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Honoring Juneteenth - Learning, Listening & Acting

Anna Mullen Friday, June 19, 2020

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to deliver the news that the Civil War was over and that slavery had been abolished. It's important to recognize that the Emancipation Proclamation, signed on January 1, 1863, did not immediately free all enslaved people – it took more than two years for this news of freedom to reach every part of the country. Texas was the last to find out, on June 19, 1865. 

While this Juneteenth celebrates the day 155 years ago that the last enslaved people in the United States learned that they were free, our country still has a long way to go towards realizing its claims of freedom and justice for all. At the National Farm to School Network, we acknowledge that racism, including anti-black racism, persists in our work and the farm to school movement at large. We have a responsibility and a commitment to correct this and to be an anti-racist organization. Our organizational vision is a food system centered on justice, and we know that we cannot achieve food justice without racial justice

Today, Juneteenth, we honor those that can celebrate the rich history, resilience, and joy found in the Black diaspora. Today we honor those who have fought, sacrificed, and died for justice. Today we honor those who cannot celebrate because there is still work to be done.

Today we celebrate with the Black community, including our staff, Partners, Advisors and members. And to White and non-Black people of color, we ask you to spend this day with us reflecting on the history of Juneteenth, what it symbolizes, and the work that still needs to be done to correct the lasting consequences of slavery and ensure justice for all. Here are some of the articles, videos, podcasts, and resources about Black history and resilience that our staff have been digging into and reflecting on together these past few weeks, that we hope might be helpful in your work to being an anti-racist, too. 

LISTEN & LEARN 
Read how Black Communities Have Always Used Food as Protest
. Amethyst Ganaway writes about how Black people in America have used food as a means of resistance, rebellion, and revolution for over 500 years. Here’s a snippet, relevant to our work in school food. "Noticing that most students didn’t eat or had never had breakfast before school, the [Black Panther Party] began to provide free meals for all students in their communities. Despite attempts to thwart the Free Breakfast Program, including police conducting raids while children ate, the government followed suit years later and began a similar program of their own." Read here

Watch The Hunger For Justice Series
. A Growing Culture is hosting a daylong broadcast of The Hunger for Justice Series, celebrating Black voices and the fight for justice in the food system. The broadcast, which starts at 12pm ET, will be held as a live event simulcast across A Growing Culture's digital channels, with over a dozen presenters. Watch here

Listen to Black Farmers and Scholars Talk About Resilience, Survival and Activism. Stephen Satterfield, host of the Point of Origin podcast, has two great interviews with Dr. Monica White, author of Freedom Farmers, and Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm and author of Farming While Black. Listen here

Learn about Overthrowing the Food System’s Plantation Paradigm. Ashanté Reese and Randolph Carr write about the connections between abolition, prisons and our food system. "As we continue to uplift abolitionist demands, those of us also committed to land and food work must insist on building self-determining food economies and fully commit to overturning the food system’s plantation paradigm." Read more.  

Pick a book to dig into about anti-black racism and food. Epicurious has compiled a list of books that cover the intersection of race and food, and can be helpful ways to learn about anti-Black racism in the food system. Check it out here, and find a list of Black-owned independent bookstores you can order from here.
 

ENGAGE & TAKE ACTION
Listening, learning and reflecting are just one part of the work White people must do in racial justice work. If learning does not propel us into action, then those efforts have no purpose. Here are several ideas of actions you can take to honor Juneteenth today, and into the future. 

Join a Juneteenth event in your community, or digitally. Movement for Black Lives has an easy-to-search database on in-person and virtual events happening across the country on Juneteenth. Find an event to join here.  

Support your local bail fund. Support those protesting for racial justice by donating to your local bail fund. Bail fees further repress and cause harm to communities of color already suffering from structural racism in the legal system. During protests and their aftermath, pretrial detention is often used to suppress dissent and disrupt community organizing. Donate to your local bail fund through this list compiled by the National Bail Fund Network. (Thanks to Tides, our fiscal sponsor, for calling out this opportunity.) 

Start talking. Having meaningful, and sometimes difficult, conversations with those closest to you - including family, friends, and colleagues - is essential for confronting the underlying prejudice in White communities that perpetuates racial injustice, anti-Blackness and police violence. There are many great resources available to help you have these conversations - including guides for talking to children, older students, your parents or an elder, colleagues, and advice on finding entry points for these important conversations. 

This Week in Farm to School: 6/16/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 16, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network has launched a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

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. 
COVID-19 Nourishing Neighbors Program to Support Summer Meals
Deadline: June 22 
Nourishing Neighbors (formerly known as Hunger Is), an initiative of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, has established a fund to help local families impacted by the current crisis. This new opportunity is specifically aimed at increasing participation in, and access to, the Summer Meals Programs this summer. Intermediary organizations, sponsors, and schools can apply for funding. Learn more and apply. Contact Christy.Duncan-Anderson@albertsons.com with additional questions. 

2. USDA Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
USDA NIFA's Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. NIFA requests applications for the AgVets to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The close date is June 26. Learn more and apply here.

3. COVID-19  NFSN COVID-19 Relief Fund
Deadline: July 6
Round two of the National Farm to School Network's COVID-19 Relief Fund application is now open. Organizations that seek financial support of their efforts to connect kids and their families to just food through the support of local farmers and food systems are welcome to apply. In our commitment to standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Native communities, where the coronavirus has had devastating impacts, organizations that directly serve and are led by Black people and Indigenous people will be prioritized in application review. Learn more and apply.

4. USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: July 6
USDA has announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. There is approximately $1 million available for Planning Projects and $2 million for Implementation Projects. The close date is July 6. Learn more and apply here.

5. COVID-19 Reinvestment Fund's 2020 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program
Deadline: July 10
The 2020 HFFI round has $3 million in grant funds available (grants from $20,000-$200,000) for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill. A webinar will be held on June 2 at 2 p.m. EST to confirm details about the application process and answer questions. No registration is required to join and a recording of the webinar will be accessible using the same link. Learn more and apply here


WEBINARS & EVENTS
1. EQUITY Interview with Ervin Watson on Implicit Bias and Inclusion
June 17 // 7 PM ET
Join Dalia Kinsey, RD, LD, SNS in an interview with Ervin Watson about implicit bias and inclusion. This will be a safe space for asking questions about bias and working toward change. 
Watch the interview live and interact in the chat either on Youtube or Facebook

2. Prescott College's Food Systems Friday Webinar Series
June 19 // 12 PM PDT
Join Dr. Robin Currey, Director of the MS in Sustainable Food Systems program at Prescott College, as the "Food Systems Fridays" series moderator for Episode 11 of Food Systems Friday. Learn more and register. Recordings of past webinars in the series are also available here

3. EQUITY White Fragility Conversation Group
June 24 // 4pm ET
What is white fragility? And how does it show up at your farm? Watch this video from Dr. Robin Diangelo, author of White Fragility, then join this discussion space with the Farm-Based Education Network. Register here

4. EQUITY Justice in Farm-Based Education: Roundtable Discussion
June 25 // 4pm ET
How can the Farm-Based Education Network support you as you identify and dismantle oppressive systems in your farm community? Join the Roundtable Discussion, facilitated by the Farm-Based Education Network, to share your thoughts. Register here. 

