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National Farm to School Network

News

Your Voice Needed: Put Farm to School in the Farm Bill

NFSN Staff Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By Maximilian Merrill, Policy Director

When it comes to policies that shape agriculture, food, nutrition and hunger in the United States, none are more paramount than the farm bill. This important piece of federal legislation is currently up for reauthorization, which presents ample opportunity for farm to school advocates to ensure policies that support healthy kids, thriving family farms and vibrant communities are prioritized in national food policy. How does that happen? Your voice! 

The process of developing a new farm bill has many phases - starting with both the House and Senate drafting and voting on their own versions of a farm bill. (Read more about the process from our partners at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.) The House version of the bill was passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on April 18 and is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives soon. This House bill does not include any of the National Farm to School Network’s top three priorities. Our priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill are: 

  • Adopt the Farm to School Act of 2017 to increase mandatory funding and expand access for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. 
  • Amend the Geographic Preference provision in the existing farm bill to allow the use of “location” as a product specification when procuring school food. Current law does not allow schools to explicitly require “local” or “regional” as a product specification in a food procurement request. 
  • Continue and expand to more states the Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables and allow participating states more flexibility in procuring fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. 
The Senate has yet to release its version of the bill, which means there’s still time to ensure these three important farm to school priorities are included. However, it’s important that we take action quickly and demonstrate the breadth and strength of farm to school voices from across the country. The Senate bill, which may be introduced as early as next week, is one of the last opportunities for farm to school to make its way into this important legislation - so NOW is the time to make your voice heard! 

TAKE ACTION: Take five minutes to pick up the phone or write an email to both of your Senators about why farm to school is important in your community. Tell your story, share your success, and offer pictures and anecdotes about how farm to school is a triple win for kids, farmers and communities. It’s easy - here’s how: 

  • Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look up contact information for your two Senators here
  • Once you’re connected, leave a message like this: 

    • Hello, my name is [______] and I’m a constituent of Sen. [______]. I’m calling to ask that farm to school be prioritized in the Senate’s version of the farm bill. Farm to school enriches the connections communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites. Farm to school is strong agricultural policy that should be included in this important legislation! However, it’s been left out of the House version. That’s why I’m asking the Senator to support a Farm Bill that includes three things: (1) Adopts the Farm to School Act of 2017, (2) Updates “Geographic Preference” language so that schools can more easily purchase fresh food from local farmers, and (3) Continues and expands the successful Unprocessed Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program. [Share any personal stories about why these are important asks for your community.] Thank you for passing along this message to the Senator, and for your time. 
If you work for a government agency or university and cannot lobby, you can still make a difference! Follow the same actions above, but instead of mentioning the specific policy asks, share general information about farm to school in your state and how the USDA Farm to School Grant Program has been successful. Sharing information is not lobbying - it’s education, which all of us can do! 

Local food procurement in our nation’s schools is more than a win for kids and farmers - it’s strong agricultural policy. Make your voice heard and help us ensure that farm to school is included the farm bill. Continue to follow the National Farm to School Network here on our blog, in our e-newsletter and on social media for updates as the farm bill progresses and for more opportunities to be an advocate for farm to school. 

This Week in Farm to School: 5/15/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 15, 2018
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. CDC Funding Opportunity
CDC announces the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement CDC-RFA-DP18-1809: High Obesity Program. This five-year program will fund land grant universities to leverage community extension services to implement evidence-based strategies that increase access to places that provide healthier foods and safe and accessible places for physical activity in counties with an adult obesity rate of over 40%. Farm to ECE initiatives could support suggested program strategies including, "Working with food vendors, distributors and producers to enhance healthier food procurement and sales," and "Establishing healthy nutrition standards in key institutions" including early care and education. See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for more information and contact Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager, at lacy@farmtoschool.org to discuss how NFSN can partner in or support your farm to ECE focused proposal.   


Webinars & Events
1. 2018 Summer Meals Webinars
Wholesome summer meals are critical to the health and well-being of our children. Join USDA for its 2018 Summer Meals Webinars to learn more about this important program.
May 15, 1pm - Boosting Your Budget - Summer Meals Financial Planning
June 14, 1 pm - Middle of Summer Strategies  

2. Webinar: Hospitals Increasing Community Health, Wealth, and Resilience
May 17, 3:30pm ET
Health systems are increasingly embracing their roles as “anchor institutions”. Utilizing a powerful combination of procurement and investments, health care is exploring ways to build local, equitable food economies, and foster resilient communities. The panel on this webinar will present the results of Health Care Without Harm’s 2-year national study that examined hospitals’ community benefit practices to improve access to healthy foods, promote healthier food environments, and prevent diet-related disease. This webinar is hosted by the National Good Food Network. Register here

3. Webinar: Garden To Cafeteria Toolkit
May 22, 11am PST
Are you interested in bringing fresh produce from the school garden into the cafeteria to be used in preparation of healthy school lunches? Join other School Garden Support Organizations for a webinar that will introduce the new Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit from Slow Food USA and Whole Kids Foundation and describe the ongoing support for Food Service Departments provided by Slow Food USA. On hand will also be Tegan Bernstein of the USDA, contributor to the toolkit, to answer any questions. The goal of this webinar is to build a Garden to Cafeteria community to support numerous districts in creating their own Garden to Cafeteria programs using the toolkit. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Positions

June 7, 2pm ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share their success, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.

