Kalispell, about what they learned over the three years of this project. Register here.

Arkansas Farm to School Summit: Growing Together

March 15, 9-4pm // Van Buren, Arkansas
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and FoodCorps Arkansas, with support from Van Buren Public Schools, are hosting “Arkansas Farm to School Summit: Growing Together” on March 15, 2017. With a focus on program sustainability, this event will feature practical sessions on implementing farm to school activities that have staying power: designing integrated garden lessons, using school gardens as outdoor classrooms, procuring local foods, cooking with kids, and more. Learn more and register here


Resources
New Slow Food USA School Garden Curriculum
Slow Food USA recently published its second school garden curriculum, Clean: Gardening for Sustainability. The multidisciplinary lessons target a range of ages, from Kindergarten through high school. Educators can use a school garden or cooking program to teach biology, chemistry, social studies, language arts, and geography. Clean: Gardening for Sustainability divides school garden activities into theory and practice. The first section, “Basic Garden Skills and Knowledge,” offers activities that guide observation and discovery into the plants and animals that live in the garden. The second section, “A Slow Food Garden,” offers planting guidelines, maps, activities and cooking lessons that match a sample school garden. Learn more here

Report: Shrinking the Carbon and Water Footprint of School Food: A Recipe for Combatting Climate Change
As schools across the nation grapple with how to feed kids healthier, more sustainable food on tight budgets, an inspiring story from Oakland Unified School District provides a roadmap for change. Friends of the Earth’s new case study shows how the district was able to significantly reduce its carbon and water footprint by replacing a share of its meat, poultry and cheese purchases with plant-based proteins. These actions also saved the district money and improved students’ access to healthful food. Learn more here

Good Food for Local Schools: Toolkit of Resources
University of California’s Global Food Initiatives has a free, online toolkit of resource for improving meals in schools districts throughout California and beyond. The website offers a toolkit of curated practical online resources to guide higher education institutions and other educational and community organizations, who work with pre-K-12 schools, to support student access to healthy and sustainable food. Learn more here

Newly Updated: Bibliography on Structural Racism in the United States Food System 
Published by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System, cites and annotates literature that explores structural racism both broadly across the U.S. food system as well as in specific food system sectors. The publication also includes commentaries on and analysis of the influence and pervasiveness of “whiteness” in the local food movement. Explore the bibliography here

Ensuring Education for All Children: Resources for working with Immigrants families

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) regularly releases resources to help educators, school administrators, and families to protect and ensure equitable access to education for all children, including our most vulnerable student populations. Several new resources have been released for working with immigrant families relative to education and issues of security. While designed for early learning programs, elementary schools and educators, some resources have value across all levels of education and  communities. There are also tools to be shared with parents. Explore the resources here


Job Opportunities
School Nutrition Programs Farm-to-School Specialist
The Virginia Department of Education is seeking a qualified and experienced individual to provide technical expertise and assistance to local school food authorities, local farmers, and other potential Farm to School stakeholders. Responsibilities include facilitating a collective vision, coordinating statewide goals and strategic planning to track state progress for Farm to School initiatives at the state level. Application closes March 1. Learn more here
 

Farm to School in the News
South Carolina School Offers Farm-to-Table Class
Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle-High School (South Carolina) is converting into a healthy living campus by putting a tasty spin on Agricultural Science. The new farm-to-table program benefits everyone in the county because once the crops are ready, they’ll be enjoyed by all Aiken County school district students. (via WJBF)

Tennessee Farm to School Program Grows with Greenhouse
A greenhouse for Murfreesboro City Schools (Tenn.) provides students a protected and secure environment to learn about the growing process year-round. "In the days of digital media and electronics, it's nice to see students excited about getting their hands a little dirty," says Kristina Maddux, Discovery School Principal. (via WGNS)

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: 2/14/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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
School Grants for Healthy Kids 
Action for Healthy Kids is accepting applications for school grants for the 2017-2018 school year. Schools may apply for School Breakfast grants (up to $3,000) to pilot or expand their School Breakfast programs or Game On grants (up to $1,000) to fund physical activity/nutrition initiatives. Deadline to apply is April 7. Visit ActionforHealthyKids.org/Grants for more information and register for informational webinars: School Breakfast (February 22) and Game On (February 21).

Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition’s 2017 YES! Research Grant Competition

BCFN YES! (Young Earth Solutions) is an international competition for young researchers from all over the world. It was first launched in 2012, with the aim of rewarding the best ideas about food and sustainability. The 2017 BCFN YES! Research Grant Competition invites young PhD and postdoc researchers from any background and nationality to submit a research project to improve the sustainability of the food system. The award is a 20,000 € (US$21,367) research grant applied to a one-year investigation. Proposals are due June 28, 2017. Learn more here


Action Opportunities
National Young Farmer Survey
Take the National Young Farmer Survey and let Congress know that #FarmersCount! The survey is conducted every five years by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) in order to understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers and aspiring farmers. Take the survey today and share it broadly. It is crucial that the survey results represent all young farmers and aspiring farmers, no matter where they live or what they grow. Survey answers are completely confidential. Take the survey at youngfarmers.org/survey

High School Garden Programs Survey
Noehealani Antolin, a graduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is conducting an online survey to ascertain information on high school garden programs across the United States. The purpose of the study is to describe educators’ perspectives about high school gardening programs across the nation, including benefits associated with having a school garden and barriers encountered with implementation and sustainability of a school garden. Please share this survey widely with your networks. All who are directly involved in high school garden programs are encouraged to participate. Learn more here


Job Opportunities
Farm to ECE Trainer
Community Groundworks seeks a Farm to ECE Trainer to join its team in Madison, Wis. The Farm to ECE Trainer will develop and share materials promoting the best practices in farm to early care and education (ECE) through its Growing Capacity for Farm to Early Care and Education Project, funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Vermont celebrates Farm to School Awareness Day
Students, teachers, legislators, government officials, and Vermont Farm to School Network leaders to celebrate Farm to School Awareness Day on Feb. 8. The day included farm to school stakeholders providing testimony to agriculture and education committees in support of farm to school programming, and a grant award ceremony. Over $121,000 in grants and technical supports were awarded to 13 schools, representing 10 Vermont counties, for the purpose of growing and developing farm to school programs. (via Vermont Business Magazine

Student meals are Georgia grown
Thanks to the 2020 Vision joint initiative between the Georgia Departments of Agriculture and Education, students within the Baldwin County School System know that a significant portion of their meals are Georgia Grown. (via Union Record)

White House Kitchen Garden Will Stay
“As a mother and as the First Lady of this country, Mrs. Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House Gardens, specifically the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, senior adviser to the first lady. (via The Washington 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: 2/7/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 07, 2017

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. Innovation Education Awards
he third annual UL Innovative Education Award (ULIEA) recognition program is open to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations in the United States and Canada. Awards will go to participants who best use innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curricula to help students of grades K–12 solve real-world environmental problems.A panel of environmental, science, research, and technical experts will determine one grand prize winner to receive $100,000; two second-tier winners to receive $50,000 each; and two third-tier winners to receive $25,000 each. The submission window closes on February 28, 2017. Learn more here.

2. Call for Application: 2017 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders 
Interdisciplinary Research Leaders is a leadership development opportunity for teams of researchers and community partners, including community organizers and advocates. These teams use the power of applied research—informing and supporting critical work being done in communities—to accelerate that work and advance health and equity. Their innovation helps build a Culture of Health, one that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. The two theme areas for the 2017 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Call for Applications are 1) Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health, and 2) Community and individual resilience and health. The Call for Applications is open until March 8, 2017. Learn more here

3. Slow Food USA: Ark of Taste Garden Challenge

The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing these foods, we keep them in production and on our plates. The Ark of Taste Garden Challenge will engage classrooms in growing these special seeds to taste the wonderful food they produce. Slow Food USA is putting together kits for school gardens, individuals, and Slow Food chapters. Each kit will include Ark of Taste seed packets, garden signs, a poster, recipes, and more. Please request your school garden kit by February 17. Learn more here