5. Webinar: Resources for Cultivating Conservation
June 18 // 1PM CT
Join the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service for a unique session with women conservationists as they discuss how to make a conservation plan for your land, find resources, and access funding to protect your land for future generations. Learn more and register.

6.  EQUITY Webinar: HEAL Food Alliance: BIPOC Producers - Sowing the Seeds of Liberation
June 18 // 1 PM ET
Join HEAL Food Alliance in a discussion based on the second plank of HEAL’s Platform for Real Food, Opportunity for all Producers. The webinar will address:  
-How the legacy of colonization and enslavement has shaped the US food and farm system today;
-Challenges and opportunities faced by farmers and fishers who are Black, Indigenous and People of color (BIPOC); and
-Ways to support BIPOC transforming our food and farm system
Register.

7. EQUITY Community Dialogue and Story Session with Lillie Pearl Allen and Delma Jackson III
June 19 // 3PM ET
Join the Center for Whole Communities for a dialogue and story session about liberation: dreamed and realized, internal and structural, for black lives and beyond. Learn more and register.

8. COVID-19 Webinar: Planning for the Worst: What Municipal Food Policy Leaders Are Learning From the COVID-19 Pandemic
June 22 // 2PM ET
Join the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks for a panel discussion with food policy leaders from four cities who will talk about their experiences managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The presenters all hold positions within government and are members of the United States Conference of Mayors food policy working group. Learn more and register.

9. COVID-19 EQUITY Live Broadcast Series: The Hunger for Justice
A Growing Culture is hosting weekly live broadcasts with activists at the frontlines of the food movement and COVID-19 - a series called The Hunger for Justice. Watch past episodes and learn about upcoming ones here

10. COVID-19 EQUITY Virtual Intertribal Food Summit
June 20, 2020
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) has announced its Inaugural Virtual Intertribal Food Summit to be held Saturday, June 20 in the wake of challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants can attend this no-cost, virtual event across multiple platforms, including the live roundtable discussions via Zoom and Facebook Live. Presentation recordings will be available on YouTube, as well as on IAC’s new, “Resiliency through Agriculture E-Learning Platform." Register here


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 EQUITY Backgrounder: How Food Sovereignty Activists See The Crisis as a Pivotal Moment for Change
This new special edition Backgrounder from FoodFirst covers the experiences and insights of farmers and farmworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is all shining a light on the fact our food system has to be changed. What exists is good for a market-based economy, but it’s not good for people." Read more

2. COVID-19 NFSN Local Food in COVID-19 Response and Recovery
This fact sheet outlines some of the promising practices that school nutrition providers, early care and education centers, community partners, and state agencies have seen during COVID-19 while supporting local farmers and producers in accessing markets, while supporting families in accessing healthy food. View the resource.

3. COVID-19 NFSN The Significance of Farm to Early Care and Education in the Context of COVID-19
As always, farm to ECE is a tool to meet the goals, vision, and values of an ECE. Included in this factsheet are reasons farm to ECE is even more relevant during a pandemic and a post-pandemic world in supporting providers in meeting the needs of children and families. This information can provide talking points and help you connect to interested providers, families, communities, and stakeholders to help build or rebuild farm to ECE initiatives and activities.
View the resource.

4. COVID-19 New Resources: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time for Children During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
The United States Department of Agriculture is working with state child nutrition agencies to provide safe and flexible meal service to children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These tip sheets provide information about using bulk foods and distributing multiple meals at a time.
1) For the Child and Adult Care Food Program
2) For the Summer Food Service Program
3) For the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program

5. Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) Resiliency through Agriculture: E-Learning Platform  
This resource is an ongoing learning-in-motion platform for everyone interested in broadening their agricultural horizons with pragmatic, applicable ideas that can be brought home to improve the lives of Tribal members across the country. The E-Learning Platform is accessible through a web browser or mobile app by either downloading and installing the Mighty Networks app from your mobile device’s app store. Learn more.

6. Film: Fertile Ground
Fertile Ground takes a look at the extensive impact that industrial food systems currently have on Americans. The film follows advocates in Jackson, Mississippi who are using localized efforts to address food insecurity in under-served communities, shining a light on the potential for a healthier future through efforts to convert to communal, localized food systems. View the trailer. View the film. Learn more.

7. Call for Proposal: Transforming School Food Politics Around the World
Deadline: July 15
Sarah Robert and Jennifer Gaddis seek contributions for a second volume, tentatively titled Transforming School Food Politics Around the World. This edited volume will contain a curated collection of case studies that can help scholars, activists, policymakers, and students envision and create school food programs that are fair, culturally relevant, healthy, and sustainable.  View the full call for proposals. 

8. Podcast: Food Sleuth Radio 
Thursdays // 5PM CT
On June 18, hear from Judy Juanita, MFA, former Black Panther member as she describes the Panthers' free breakfast program for poor children, the historical struggles of Black people in the U.S., and food's role in promoting social justice in the Berkeley Food Institute keynote: "Black Liberation and the Food Movement." View archives here

9. Article: Online Grocery Shopping by NYC Public Housing Residents Using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits: A Service Ecosystems Perspective
This paper examines adoption of online grocery shopping, and potential cost and time savings compared to brick and mortar food retailers, by New York City public housing residents using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Read more.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are grounded in a central goal of continuing to advance towards strong, just local and regional food systems. There is a need for immediate relief to the people most impacted by this crisis, while building towards longer-term policies that strengthen a resilient, just food system. As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. Our federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice by endorsing our federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate for key food systems priorities on Capitol Hill. Sign on here

2. COVID-19 USDA Extends Additional Flexibility for Feeding Children
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced a nationwide extension of another key flexibility for USDA’s child nutrition programs. This waiver allows local partners the ability to continue serving free meals to all children – regardless of where they live – through August 31. Read more here


In The News
How Food Hubs and Co-Ops Are Overcoming the USDA Farm Box Program’s Flaws
Despite a botched launch and execution, some small distributors are making big strides in supporting small farms and feeding hungry people. (Civil Eats)

UC Davis Professor Says Food Should Be Integral Part of School Curriculum
“Food for thought” shouldn’t just be a thought; it should be an integral part of any school curriculum,” says UC Davis agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen, an associate professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. In a newly published article on “The School of Food” in Futurum, Nansen advocates that all school curricula be “rooted in a single dominator: food.” (Daily Democrat)