5. 2018 WFAN Annual Conference - Call for Proposals 
Nov. 2-3, 2018 // Des Moines, Iowa
The 2018 Women Food & Ag Network Annual Conference will be held Nov. 2-3  in Des Moines, IA. This year's conference theme is Stepping Into Action: Changing Foodscapes through Individual and Community Power. The deadline to submit workshop proposals has been extended to June 8. Learn more here


Policy Updates
1. House Launches Food Waste Caucus
Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and David Young (R-Iowa) announced their newly-minted House Food Waste Caucus. The bipartisan caucus "will look at ways to promote food waste reduction across the food supply chain; provide educational opportunities to Congressional members and staff; support efforts to reduce food waste at federal agencies.” Read more here

2. Lawmaker Pushing Frozen Foods for Fresh Produce Program
A Maine congressman says he plans to go forward with a proposal to include frozen and canned foods in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program despite criticism from the program’s founder. The proposal by Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who has used Maine blueberries as an example of a frozen food that could help the program, is part of the federal Farm Bill that’s wending its way through approvals. Poliquin’s proposal also would open up the program to dried and pureed foods. Read more here


Jobs & Internships
1. Senior Policy Specialist, The Good Food Institute (Washington, D.C)
The Good Food Institute’s Senior Policy Specialist will level the playing field for plant-based and clean meat alternatives in Washington, D.C., working closely with GFI staff and other nonprofit organizations on GFI’s legislative and regulatory priorities. Learn more here

2. Research Associate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston, MA) 
The Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health seeks a Research Associate to join a dynamic team focused on evaluation of policies for obesity prevention and related areas of health policy. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Missouri schools see learning benefits in gardens
School gardens are taking off in several Missouri school districts. Columbia Public Schools science coordinator Mike Szydlowski listed what students can learn from gardens: where food comes from, how pollination allows our food to exist, adaptations plants use to survive, how current food plants differ from the original plants, how insects play a role in gardening and sunlight as an energy source. (Columbia Daily Tribune)

Wisconsin students plant orchards their kids will enjoy
Students in the Holmen and West Salem school districts in Wisconsin planted an orchard of apple trees last week. The trees will start producing fruit in about three years, and they are projected to have a productive life expectancy of 30 years, said Mike Gasper the Holmen district’s Nutrition Services supervisor who guided the creation of the orchard near on an old cross-country course behind Viking Elementary School. “Their kids will be able to eat apples from the trees they are planting,” Gasper said. (La Crosse Tribune

Chicago is Leading the Way Toward a Good Food Future
The Windy City has adopted the comprehensive Good Food Purchasing Program in schools and public agencies, and their experience could provide a nationwide roadmap. (Civil Eats)

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: 5/8/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 08, 2018
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Webinars
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Networks 
Thursday, May 10 // 2-3 PM ET
State farm to school networks are vital to the growth and institutionalization of farm to school through their state level leadership and coordination and contributions to a nationwide movement. On this webinar, learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network that highlights network best practices, and hear from NFSN Core Partners who are leading the way in state network development. Register here.

2. Webinar: Facilitating Participation and Partnerships for Community Food Projects
Tuesday, May 15 // 1 PM ET
Working in partnership is often promoted, but individual achievement is what tends to be rewarded in our society, and we generally don’t get a lot of training in how to work with others after we graduate Kindergarten. Strong partnerships are key elements of success for Community Food Projects, and managing complex teams requires facilitation know-how. This webinar will feature facilitation skills and meeting methods that will help to foster shared awareness, collective analysis, and full participation that enable productive and lasting partnerships. Conducted by Aley Kent, Technical Advisor Food & Agriculture, International Rescue Committee | US Programs. Register here

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Positions
Thursday, June 7 // 2-3 PM ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share their success, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.


Events
1. National Children & Youth Garden Symposium 2018
July 11-14, Ithaca, NY
National Children & Youth Garden Symposium is excited to be back to Ithaca, New York this year. Join this gathering to network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world. Registration opens in April. Learn more here.  