4. Seed Savers Exchange Seed Donations
Each year, Seed Savers Exchange donates the previous year's unsold seeds to charitable organizations. To qualify for a seed donation, an organization must be a nonprofit or have a nonprofit umbrella sponsorship and have a shipping address within the United States. Volunteers pre-pack donation boxes with 100 seed packets, each a different variety. Recipients do not choose specific varieties, but will receive a wide selection of seed varieties. Learn more and apply here.

5. Carton 2 Garden 2017 Contest - Free Entry Kits
Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening.org are proud to present its third annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest. Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Fourteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Submissions are due April 12, 2017. Free entry kits are available while supplies last. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Resources for research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system
Feb. 17, 12:30pm ET
The fourth edition of the Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System will be available in mid-February; this document provides an up-to-date list of publications and resources on structural racism present in the US the food supply chain. Join bibliography co-authors, Rich Pirog (MSU Center for Regional Food Systems) and Jane Henderson (University of San Diego), for a discussion of this unique resource and the importance of using a racial equity lens for food system students, educators, researchers, and practitioners. Register here

2. Save the Date: 5th Annual Every Kid Healthy Week
April 24-28, 2017
Join us in celebrating the fifth annual Every Kid Healthy Week from April 24-28. Launched by Action for Healthy Kids in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is a time when schools, students, parents, and community members come together to recognize their school’s wellness achievements through fun and interactive health-promoting events. For more information on how to get involved and additional resources to help you plan an event, go to EveryKidHealthyWeek.org.


Resources
1. CarrotNewYork
CarrotNewYork specializes in developing creative education programs that help amplify your cause to reach audiences at home, at school, online, or in the community. For 35 years, its mission has been to help clients increase awareness about their brand and their cause, drive deeper engagement in schools and communities, and empower real change on a range of issues. CarrotNewYork’s team of educators, creatives, and marketers can create a customized education campaign designed to meet your needs. Learn more here. Contact Jennifer Stringer, VP of Education and Business Strategy at jennifer.stringer@carrotnewyork.com for more information.


Action Opportunities
1. Letter to Admin & Congress: Safeguard Fed Nutrition Programs
The National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO) have penned a letter reaffirming a commitment to a strong and effective national nutrition safety net for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families and calling on Congress and the President to safeguard and support these critically-important programs. National, state and local organizations are urged to join the over 1,000 organizations that have signed this letter and have demonstrated a groundswell of support for the federal nutrition programs. Follow this link to view and sign your organization (organizations only, please) onto this statement.  

2. Save the date: 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
April 9-29
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is committed to addressing structural racism in our food system. We believe that we cannot talk about and work for sustainability, food security, and economic prosperity in our region without facing the realities of discrimination and social inequity. This is an exciting opportunity to dive deep into building racial equity habits. For 21 days, we will commit to learning about the ways in which race, social justice, and our food system are connected, talk about challenging and important issues, and take action. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Pennsylvania Awards 30 Farm to School Grants
Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera has announced the awarding of Farm to School grants to schools across the state, which will provide students with access to fresh, healthy food sourced locally. Through the program, 30 awardees received grants of up to $1,000 to implement farm to school activities. (via PA.gov)

School gardens are more than a trend: What keeps them growing?
Pershing Elementary School is Dallas, Texas has found success with its school garden. “School gardens are trending, but they're trending for the right reasons. It's a lot of social, emotional balance and multisensory connections to everything you do." (via The Dallas Morning News)

School-based markets address food insecurity, healthy eating
A DC-area nonprofit is making healthy food more accessible for families and children by bringing food pantries to school. Each month, Martha’s Table invites families to shop at a free food market set up in school cafeterias. Local chefs are on hand to demonstrate healthy recipes, like massaged kale salad and lo mean with broccoli and wheat spaghetti. (via WTOP)

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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