Colorado State Joins National Team Studying Pandemic’s Effects on Local Food Systems
Colorado State University food systems researchers are sharing in a $1 million cooperative research agreement to conduct a national study on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on local food systems. Some of the major partners include the Farmers Market Coalition; the National Farm to School Network; the National Grocers Association and the James Beard Foundation. (Colorado State University)

Uncertainty Persists Around Fall School Meal Distribution
With deadlines approaching on U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers that eased food distribution program rules for school districts while buildings were closed during the 2019-20 school year, uncertainty remains as to how meal programs should plan for the fall amid the threat of a second wave of coronavirus. (Education Dive)

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 Grants $45,000 to Nine Projects in First Round of COVID-19 Relief Fund

NFSN Staff Friday, June 12, 2020

Photo credit, left to right: Guåhan Sustainable Culture, CentroNía, Linden Tree Photography (courtesy Georgia Organics).
National Farm to School Network is pleased to announce the first round of grants awarded from our COVID-19 Relief Fund. Nine organizations will receive a $5,000 grant to support their efforts helping kids and families continue eating, growing and learning about just and sustainable food – and farmers continuing to produce and supply it – during this global pandemic. 

As an organization rooted in a vision of a just food system, National Farm to School Network is committed to ensuring that the resources of our COVID-19 Relief Fund reach and impact communities that have been systematically underserved and disproportionately affected by this pandemic. This specifically includes and prioritizes Black, Indigenous, Latinx, immigrant and other communities of color. Our current food system is a legacy of exploitation and racism, and the pandemic – as well as current protests in support of Black Americans – have only further magnified the injustices that persist in the ways our country approaches food. As a grantmaker, we have a responsibility to use our resources in ways that will correct these injustices and serve those who have been underserved for too long. We are proud to be able to support the efforts of these nine organizations in meeting the urgent needs of their communities: 

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
Brooklyn, New York
To support Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s local food distribution efforts, which includes purchasing food directly from regional distributors, New York Black farmers, and Central Brooklyn growers, and utilizing existing infrastructure to aggregate and pack farm share bags offered to families free of charge. 

CentroNía
Washington, DC
To fund three weeks of CentroNía’s food assistance efforts, including local produce and nonperishable items, for 165 families in Washington, DC, and Takoma Park, Mayland experiencing food insecurity.

Fairfax County Public Schools, Food and Nutrition Services 
Springfield, Virginia
To support Fairfax County Public Schools in purchasing local fruits and vegetables from Mid-Atlantic growers and distribute fresh produce to children and families throughout the summer; and, to help fund the expansion of a farm to school focused, home learning initiative—FCPS Grow at Home—to reach students across its 63 emergency meal sites. 

Fond du Lac Ojibwe Schools - Farm to School
Nagaajiwanaang - Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Minnesota)
To purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and other locally produced and traditional food products for the Ojibwe School’s Food Program, and to support the ongoing procurement and educational activities of its farm to school efforts. 

Georgia Organics
Atlanta, Georgia
To support Georgia Organics in providing fresh, local produce and educational materials to families in need while supporting local small, minority and disadvantaged farmers in Clayton County and Hall County.   

Guåhan Sustainable Culture
Barrigada, Guam
To expand the “Supporting Farmers, Sustaining Families” initiative from 100 families to 200 families per week for the next two months, which includes purchasing fresh produce from local producers and supplies like coolers and packaging materials to safely transport and distribute food. 

Sprout City Farms
Denver, Colorado 
To support Sprout City Farms in launching a mobile farm stand and food pantry in order to continue feeding Denver Green School students and their families, especially those that are sheltering in place and/or experiencing transportation barriers to fresh food access. 

Steam Onward Inc
Accokeek, Maryland
To support Steam Onward’s FARMMACY Project, which works with youth to provide seeds, tilling services, and gardening consultation and resources free of charge to families and seniors as a way to supplement their diet with fresh vegetables and improve food security. 

YouthWorks
Santa Fe, New Mexico
To support YouthWorks’ ongoing emergency food distribution throughout northern New Mexico, its Culinary Training Program, and its support of young people growing food for the community. 

The urgent need to support hunger relief efforts and local food systems goes far beyond what we have been able to support in this first round of funding. We received over $1 million in requests for support from 119 organizations during the first request period. We need your help to meet this demand. 

Our COVID-19 Relief Fund is made possible by the generous support of small donors like you who share our vision of farm to school and farm to ECE programs supporting strong and just local and regional food systems that strengthen the health of all children, farms, environment, economy and communities across the country. If you’re able, please give today to help us grow our Relief Fund and support our COVID-19 response efforts. Thank you to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the many individual donors in our network for your financial support of this first round of grants. 

Donate Now

Round two of our COVID-19 Relief Fund application is now open. Organizations that seek financial support of their efforts to connect kids and their families to just food through the support of local farmers and food systems are welcome to apply. In our commitment to standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Native communities, where the coronavirus has had devastating impacts, organizations that directly serve and are led by Black people and Indigenous people will be prioritized in application review.

West Virginia’s COVID-19 Response Builds Long-Term Resilience for Local Food System

NFSN Staff Thursday, June 11, 2020

By Olivia Wein, NFSN Programs and Policy Intern

The landscape of food and education changed quickly when COVID-19 became an inextricable part of everyone’s lives. Communities had to shift and make drastic changes as schools and businesses closed their doors. In order to ensure children had continued access to meals, stakeholders had to rapidly and creatively adjust to the new circumstances. With the help of strong community partnerships, innovation and willingness to collaborate from the state to the local level, communities in West Virginia have made tremendous headway in not only continuing to provide meals for children across the state, but also maintaining markets for farmers, and supporting food businesses in their communities. Sector lines have started to blur as communities come together to build and leverage resiliency in their local food system.  

When businesses and schools started closing, West Virginia’s Office of Child Nutrition partnered with communities to establish 505 feeding sites across the state. The strong partnerships rooted in these communities made it possible for children and families to access bagged lunches from a variety of locations. Not only did the Office of Child Nutrition want to ensure kids were being fed, but that they maintained highly nutritious meals while continuing to source locally from producers during the pandemic.
 

Setting up for distribution at Madison Elementary School. Photo credit: Grow Ohio Valley
Producers sent out weekly updates of local items that were available and the Office of Child Nutrition supported coordinated delivery of those items to regional distribution sites so the products could make their way to grab and go meals. In the beginning weeks, it took a period of trial and error in order to assess the best methods of creating grab-n-go style meals while incorporating local ingredients that would withstand the holding conditions during distributions. With time and patient collaboration, school districts and producers were able to successfully meet the goals of feeding kids with local products. 