2. Iowa Farm to School Conference - Registration Open
June 28-30 // Ankeny, IA
Registration is now open for the 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference, which will be held June 28-20 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny,Iowa. Sponsored by the Iowa Farm to School Network, the goal of the conference is to support and inspire those interested in or already implementing farm to school and farm to early care and education all around the state by covering a variety of topics. Register by June 1. Learn more here

3. Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference - Submit a Workshop
December 6 // Leominster, MA
Apply to present a workshop at the 2018 Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Share your experience as a member of the farm to school community! Conference proposals should relate to this year's theme, Setting the Table: Communities Creating Change. Organizers seek workshops that represent a variety of program approaches, reflect the diversity of Massachusetts, and promote equity in the farm and sea to school movement. Submission deadline: June 11, 2018. Learn more here

4. 2019 Community Food Systems Conference - Save the Date
December 2019 // Savannah, GA
New Entry and Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) are excited to announce their partnership in putting on the 2019 Community Food Systems Conference. The conference will take place in early December 2019 in Savannah, Georgia. The partners will build on the momentum of the 2017 Community Food Systems Conference and GFMA’s Food for Thought Conference. The 2019 Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Webinar Recording: Racial Equity in Food Systems Work: Beginning the Journey
This webinar is intended to inspire Extension educators who want to make racial equity a more intentional part of their work – and an introduction to resources and tools to help do so. Shorlette Ammons of North Carolina’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems introduces webinar participants to tools and language used in racial equity training. This webinar gives an introduction to greater conversations and work surrounding racial equity and food access. This is the first in a series of webinars that will explore the role that racial equity plays in our food system. It is hosted by the eXtension working group on Undoing Inequality in the Food System which is part of the eXtension Community, Local and Regional Community of Practice, and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Watch the webinar here

2. The Business Case for Racial Equity
The WK Kellogg Foundation recently released an updated "The Business Case for Racial Equity: A Strategy for Growth" by Ani Turner. The purpose of this report is to highlight the business case for racial equity — stressing the importance of racial equity as both an imperative for social justice and a strategy for economic growth. As advancing racial equity requires the work of many stakeholders, they hope that the information in this report will be meaningful, useful, and actionable for leaders, change agents, and influencers in businesses, communities, and institutions around the country. Read more here

3. Understanding School Culture and Its Relation to Farm to School Programming
Vermont FEED/Shelburne Farms staffers Jen Cirillo and Ryan Morra have published their research on farm to school and school culture in the Journal of Childhood Nutrition and Management​.​ Their interviews revealed three themes that support farm to school integration: (1) relationships are foundational to support educational innovation and experimentation, (2) the value of engaging in farm to school must be experienced and communicated by a broad swath of the school community, and (3) prioritization of farm to school leads to embeddedness into school daily life and practice. Success of farm to school programming was often attributed to foundational relationships at the school that supported innovation. The value of engaging in farm to school must be communicated in order to gain funding and school policy support from parents, school boards, faculty, and staff. ​Read the full article here


Policy Updates
1. Hawai’i Senator Hirono Expresses Support for Local Products in Public School Lunches
Last week, Hawai’i Senator Mazie K. Hirono and Lieutenant Governor Doug Chin visited Mililani High School to highlight the Aina Pono Farm-to-School Initiative and Harvest of the Month programs that increase the use of locally grown produce and beef in public school lunches. Senator Hirono is a cosponsor of the Farm to School Act of 2017, which would strengthen the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program and increase the amount of local foods in schools. Read more here


Jobs & Internships
1. Communications Intern, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
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 May 11. Learn more here.  

2. Support Services Supervisor, Bozeman School District (Bozeman, MT) 
Bozeman School District is hiring a Support Services Supervisor position that manages the district's food service program. This program is poised to be a leader and innovator for community food systems and heathy children in the Gallatin Valley with a recently renovated and expanded facility, expansion of local food businesses in the area, and partnership with Gallatin Valley Farm to School, a local nonprofit. Learn more here

3. Good Food Purchasing Specialist, Center for Good Food Purchasing (Berkeley, CA) 
The Good Food Purchasing Specialist will be primarily focused on deepening the capacity of institutions to apply Good Food Purchasing Program analysis in practical and strategic decision-making. Learn more here

4. Food Hub General Manager, Yellowstone Valley Food Hub (Billings, MT) 
The General Manager will work with the staff and board of the Northern Plains Resource Council, along with a group of local producers, to launch a Food Hub in Yellowstone County in the last quarter of 2018. Learn more here

5. 10 Cents a Meal Fellow, Groundwork Center (Traverse City, MI)
Groundwork Center seeks a dynamic, self-starter to assist with connecting local food to statewide school policy. The key element of the work is in communications, outreach, and evaluation support for a nationally recognized, statewide policy initiative focused on school children’s health and local economy entitled 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
National Farm to Cafeteria Conference supports eating locally-grown food
At the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, held April 25-27, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH, close to 70% of all food served to the 1,000 attendees was locally sourced from Ohio and Kentucky farmers, growers, ranchers, producers and food companies. Alice Chalmers, of Local Food Connections in Ohio, talked with WKRC in Cincinnati about some of the benefits of buying locally. (WKRC