While the state worked on broader distribution, local partners were building innovative collaborations and leveraging community resources, creativity, and talent to further support community members. Grow Ohio Valley (GrowOV), a community-based non-profit working to advance economic prosperity, improved health, and a better environment, partnered with West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC), Ohio County Schools, and local chefs to launch the Restaurant-to-School program in early weeks of the pandemic. 

Staff from Sarah's on Main, local eatery in Wheeling, WV preparing meals in WV Northern Community College teaching kitchen. Photo credit: Grow Ohio Valley
The program utilized WVNCC kitchen space and equipment to allow chefs and staff from local restaurants to create meals to distribute to Ohio County students. This innovative partnership not only helped to provide local kids with nutritious meals, but also helped support local restaurants by keeping employees paid. About 75% of each meal was paid for with funding from USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), with remaining costs covered by other community partnerships. Restaurant owners have been busy preparing meals using locally-sourced fruits and vegetables and delivering meals to school sites for daily distribution. In the last few weeks, two more counties have teamed up with local restaurants to build out similar models. 

As schools shift to summer feeding programs, West Virginia will continue to build on these solid partnerships and lessons learned in establishing these programs. The Office of Child Nutrition will continue to encourage and facilitate counties in maintaining relationships with local producers and implementing creative community based opportunities to reach children and families with local food. This includes providing funding to feature local products in grab and go “farmers market bags” to supplement grab and go summer meals. West Virginia has seen great program and partnership successes that will continue through the summer months. For example, two counties had partnered with a closed state park (Cacapon State Park) as a location for food distribution sites and other counties are launching on-site farmers markets at their summer feeding sites. By building on strong existing cross-sector relationships and leveraging resources and talent, from the state to the local level, West Virginia children, families, producers, and food businesses are benefiting in the immediacy while building long-term resilience in local community food systems. 
@yourfriendishere

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♬ Shooting Stars - Bag Raiders

This Week in Farm to School: 6/9/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 09, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network has launched a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

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. COVID-19 NEA Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Deadline: June 11
The purpose of the NEA Foundation’s Rapid Response Funding is to support educator-led initiatives to adapt to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer months of 2020. Among other initiatives, this may include meeting the nutritional needs of students who rely on school meals and school-based summer feeding programs. These grants will be awarded for a six-month grant period and for amounts of $1,500 to $5,000. Applicants must be teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel and must be current NEA members. Learn more here.

2. COVID-19 United Philanthropy Forum's Momentum Fund
Deadline: June 18
The Momentum Fund will provide grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that are managing an active COVID-19 fund. The grants will help these organizations build their capacity so that they can effectively grow, promote, manage and sustain their funds (whether they need to add new staff, access consulting expertise, acquire new software, etc.). Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $100,000 and a total of $8.5 million will be awarded. Learn more and apply.

3. USDA Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
USDA NIFA's Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. NIFA requests applications for the AgVets to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The close date is June 26. Learn more and apply here.

4. USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: July 6
USDA has announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. There is approximately $1 million available for Planning Projects and $2 million for Implementation Projects. The close date is July 6. Learn more and apply here.

5. COVID-19 Reinvestment Fund's 2020 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program
Deadline: July 10
The 2020 HFFI round has $3 million in grant funds available (grants from $20,000-$200,000) for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill. A webinar will be held on June 2 at 2 p.m. EST to confirm details about the application process and answer questions. No registration is required to join and a recording of the webinar will be accessible using the same link. Learn more and apply here

6. COVID-19 Nourishing Neighbors Program to Support Summer Meals
Deadline: June 22 
Nourishing Neighbors (formerly known as Hunger Is), an initiative of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, has established a fund to help local families impacted by the current crisis. This new opportunity is specifically aimed at increasing participation in, and access to, the Summer Meals Programs this summer. Intermediary organizations, sponsors, and schools can apply for funding. Learn more and apply. Contact Christy.Duncan-Anderson@albertsons.com with additional questions. 


WEBINARS & EVENTS
1. EQUITY Webinar: Farming for Justice: From Gun Violence to Homesteading
June 10 // 12pm ET
Farmer Chantel Johnson will speak about her journey, from surviving the impacts of gun violence to creating and operating Off Grid in Color, a farming business that uses sustainability as a tool for healing and building intentional community. As a farmer, a doula and a counselor with a Masters degree in social work, Chantel embraces holistic practices including agriculture, restorative living and the power of healing. This webinar is hosted by Groundswell. Register here. 

2. Webinar: Maintaining Mental Wellness During Difficult Times (In Spanish)
June 10 // 5-7pm ET
Action for Healthy Kids is partnering with Alma Consulting Services to host a virtual Spanish-language workshop on June 10. Parents and families will learn how to handle stressful situations, prevent conflict, manage emotions and practice self-care techniques to maintain family harmony during these times. 

Manteniendo el Bienestar Mental en Nuestro Hogar Durante Tiempos Difíciles
Taller virtual para padres y familiares
10 de junio // 5-7 pm Este
Organizado por Action for Healthy Kids y presentado en español por Chely Romero de Alma Consulting Services. Vea los detalles y regístrese.

3. COVID-19 Webinar: A Shared Narrative in COVID-19 and Beyond
June 11 // 2pm ET
This webinar, hosted by Blue Sky Funders Forum will feature opportunities for organizations to message the importance of their work during COVID-19 and beyond through the Rethink Outside shared narrative. Learn more and register.

4. COVID-19 Webinar: Meeting Students’ Nutritional Needs Next School Year
June 11 // 3pm ET
Many states and school districts are beginning to plan for how to safely reopen schools in the fall. Ensuring access to school meals is a large part of this conversation. Due to the impact of COVID-19, it will be more important than ever to collaborate with district and community stakeholders to implement best practices to ensure students have continued access to the nutrition they need to thrive. Join this webinar, hosted by FRAC, to learn what’s included in the CDC's Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools, in regards to school meals, and best practices your school district can implement to meet the needs of students, including operating innovative service models and community eligibility. Register here

5. Webinar: The Essentials of Accessibility: School and Community Gardens June 16 // 1pm EST
This presentation from the University of Maine and Maine AgrAbility Program will discuss planning for school and community gardens for all users including those of all ages and abilities. The presentation includes concepts on making the garden an enjoyable destination and how assistive technology in the form of adaptive garden tools can help. Learn more and register.

6. COVID-19 Webinar: Green Schoolyards In a Post COVID-19 Era
June 18 // 2pm ET
Green schoolyards are an exceptional use of public space, creating equitable access to green space, providing places to play and learn during school time, and offering community access out-of-school time. Cities Connecting Children to Nature brings together experts from the Children & Nature Network, Landscape Architecture Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and the Austin Green School Parks program to understand what is happening with schoolyards in the face of COVID-19, and what we should aim for post-COVID-19. Register here.  

7. Webinar: Planning for the Reopening of Schools: The Importance of School Nutrition & District Leadership Relationships
June 11 // 2PM EST
As districts think through what the reopening of schools will look like, school meals must remain a service kids and families can count on. Whatever phase of back-to-school planning your district is in, it is vital to include all key stakeholders, including school nutrition leadership, to create a comprehensive and compatible plan that will best equip schools for reopening. In this interview-style webinar, you'll hear directly from a school nutrition director, superintendent and school board president about how they have worked together in the past and how they are working together now to maintain a robust child nutrition program. Learn more and register.

8. Webinar: Food Procurement for a More Just Food System
June 18 // 11am PDT
How can we use food procurement policy to drive health equity?
Join ChangeLab Solutions on discussing how institutional food purchasing can be used to build a more just food system and promote economic and health equity. Learn more and register.

9. Prescott College's Food Systems Friday Webinars
June 19 // 12pm PDT
Join Dr. Robin Currey, Director of the MS in Sustainable Food Systems program at Prescott College, as the "Food Systems Fridays" series moderator for Episode 11 of Food Systems Friday. Learn more and register.


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Producers should apply through the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center.

2. Farm to Table: A Play on Farm to School at Home
View Action for Healthy Kids' resource for adapting farm to school to farm to school at home!

3. COVID-19 Join Heal Food Alliance's Call to Actions for Worker Safety
Nearly 25,000 food workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Workers nationwide are calling for an emergency OSHA standard that gives them workplace protections. Learn more here.

4. The Movement for Black Lives' Week of Action
Racial justice is food justice. Stay in the know with M4BL's week of action and other advocacy efforts. Learn more.

5. COVID-19 CDC and Department of Labor Release COVID-19 Related Guidance for Agriculture Workers, Employers
This guidance provides a template of action to protect agriculture workers from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Agricultural employers can adopt these recommendations to protect workers at their particular work sites or in specific work or in specific work operations. View the resource.

6. COVID-19 New USDA Resource for Nonprofits Seeking Food Assistance Support
Nonprofit organizations seeking to receive food through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program can learn more about the program overview and Frequently Asked Questions available at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website. 

7. Article: Implementation of a Multi-Component School Lunch Environmental Change Intervention to Improve Child Fruit and Vegetable Intake: A Mixed-Methods Study
Nudge interventions are widely used to promote health in schools, yet implementation metrics are seldom used to understand intervention outcomes. A multi-component intervention consisting of cafeteria decorations, creative names, social norming taste tests, and flavor station components was implemented in three rural elementary school cafeterias by school nutrition services (SNS) and extension staff. Read more.

8. Vidigrow Home Gardening Videos for Parents and Kids
View Vidigrow's simple gardening activities to the school curriculum and big issues in food and farming. The videos are targeted at ages 6-12 and can be found on the Vidigrow YouTube channel. Each session is designed to work at home or in school, and *no garden is required*.

9. EQUITY COVID-19 BIPOC-Led How To Videos, Gardening Projects and Online Learning Resources
Soul Fire Farm has compiled a comprehensive list of how to videos and other online resources learning developed by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on a variety of food, farming and gardening projects. These are great resources to reference for distance agriculture education. View the list here

10. EQUITY A List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens
The United Black Library has compiled a list of black-owned farms and food gardens across the country. Nationally, Black-owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms. See the list here.

11. COVID-19 Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s Farm Finance Support Videos (Spanish)
MSU Extension has created videos on labor challenges, the Families First Act, Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Spanish speaking farmers financially affected by Covid-19. View the video series.

12. COVID-19 USDA's Seamless Summer Option: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Under nationwide non-congregate feeding and meal time waivers, state agencies may allow school food authorities to provide more than one day’s worth of meals to eligible children via a single meal pick-up or delivery. View USDA's comprehensive resource on considerations, tips, best practices, and sample menus for the National School Lunch Program: Seamless Summer Option operators who wish to distribute multiple meals at one time. Access the resource.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are grounded in a central goal of continuing to advance towards strong, just local and regional food systems. There is a need for immediate relief to the people most impacted by this crisis, while building towards longer-term policies that strengthen a resilient, just food system. As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. Our federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice by endorsing our federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate for key food systems priorities on Capitol Hill. Sign on here.

2. COVID-19 Take Action to Support CACFP in The HEROES Act
Send a letter to the Senate and the White House to support provisions that would provide financial relief for the CACFP Community including child care providers, centers, afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations. Take action here.

3. COVID-19 Policy Brief: Food and Farm Worker Protections Critical to COVID-19 Pandemic Response
A new policy statement from Johns Hopkins University experts is calling for urgent action to protect food and agriculture workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

4. COVID-19 School Nutrition Group to USDA: Provide Free Meals for All Students in 2020-21
Two more waivers allowing schools’ grab-and-go meal sites to operate are set to expire at the end of this month unless the U.S. Department of Agriculture extends them. Meanwhile, the School Nutrition Association is asking the USDA to extend 11 school meal waivers through the 2020-21 school year and provide all students with free meals. Read more.

5. COVID-19 'Not Moving Fast Enough': Millions of Children Still Without Food Aid
Millions of low-income school children are still waiting to receive federal help to buy food, even as the number of families having trouble affording groceries skyrockets. Read more.


In The News
COVID-19 Opinion: Purchasing Farm-To-Table Foods During the Pandemic Is Important
The pandemic has the power to change our relationship with food. (LA Times)

This New Site Shows Parents How to Cook Healthy, Quick, Affordable Meals
It's not easy to make healthy, quick, and affordable meals day after day, which is why so many people turn to fast food when the kids are hungry and time and the budget are both tight. Instead of wishing that kids would eat healthy mostly plant-based meals, Arielle Kestenbaum, a Registered Dietitian and certified nutritionist, launched Fare Meals by Arielle, a resource designed to help parents of young kids feed their families nutrient-dense meals on a budget. (The Beet)

COVID-19 School Lunch Programs Are Losing Millions Feeding Hungry Kids; They Could Be Broke by Fall
Still in emergency mode, school nutrition directors like Shenae Rowe, whose program has lost $500,000 since March, say they’re too overwhelmed to even begin thinking about what they’ll do when schools reopen in the fall. “Honestly, we haven’t been able to get past looking at today, day by day and week by week,” Rowe said. “We just keep going.” (USA Today)

COVID-19 Kids Could Go Hungry This Summer With School Lunch Programs in Peril
Anti-hunger advocates are warning that children won’t have access to the food they need during the summer months unless the Trump administration loosens rules for school meal programs. (Washington Post)

Local Tennessee Food Network Launches Farm to Pre-School Program
Nourishing Connection programming includes training teachers to access and implement Farm to Preschool curricula, educational outreach to parents and educators, and planting different crops three times per year. All materials and programming are provided at no cost to the programs involved thanks to multiple funders. (NWTOWN Today

COVID-19 Opinion: Why Covid-19 Threatens Military Readiness — and How School Lunch Can Help
The pandemic has exposed flaws in the federal school and summer lunch program, but we can fix them. (Politico)


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: 6/2/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 02, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network has launched a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

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. COVID-19 NEA Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Deadline: June 11
The purpose of the NEA Foundation’s Rapid Response Funding is to support educator-led initiatives to adapt to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer months of 2020. Among other initiatives, this may include meeting the nutritional needs of students who rely on school meals and school-based summer feeding programs. These grants will be awarded for a six-month grant period and for amounts of $1,500 to $5,000. Applicants must be teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel and must be current NEA members. Learn more here.