Ohio hosts National Farm to Cafeteria event
Prior to the kickoff of the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, Ohio Farm to School’s Leadership Team hosted an Ohio Farm to Cafeteria Pre-Conference, which provide attendees with a panel and forum to discuss and learn about challenges, successes and significant issues regarding providing fresh food from farms to schools in Ohio. Education and resources were two common topics discussed throughout the panel. (Rural Life Today)

Farm to school program educates about healthy eating habits
Farm to school is taking root in new Jersey - including with little eaters! NJTV News interviews NFSN New Jersey Core Partner Beth Feehan, coordinator of the Farm to School program at the NJ Department of Agriculture, and takes a tour of Farm to ECE activities at Alphabets Preschool Center in Ashbury Park, NJ. (NJTV News

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

This Week in Farm to School: 4/17/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 17, 2018
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. New CDC Notice of Funding Opportunity: State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Program
CDC has announced the availability of FY 2018 funds to implement CDC-RFA-DP18-1807: State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Program. The funds will supports state investments to improve nutrition and to increase safe and accessible physical activity that benefits the whole state and can be shared with local governmental entities. Application due date: June 14, 2018. Learn more here

2. Updated SARE State Summaries and Grants Lists Now Available
Since 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has been a go-to USDA grants and outreach program for farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators who develop innovations that improve farm profitability, protect water and land, and revitalize communities. SARE has awarded over $251 million to more than 6,300 projects. Learn more about funded grants, project highlights and a breakdown of funding in your state using our newly updated portfolio summaries and grant lists.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Racial Equity in Food Systems Work: Beginning the Journey
April 24 // 3-4:30pm ET
Hosted by the eXtension working group on Undoing Inequality in the Food System which is part of the eXtension Community, Local and Regional Community of Practice and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, this presentation is intended to inspire Extension educators who want to make racial equity a more intentional part of their work – and an introduction to resources and tools to help do so. This webinar will begin to discuss what racial equity training is and how it benefits Extension work, and also, suggest additional resources and tools useful to those who want to bring racial equity training to their organizations. Register here

2. SNAP-Ed Connection Webinar: Writing SNAP-Ed Stories: Simple Strategies for Success
May 8 // 12-1pm ET 
Sharing the success of the SNAP-Ed program can be enhanced with powerful stories that resonate with stakeholders.  During this 1-hour webinar, 3 SNAP-Ed agency program leaders with experience developing and sharing effective success stories will share their methods and recommendations.  SNAP-Ed Connection will review tips and strategies for creating stories that are concise, powerful, and engaging to readers across the SNAP-Ed stakeholder community.  Plus, we'll share with you the top 5 mistakes made when writing success stories-- and show you how to avoid them! Register here

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Networks 
Thursday, May 10 // 2-3 PM ET
State farm to school networks are vital to the growth and institutionalization of farm to school through their state level leadership and coordination and contributions to a nationwide movement. On this webinar, learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network that highlights network best practices, and hear from NFSN Core Partners who are leading the way in state network development. Register here.


Research & Resources
1. Walking the Thin Line: Urban Action Towards Food Justice
Food justice is concerned with equity in all steps of the food system (from production to consumption). It covers equity in access to healthy food, participation in decisions about food, and even wider equity in power and resources. It acknowledges the disparities built in the food system. Food justice is about acknowledging and acting upon past and existing inequities and traumas, as well as their structural causes (in terms of ethnicity, class, gender…). This raises the question of what cities can do to tackle structural problems that far exceed their remit. Read more from Urban Food Futures here

2. JAFSCD Seeking New Reviewers
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) is looking to add new reviewers, who may be food systems researchers, scholars, or practitioners. To be eligible, you should have experience in writing and/or reviewing scholarly work and have considerable knowledge or experience in some area of food systems. You should be able to do a rigorous review of at least 3 manuscripts each year. Learn more about becoming an active member of the JAFSCD community as a peer reviewer by going to the online application here. 
 