2. COVID-19 Action for Healthy Kids: Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment Grants
These grants provide funds for additional equipment to create “grab and go” curbside meal pickups at schools and other locations within the community. School districts (not individual schools) providing meals during school closures as a result of COVID-19 may apply for as many sites/schools that can use equipment. Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis until all funds are awarded. Learn more and apply here.

3. COVID-19 United Philanthropy Forum's Momentum Fund
Deadline: June 18
The Momentum Fund will provide grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that are managing an active COVID-19 fund. The grants will help these organizations build their capacity so that they can effectively grow, promote, manage and sustain their funds (whether they need to add new staff, access consulting expertise, acquire new software, etc.). Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $100,000 and a total of $8.5 million will be awarded. Learn more and apply.

4. USDA Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
USDA NIFA's Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. NIFA requests applications for the AgVets to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The close date is June 26. Learn more and apply here.

5. USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: July 6
USDA has announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. There is approximately $1 million available for Planning Projects and $2 million for Implementation Projects. The close date is July 6. Learn more and apply here.

6. COVID-19 Reinvestment Fund's 2020 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program
Deadline: July 10
The 2020 HFFI round has $3 million in grant funds available (grants from $20,000-$200,000) for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill. A webinar will be held on June 2 at 2 p.m. EST to confirm details about the application process and answer questions. No registration is required to join and a recording of the webinar will be accessible using the same link. Learn more and apply here.


WEBINARS & EVENTS
1. Webinar Series: Rise Up and Root Deep
June 3 // 1pm ET
The National Black Leadership Commission on Health is presenting a 3-part webinar series, "Rise Up and Root Deep." Part 2 will share how a youth group in Harlem is changing lives and growing community. The webinar is facilitated by Karen Washington, Farmer and Activities, with guest speaker Nando Rodriquez, Brotherhood SisterSol. Register here

2. Webinar: USDA's Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
June 3 // 2pm ET
USDA is hosting webinars to explain the purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for applying for recent opportunities from the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. $3 million is available for competitive grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.  Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 6, 2020 through Grants.gov. Learn more and register. Recordings of the webinars will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.

3. Webinar: USDA Rural Development Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program
June 3 // 2pm ET
View this webinar for stakeholders and the public from USDA on the B&I CARES Act Program which offers loan guarantees to rural businesses and agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans. Learn more and register.

4. COVID-19 Webinar: How Navajo Nation SoPL Leaders Are Advocating, Organizing and Farming During COVID-19
June 4 // 12pm ET
Join the HEAL Food Alliance's webinar for a timely conversation on priorities and challenges related to food and farming systems in Navajo Nation during the pandemic, and ongoing organizing and advocacy efforts by community members. Register here.

5. Webinar: USDA's Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction
June 4 // 2pm ET
USDA is hosting webinars to explain the purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for applying for recent opportunities from the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. $900,000 is available for local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot project for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The cooperative agreements will support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 26, 2020 through Grants.gov. Learn more and register. Recordings of the webinars will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.

6. Webinar: Serving the Whole Household through Community Partnerships
June 9 // 2pm ET
Join No Kid Hungry to learn about how schools and community partners in Charlotte, NC are working together to meet the needs of children and their families, with special attention given to hard-to-reach and immigrant communities. Register here.

7. COVID-19 Webinar: A Shared Narrative in COVID-19 and Beyond
June 11 // 2pm ET
This webinar, hosted by Blue Sky Funders Forum will feature opportunities for organizations to message the importance of their work during COVID-19 and beyond through the Rethink Outside shared narrative. Learn more and register.

8. COVID-19 Webinar: Green Schoolyards In a Post COVID-19 Era
June 18 // 2pm ET
Green schoolyards are an exceptional use of public space, creating equitable access to green space, providing places to play and learn during school time, and offering community access out-of-school time. Cities Connecting Children to Nature brings together experts from the Children & Nature Network, Landscape Architecture Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and the Austin Green School Parks program to understand what is happening with schoolyards in the face of COVID-19, and what we should aim for post-COVID-19. Register here


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY COVID-19 BIPOC-Led How To Videos, Gardening Projects and Online Learning Resources
Soul Fire Farm has compiled a comprehensive list of how to videos and other online resources learning developed by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on a variety of food, farming and gardening projects. These are great resources to reference for distance agriculture education. View the list here

2. EQUITY A List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens
The United Black Library has compiled a list of black-owned farms and food gardens across the country. Nationally, Black-owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms. See the list here

3. COVID-19 Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s Farm Finance Support Videos (Spanish)
MSU Extension has created videos on labor challenges, the Families First Act, Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Spanish speaking farmers financially affected by Covid-19. View the video series.

4. COVID-19 New Resources for Producers Applying for USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Payments
As of May 26, USDA’s Farm Service Administration will begin accepting applications from producers for aid through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Please see this brief from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition with information about the program to help producers determine whether applying makes sense for them. Funding is first-come-first-served. Read more here.

5. COVID-19 USDA's Seamless Summer Option: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Under nationwide non-congregate feeding and meal time waivers, state agencies may allow school food authorities to provide more than one day’s worth of meals to eligible children via a single meal pick-up or delivery. View USDA's comprehensive resource on considerations, tips, best practices, and sample menus for the National School Lunch Program: Seamless Summer Option operators who wish to distribute multiple meals at one time. Access the resource.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are grounded in a central goal of continuing to advance towards strong, just local and regional food systems. There is a need for immediate relief to the people most impacted by this crisis, while building towards longer-term policies that strengthen a resilient, just food system. As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. Our federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice by endorsing our federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate for key food systems priorities on Capitol Hill. Sign on here.

2. COVID-19 Take Action to Support CACFP in The HEROES Act
Send a letter to the Senate and the White House to support provisions that would provide financial relief for the CACFP Community including child care providers, centers, afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations. Take action here.

3. COVID-19 Policy Brief: Food and Farm Worker Protections Critical to COVID-19 Pandemic Response
A new policy statement from Johns Hopkins University experts is calling for urgent action to protect food and agriculture workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.