Job Opportunities
1. Outreach Coordinator, The Common Market Georgia
The Common Market Georgia, a mission-driven distributor of local foods to the Atlanta area, seeks a Customer Outreach Associate. Learn more here

2. Executive Director, NCAT
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking an  Executive Director to provide visionary leadership to NCAT, its staff, board and partners. Learn more here

3. Garden Educator, CommunityGrows
CommunityGrows seeks to hire a Garden Educator to manage the in-school environmental education program at John Muir Elementary in California. Learn more here

4. Program and Policy Director, Mandela MarketPlace
Mandela MarketPlace is seeking to hire a Program and Policy Director to oversee their suite of food access and public health programming. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
West Virginia after-school program to offer new gardening club
Children involved in the Stockert Youth and Community Center’s after-school program will soon learn the importance of gardening and harvesting home-grown fruits and vegetables. With assistance and knowledge from the Buckhannon Community Garden officials, SYCC kids will learn the extensive process of planting fruits and vegetables. (The Inter Mountain)

Locally sourced food truck makes way to Madison schools
Food from the Uproot truck counts as a reimbursable school lunch, which REAP’s executive director, Helen Sarakinos, said is important, because half of MMSD’s student body qualifies for free or reduced lunch. (Channel 3000)

Growing and knowing: Virginia science students, staff construct greenhouse, native plants garden
If all goes as planned, the greenhouse will provide a nurturing home not just for young vegetable plants and flowers but also the makings for many a seafood dinner. Pointing at a bubbling fish tank connected by a tube to a second tank filled with plants rooted in water, Burkett said it is a small, classroom version of what she plans to install in the greenhouse. (Orange County Review)

Farm to school cooking competition heats up in Maine
Students and school nutrition professionals in a Maine school district recently participated in a cooking contest featuring locally produced food. Stephanie Stambach, a child nutrition consultant, says the event features hands-on learning and raises awareness about local food. (WABI TV)

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: 4/10/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 10, 2018
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. Humana Foundation RFA
The Humana Foundation has an open Request for Applications (RFA) through April 27 for LA, FL, TN, KY, and TX focusing on food security and social connection. The Humana Foundation invests in nonprofit organizations that address the barriers keeping people from overcoming social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age that impact overall health and well-being. More than $191 million has been funded by the Humana Foundation since 1981 to support the communities we serve. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: More Plants Please!
April 10, 2pm MT
How is your food service program making a positive impact on the environment? Learn why getting more plant forward meals into school lunch matters during this Chef Ann Foundation webinar. Hear from Friends of the Earth U.S. and Novato Unified School District about how more plant-based meals can have a positive environmental impact as a part of a healthy, nutritious meal, and how you can make plant forward meals fit into your school lunch menus. Curious? Register here

2. Webinar: Racial Equity in Food Systems Work: Beginning the Journey
April 24 // 3-4:30pm ET
Hosted by the eXtension working group on Undoing Inequality in the Food System which is part of the eXtension Community, Local and Regional Community of Practice and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, this presentation is intended to inspire Extension educators who want to make racial equity a more intentional part of their work – and an introduction to resources and tools to help do so. This webinar will begin to discuss what racial equity training is and how it benefits Extension work, and also, suggest additional resources and tools useful to those who want to bring racial equity training to their organizations. Register here

3. Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Two-Day Leadership Retreat
June 5-7 // New Orleans, LA
The Food Systems Leadership Network is excited to announce an upcoming opportunity to connect with other leaders, reflect on our individual and collective work, and dig into the tools of systems leadership and systems thinking for social change. Applications are now being accepted for “Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Two-Day Leadership Retreat,” to be held June 5-7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Applications are due April 15. Learn more and apply here.


Take Action
1. Recognize your #LunchHeroes on School Lunch Hero Day
On Friday, May 4, SNA will kick off School Nutrition Employee Week (May 7-11) with a celebration, as we take part in the 6th Annual School Lunch Hero Day. School Lunch Hero Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the hardworking professionals in school cafeterias across the country, who fuel our emerging future leaders with the healthy meals that make a difference in their success. Nominate your school lunch (s)heroes today

2. Celebrate CACFP's 50th Birthday!
They say “a picture is a worth a 1,000 words.”  What would a thousand pictures be worth?  The National CACFP Forum wants us to find out together.  It’s time to celebrate 50 years of the CACFP and all of those who have been involved in making it a success - YOU.  May 8th, 2018, is the 50th Birthday of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the National CACFP Forum and the National Farm to School Network want to celebrate with the entire CACFP community by creating a billboard sized birthday card on Capitol Hill. The birthday card will be a mosaic made of thousands of images from the diverse community of programs serving CACFP meals and snacks. Send an image of your CACFP program; serving healthy meals, doing a healthy celebration, or implementing a CACFP best practice, like serving local and seasonal food. Submit a healthy celebration picture through this form and be entered into a drawing for Kaplan materials courtesy of our partnership with Nemours and sponsorship by Kaplan. Together, we can show Congress the impact they’ve made and will continue to make by supporting the food program.  Send your image, by April 14th, to smarshall@cacfpforum.com or post it on your social media page using the hashtag #CACFP50 (but make sure the post is public or we won’t see it!).  Learn more here.


Research & Resources
1. Food Hubs: A flagship socially conscious business model and key to scaling up local food
Food hubs are maturing into a strong, stable model for socially conscious business and are helping to scale up the local food market, according to a just-released report from the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the Wallace Center at Winrock International. Read the report here

2. Determining the True Costs of Our Food Through Systems Thinking 
“Systems thinking: an approach for understanding eco-agri-food systems,” is part of a new, ground-breaking report from the Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEB AgriFood). This report addresses how to evaluate our agriculture and food systems while considering a range of social, human, and environmental dimensions across the value chain. It is creating a framework for looking at all the impacts of the ‘eco-agri-food’ value chain, from farm to fork to disposal, including effects on livelihoods, the environment, and health. This can help farmers, decision makers, and businesses more explicitly look at the impacts of different practices and policies. 

3. National Young Farmers Coalition Launches Finding Farmland Calculator
NYFC is proud to share a newly upgraded tool for the farmer's digital toolbox: the Finding Farmland Calculator. The calculator, a decision-making tool built specifically for farmers seeking land, enables farmers to understand farm financing options, determine what they can afford, and prepare to work with a lender. 


Job, Service, & Education Opportunities
1. Partnership Coordinator Americorps VISTA, Appetite for Change
The VISTA member at Appetite For Change/Northside Fresh Coalition will develop community partnerships & create systems to better connect the broader community with urban growers & local produce retailers on the northside of Minneapolis. Learn more here

2. Americorps VISTAs, Farm Fresh Rhode Island
Farm Fresh RI is seeking to fill several full-time, year term Americorps VISTA positions including: Food Literacy VISTA, Growing & Garden VISTA, Volunteer Coordinator VISTA. Learn more here.

3. Operations Coordinator, Edible Schoolyard Berkley 
Edible Schoolyard Berkley seeks to hire an Operations Coordinator. Learn more here

4. Communications Director, National Young Farmers Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition seeks a communications director to lead their external communications from their Hudson, NY headquarters. Learn more here

5. Bloomberg Fellows Program
The Bloomberg Fellows Program is an initiative to provide world-class public health training to individuals engaged with organizations tackling critical challenges facing the United States. When fully implemented, each year, 50 fellows will receive full-tuition scholarships to attain the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School’s Master of Public Health (MPH). Following graduation, Bloomberg Fellows will work for at least one year for such organizations, putting their new skills to use. These individuals and organizations will then join a growing network of scholarship, education and practice devoted to using the tools of public health to address the problems of the twenty-first century. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
In Texas, learning garden grows Pre-K student's curiosity for nutrition
The impact of the program reached beyond the garden fence. Some of the student’s families have planted seeds at home and learned new recipes from school demonstrations. With all senses part of the nutrition lesson, students are bound to find a new favorite food. (Ken5)

Fifth generation Arkansas farm family continues tradition
“In the past few years, farm-to-school programs have been really good for us,” Morgan said. “Lamar school actually had an opportunity through the NFL’s Play60 program where they brought the kids out to us, picked their own peaches and then returned to their school’s cafeteria to process everything.” (Farm Talk Newspaper)

New food processor job created to bring more local food to New York’s school cafeterias
“This is totally new,” said Maria “Flip” Filippi, local foods program leader. “I think it’s exciting because there’s a lot of interest from local schools to buy local produce and it will make it easier for them. It lowers the burden for the farmer and it lowers the burden for the school.” (Watertown Daily Times)

New Hampshire teen cook off a treat and challenge for everyone involved
With whisks flying, butter melting, garlic sauteing and knives chopping, the kitchen at Nashua High School North was a cacophony of sounds and smells during Wednesday afternoon's New Hampshire Teen Cook Off. Three teams, Nashua, Hollis Brookline and Souhegan competed to see who could make the best, most nutritious school lunch with a few locally sourced ingredients. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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: 4/03/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 03, 2018
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. Aetna 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is inviting projects that address issues in the following domains to apply for the 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors. These grants are expected to award up to $2 million to organizations in the contiguous United States through this program. This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity with a two-stage application process. All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 18. Learn more here

2. Crafting Winning Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Proposals
April 12 // 2pm ET
In 2018, $30 million in funding is available through the USDA AMS Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) to support an array of direct-to-consumer and local food market projects. These competitive grant opportunities are important sources of support for building local and regional food systems. But if you don’t have much experience with grant writing, applying for a federal grant can seem like a big lift. In this webinar, the Wallace Center, the Farmers Market Coalition, Colorado State University, and USDA AMS are teaming up to bring you information for Crafting Winning LFPP/FMPP Proposals. Register here. Applications for both LFPP and FMPP need to be submitted on www.grants.gov by 11:59pm EST on May 7th, 2018. You can learn more about applying for the LFPP Grant and access the RFA here


Events & Webinars
1. Last Chance: Registration for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference ends 4/9 
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Last chance to register for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference! Join 1,000 local food leaders, sustainable agriculture advocates and public health professional from across the country in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, for three inspiring days of learning, networking and movement building. This biennial event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Registration ends next Monday, April 9. Learn more and register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems
April 3 // 11am-12:30pm ET
Join KHA Inc. for the Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems webinar, featuring leaders and experts in ECE settings and K-12 schools, who will provide context and grounding in food procurement policies, implementation, model successes and critical solutions to barriers. The Rethinking Procurement webinar will explore the complexity of ECE and K-12 procurement systems and nuances in the process of obtaining healthy, local, and sustainably grown food. Register here

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education
April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.