In The News
EQUITY Groups Supporting Food and Land Justice for Black Americans
Civil eats has compiled a listed of organizations working to strengthen food justice, land access, and food access in the Black community. (Civil Eats

EQUITY Podcast: Not Being Racist with Leah Penniman
Leah Penniman, farmer at Soul Fire Farm and author of Farming While Black, talks about three pillars of anti-racism work - education, reparations, and amplification of the efforts and demands of BIPOC - and shares resources on how to begin engaging in anti-racism work on The Best Advice Show. This is a short, 4 minute listen with lots of great links in the show notes. Listen here

EQUITY We Don't Farm Because It's Trendy; We Farm as Resistance, for Healing and Sovereignty
Ashley Gripper, a PhD Candidate in the Environmental Health Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has written an essay on how for more than 150 years, Black people have used farming to build self-determined communities and resist oppressive structures that tear them down. (Environmental Health Network)

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.

There Is No Food Justice Without Racial Justice

Anna Mullen Sunday, May 31, 2020

By Helen Dombalis, NFSN Executive Director
 
Racism is older than our country, and it’s long past time we change it. I, like many of you, have been grieving over the senseless murders of Black Americans for no other reason than the color of their skin. As a white woman in America, I know I would have walked away with my life while George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other Black Americans leave in body bags. I also know that I have a responsibility as the Executive Director of the National Farm to School Network and as a white woman in a position of privilege to not just be an ally for equity but an active participant in the fight for justice. We cannot stand by while Black people continue to lose their lives to police violence and racism. 

My values and our collective vision at the National Farm to School Network support a food system centered on justice, and we know that we cannot achieve food justice if we're not willing to do racial justice work. 

Our current food system is a legacy of exploitation and racism - land stolen from Native people, a US agricultural empire built on the backs of enslaved Africans, today’s farmworkers being predominantly underpaid immigrant and migrant Latinx workers, and many of the school food professionals that feed our kids being Women of Color who earn less than a living wage. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, People of Color and Immigrants are the backbone of our food system and ensure we can eat. They’re also a constant target of racist acts and violence. 
 
If you are White, saying you are not racist is not enough. Institutional racism and structural racism are at play in our communities, destroying the fabric of human good, and we must dismantle this. Children of Color participating in school meal programs have been publicly shamed when they lack the funds to pay for their meals. Black and Latinx youth have substantially higher rates of obesity than their white peers, as do Indigenous youth. Our national policies do not equitably commit resources to feeding our children, our future. People of Color are disproportionately represented on the frontlines of COVID-19 response and in our food system as essential workers, and are dying at higher rates due to the prevalence of underlying health conditions - a direct result of systemic inequities in access to healthy food options, health care and safe working conditions. And in the case of police brutality and murder, People of Color are killed by police at higher per capita rates than White people. Structural racism allows these sobering statistics to become normalized, accepted and perpetuated.
 
Personally, as a mother, I am constantly fighting cultural racism, where Whiteness is idolized in books, movies, dolls and toys, undervaluing and dehumanizing People of Color. My daughter and I discuss how all people hope for our future, need the same love, and feel the same pain.
 
I am committed to leading the National Farm to School Network as an anti-racist organization. As a predominantly White-led organization, we cannot be silent allies. There is no food justice without racial justice. The lives of all Black people who have lost their lives to violence and racism matter. National Farm to School Network stands in support of those demanding police reform and justice, and I want you to stand with us. Speak up, act boldly and demand justice.  

On an individual level, here are things we can all do: 
Racism will not stop, nor will our children and our future be more peaceful and something we’re proud of, unless we take action. #BlackLivesMatter. #DemandJustice

This Week in Farm to School: 5/26/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 26, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network has launched a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

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. COVID-19 Action for Healthy Kids: Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment Grants
These grants provide funds for additional equipment to create “grab and go” curbside meal pickups at schools and other locations within the community. School districts (not individual schools) providing meals during school closures as a result of COVID-19 may apply for as many sites/schools that can use equipment. Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis until all funds are awarded. Learn more and apply here

2. USDA AMS Local Food Grant Programs
TODAY! Deadline: May 26
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) pushed back the deadlines of its key local food grant programs by three weeks to May 26, due to COVID-19. These include Farmers Market Promotion Program, Local Food Promotion Program, and Regional Food System Partnerships.

3. USDA AMS Seeks Grant Reviewers
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) seeks subject matter experts as peer reviewers to objectively evaluate grant applications against the published criteria in its competitive grant programs’ Requests for Applications. Given the sector’s great need for these resources, AMS is aiming to avoid delays on announcing its key local food grants awards, to the extent possible. They are seeking grant reviewers to assist in the upcoming review process. Learn more and apply here.

4. USDA Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
USDA NIFA's Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. NIFA requests applications for the AgVets to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The close date is June 26. Learn more and apply here

5. USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: July 6
USDA has announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. There is approximately $1 million available for Planning Projects and $2 million for Implementation Projects. The close date is July 6. Learn more and apply here.

6. COVID-19 California Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) Emergency Fund
It’s in these times of crisis that communities realize just how valuable–and vulnerable–family farmers are. CAFF's emergency fund will directly support family farmers–anchors of California's local food systems–to help ensure they make it through this crisis. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and award decisions will be made every other week based on a fixed dollar amount. Learn more and apply here.

7. COVID-19 Reinvestment Fund's 2020 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program
The 2020 HFFI round has $3 million in grant funds available ( grants from $20,000-$200,000) for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill.  Reinvestment Fund will hold a webinar on June 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. EST to confirm details about the application process and answer questions. No registration is required to join and a recording of the webinar will be accessible using the same link. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 Webinar: "A Sharing of Healing Works"
May 27 // 3pm ET
This free North American Food Systems Network Good Food Talk webinar will provide a space for anyone to share creative, healing works of poetry, music, artwork, or dance that have served as their anchor, guiding star, or nurturing inspiration. We are leaning in and being in community with each other during these challenging times. Register here.

2. COVID-19 Webinar Series: Mobilizing Food Policy Councils to Support Food Workers During COVID-19
May 28 // 12pm ET
As workers from across the food supply chain risk their lives to continue feeding us, the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the harms of existing labor policies and practices. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks project invites you to join them for a series of webinars to discuss how food policy councils can support food chain workers during COVID-19. Register here.

3. Online Meeting: Native Youth Food Sovereignty
May 28 // 12pm ET
Youth! You are the future and Food Sovereignty is the foundation of the future! You can be the center of making a real difference and have fun in the process! Youth are encouraged to join the Intertribal Agriculture Council for the Native Youth Food Sovereignty online meeting Thursday, May 28 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time, using this link (no registration required).

4. Virtual Conference: National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP)
May 29-June 3
Are you looking for professional development with practitioner presentations that address real community issues? Do you want to hear and discuss the implications of COVID-19 on the future of communities? Join NACDEP for 4-days of discussion (spaced for Zooming comfort!), energizing talks, and actionable ideas at Community Development in Practice: Improve Your Skills and Add to Your Toolbox. Special virtual professional development fee of $105. Use discount code: “Extension” or “Professional” and register today here.

5. COVID-19 Webinar: Liability for Transmission of COVID-19 to Customers of Farm and Food Businesses
May 29 // 4pm EST
If your actions lead to a customer contracting COVID-19, are you legally liable? Join Farm Commons for a webinar discussing whether, when, and how, legal risk could befall a farm or food business, including farmers markets and food hubs. Register here.

6. COVID-19 Webinar: Green Schoolyards In a Post COVID-19 Era
June 18 // 2pm ET
Green schoolyards are an exceptional use of public space, creating equitable access to green space, providing places to play and learn during school time, and offering community access out-of-school time. Cities Connecting Children to Nature brings together experts from the Children & Nature Network, Landscape Architecture Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and the Austin Green School Parks program to understand what is happening with schoolyards in the face of COVID-19, and what we should aim for post-COVID-19. Register here.

7. COVID-19 Webinar Recording: USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Direct Payments
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has posted a recording of the webinar for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) held Thursday, May 14. The recording is available on the Farmers.gov YouTube channel for immediate viewing and will be posted at farmers.gov/cfap.


COVID-19 Resources
1. COVID-19 CDC Stakeholder Resources: Schools and Childcare
View the CDC's guidance on reopening School and Childcare programs here, as well as decision trees for specific settings:
Childcare Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Youth Programs and Camps During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2. COVID-19 Cultivating Social-Emotional Health with Farm to Early Care and Education
Families and children are confronting stress and uncertainty in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents, caretakers, and early care and education providers may be looking for ways to encourage play-based learning that can teach children critical skills pertaining to this crisis - especially those related to social-emotional health. This resource from Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems outlines farm to ECE activities that can be helpful for continuing to cultivate young children's emotional wellness during this time. Learn more here.

3. COVID-19 Cornell Cooperative Extension Provides Online Farm to School Learning
Cornell Cooperative Extension has assembled a collection of Farm to School materials and exercises in a public Google Drive folder. Here, you can find virtual farm tours and live streams, worksheets, and hands-on learning activities that can help you teach your child these important lessons all while still at home. Read more.

4. COVID-19 Farmers Markets Respond to COVID-19 — Best Practices, Examples, and Resources
View the Farmers Market Coalition's guidance on safely operating a farmers market during the pandemic here.

5. COVID-19 National Young Farmers Coalition's (NYFC) Portable Handwashing Station
Hand washing is one of the most important food safety practices, and in important in any time of food-growing setting including school gardens. View NYFC's guidance on building portable handwashing stations here.


Research & Resources
1. Research Article: Tradeoffs in Farm to School Implementation: Larger Foodsheds Drive Greater Local Food Expenditures
Read the new Journal of Agriculture and Resource Economics article on the relationship between two supply chain indicators -- local foodshed size and length of local food supply chain-- and districts' local food expenditures. Data shows that a school districts' actions to increase student access to local foods by widening definitions of local or sourcing through intermediaries thus have the potential to reduce localized benefits to nearby farmers and community members. Read more here.

2. Farm to Early Care and Education: Toward a Shared Language
Farm to early care and education (ECE) happens where early care and education and food systems meet. Although we are often working towards the same goals, it can be difficult for food systems and early care and education to communicate because there is not a shared language. This resource from Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems aims to begin a conversation between early care and education providers and food systems practitioners to work towards developing a shared language and fuller understanding of the common purpose we are working towards. Learn more here.

3. Farm to Fork Strategy – for a Fair, Healthy and Environmentally-Friendly Food System
View the European Commission's Farm to Fork Strategy that aims to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system that should ensure food security, nutrition and public health, making sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food among other things. Read more.

4. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) Editorial: Food Waste in K-12 Schools — an Opportunity to Create More Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems
Institutions such as K−12 schools, which operate on large scales and feed hundreds of children, are ideal settings to implement system changes to reduce food waste. A recent systematic review of food waste in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) found that approximately 30% of food served is wasted. Read more here.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are grounded in a central goal of continuing to advance towards strong, just local and regional food systems. There is a need for immediate relief to the people most impacted by this crisis, while building towards longer-term policies that strengthen a resilient, just food system. As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. Our federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice by endorsing our federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate for key food systems priorities on Capitol Hill. Sign on here.

2. COVID-19 Take Action to Support CACFP in The HEROES Act
Send a letter to the Senate and the White House to support provisions that would provide financial relief for the CACFP Community including child care providers, centers, afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations. Take action here.

3. COVID-19 Farm to Family Food Box Distribution
The USDA Farm to Family Food Box program has selected distributors to purchase produce, dairy, and meat products from farmers and producers and distribute them to families through partnerships with local non-profit organizations (including food banks, schools, and community sites). If your ECE site or non-profit organization has the operational and financial capability to receive, store and distribute requested food items, contact an awarded distributor.

4. COVID-19 USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
On May 19, the USDA announced further details on the direct assistance to producers that it will provide in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Applications will open on May 26. These direct payments will compensate a variety of producers for losses they suffered by April 15, 2020, as a result of the pandemic. To find out more about the program, and how to apply, you can visit their website at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.

5. COVID-19 Georgia’s CAPS Program Expands Child Care Assistance to Essential Services Workforce Serving During COVID-19 Pandemic
Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services, or CAPS Program, is expanding its new priority group for the Essential Services Workforce during COVID-19 to include those who work within the food supply chain like grocery stores, farming, and food delivery and pick-up. CAPS provides scholarships to help with the cost of child care so parents can work or attend school. Read more here.


Farm to School in the News
With Schools Closed, Their Gardens Take on a New Role
It’s clear now that schools around the country will be closed until at least next fall, but that hasn't stopped school gardens. “I want people passing by on their daily walks to see that [the garden] is still growing and that our community still grows and continues,” says FoodCorps member Tara McDaniel. (Civil Eats)

Supporting Local Farmers to Feed Children in Hawaii
During the COVID-19 health crisis, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), school districts, and communities across the country have been working tirelessly to ensure that children have access to food. In Hawaii, one community college professional found a way to pull resources together for a common cause and help feed Hawaii's keiki. (USDA)

As the Coronavirus Pandemic Strains Supplies, Native Americans Fight Food Insecurity
A "Seeds and Sheep" project in Utah is one of many innovative programs seeking to help Native communities become more food sovereign and self-reliant. (NBC News)

Op-Ed: While Food Supply Chains Snap, a Solution Is on the Table
Supporting local farmers can help build resilience in our food system. (The Hill)


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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