4. WEBINAR More Plants Please!
April 10, 2pm MT
How is your food service program making a positive impact on the environment? Learn why getting more plant forward meals into school lunch matters during this Chef Ann Foundation webinar. Hear from Friends of the Earth U.S. and Novato Unified School District about how more plant-based meals can have a positive environmental impact as a part of a healthy, nutritious meal, and how you can make plant forward meals fit into your school lunch menus. Curious? Register here


Research
1. Tisch Food Center: Nutrition Education in NYC Schools
The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy (Tisch Food Center) in the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University, has studied 40 organizations that run 101 nutrition education programs in schools across New York City. See what's they've found in A is for Apple: The State of Nutrition Education Programs in New York City Schools, and learn more in the Nutrition Education Programs in NYC Schools Database


Job Opportunities
1. Program Director, Land For Good
Land For Good is seeking to hire a Program Director. This is a unique opportunity to work on critical issues facing farmers, rural communities, and the food system. Learn more here

2. Research Coordinator, Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s inter-disciplinary Food Systems Initiative is hiring a Research Coordinator. Learn more here.

3. Farm to School Coordinator, Food and Health Network 
The Food and Health Network, a collaborative eight-county network based in Whitney Point, NY, is hiring a Farm to School Coordinator. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Gardening with Minnesota Class
The students at Crossroads have significant challenges, but their story has a lot of heart and the schoolyard gardens feed families in need. Master Gardeners help Minnesota students grow and donate 13,000 pounds of vegetables to food shelves in a single season. (University of MN Extension)

North Carolina districts, farmers connect to freshen up cafeteria offerings
Students in some North Carolina schools are being served more locally produced foods. School nutrition professionals in one district are using local, antibiotic-free beef to make meatloaf for school meals. (Mountain Express)

California students run their own food business out of a classroom
The Growing Leaders class at Willard Middle School performs this complex operation every two weeks, cooking about 300 meals, often with produce they’ve grown themselves, and packaging them up for customers who’ve ordered online ahead of time. (Berkleyside)

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.


$5 Million for Farm to School in Funding Bill

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Last week, Senate and House leaders worked on an appropriations bill to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, and through this process, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) championed a huge win for farm to school! The final bill, which was signed by the President on Friday, includes $5 million in discretionary funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles the current available funding for this highly impactful and important program for one year. This is great news and a big victory for the farm to school movement!

Please join us in thanking Sen. Leahy and Sen. Cochran for this win, their continued efforts in championing farm to school, and for helping make healthy, local food in schools a reality for millions of children across the country. Give them a shoutout on social media (@SenatorLeahy, @SenThadCochran), write them a quick thank you note, or give their offices a call (Sen. Leahy at (202) 224-4242, Sen. Cochran at (202) 224-5054) to let them know that you appreciate their ongoing efforts to strengthen farm to school, and how farm to school has been a win for kids and farmers in your community. 

The National Farm to School Network has been advocating for an increase in funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program for several years. This important program increases the use of and improves access to local foods in schools – thus boosting farm income and economic opportunities – while also fostering experiential food education for our nation’s children. However, demand for the program is more than five times higher than available funding. Since 2013, USDA has received over 1,600 applicants requesting more than $120 million, though has only been able to make 221 awards from the $20 million available. 

The Farm to School Act of 2017 - co-sponsored by Sen. Leahy and Sen. Cochran in the Senate, and Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) in the House - addresses this funding issue and other important policy changes needed to strengthen and grow the USDA Farm to School Program. While last week’s surprise $5 million in discretionary funding is an incredible boost for the program, the funding is temporary. It’s important that we continue to advocate for a more permanent solution for sustaining this program and its impact for high-need communities across the country. 

As the National Farm to School Network continues to advocate for this marker bill to find a legislative vehicle that it can pass with, we need your help advocating to your member of Congress. Help us get your Senators and Representatives signed on as co-sponsors of the Farm to School Act of 2017. (See who’s already signed on here and here.) Reach out to them to share how farm to school is a win for your community, and to ask for their support on this important piece of legislation. If you haven’t yet, you can also add your name to our citizen and organizational sign-on letters, which helps us demonstrate strong grassroots support for this marker bill. 

Today we celebrate, but also continue our work to make farm to school opportunities accessible to every student, farmer and community across the country. Stay tuned to our blog for more policy news, updates and opportunities to make your voice heard. 

This Week in Farm to School: 3/27/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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. $5 Million for Farm to School included in Funding Bill 
Last week, Senate and House leaders worked on an appropriations bill to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, and through this process, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Cochran (R-MS) championed a huge win for farm to school! The final bill, which was signed by the President on Friday, includes $5 million in discretionary funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles the current available funding for this highly impactful and important program for one year. This is great news and a big victory for the farm to school movement! Read more on the National Farm to School Network blog here

2. Aetna 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is inviting projects that address issues in the following domains to apply for the 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors. These grants are expected to award up to $2 million to organizations in the contiguous United States through this program. This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity with a two-stage application process. All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 18, 2018 at 3PM ET. Learn more here

3. Crafting Winning Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Proposals
April 12th // 2pm ET
In 2018, $30 million in funding is available through the USDA AMS Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) to support an array of direct-to-consumer and local food market projects. These competitive grant opportunities are important sources of support for building local and regional food systems. But if you don’t have much experience with grant writing, applying for a federal grant can seem like a big lift. In this webinar, the Wallace Center, the Farmers Market Coalition, Colorado State University, and USDA AMS are teaming up to bring you information for Crafting Winning LFPP/FMPP Proposals. Register here. Applications for both LFPP and FMPP need to be submitted on www.grants.gov by 11:59pm EST on May 7th, 2018. You can learn more about applying for the LFPP Grant and access the RFA here


Webinars
1. Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems
April 3 // 11am-12:30pm ET
Join KHA Inc. for the Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems webinar, featuring leaders and experts in ECE settings and K-12 schools, who will provide context and grounding in food procurement policies, implementation, model successes and critical solutions to barriers. The Rethinking Procurement webinar will explore the complexity of ECE and K-12 procurement systems and nuances in the process of obtaining healthy, local, and sustainably grown food. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education
April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State-Supported Farm to School Positions
May 10 // 2pm ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a valuable new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share successes, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.


Events
1. Deadline Approaching: Register for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference by 4/9! 
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Registration ends April 9. Learn more and register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. 11th Annual Future of Food and Nutrition 
April 7 // Boston, MA
The 11th Annual Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Student Research Conference is a unique venue for graduate students across disciplines and from around the country to present original research relating to the food system and nutrition science. Learn more and register here

3. 2018 Urban Food Systems Symposium
August 8-11 // Minneapolis, MN
The goal of the Urban Food Systems Symposium is to bring together a national and international audience of academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and the role they play in global food security. This symposium includes knowledge on: urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty. Learn more and register here


Research & Resources
1. 10 Cents a Meal: New Michigan Department of Education Legislative Report
Hot off the press! Learn about Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal program in the new Michigan Department of Education's 2017-2018 Legislative Report . The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms pilot program provides grant- winning school districts with up to 10 Cents a Meal in matching funds to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans. 

2. Research: Farmers’ perspectives on adoption and impacts of nutrition incentive and farm to school programs 
Farmers market nutrition incentive (FMNI) and farm to school (F2S) programs are two community-based initiatives that support farmers while simultaneously lessening the burden of local food access for lower income populations. In this study, published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, researchers explore farmer perceptions, barriers to adoption, and impacts of FMNI and F2S programs. Participating farmers perceived FMNI and F2S as providing advantageous social impact and various economic opportunities. However, participants and non-participants had differing perspectives on program complexity, compatibility with their business model, and the degree to which others have succeeded when participating. The most significant barriers relate to issues with product pricing, customer engagement, and logistics. Read more here

3. Women’s History Month and Farm to School
To quote Dolores Huerta, a historical food activist who is still leading change in our food system today: “That's the history of the world. His story is told, hers isn't.” Dolores co-founded the National Farm Workers Association alongside César Chávez in the 1960s. For decades, she has championed farmworkers rights, and yet many people recognize Chávez’s name and not Huerta’s. If today’s students are taught about local food sheroes past and present, then we can start to tell a more complete, equitable history of our nation’s food system.  In the garden, classroom, and cafeteria, let’s educate our students about women who lead. Read more about local food sheroes on the National Farm to School blog here


Job Opportunities
1. Executive Director, The Green Heart Projects
The Green Heart Project, a non-profit organization that builds school gardens and farm-to-school programs in the Charleston, South Carolina area, is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization. Learn more here

2. Chief Operating Officer, Center for Science in the Public Interest
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., is seeking to hire a Chief Operating Officer. Learn more here

3. Manager of Corporate Partnerships, American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust seeks a Manager of Corporate Partnerships to generate significant corporate revenue through corporate partnerships and cause-marketing opportunities. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Montana is planting seeds of a movement
Innovative programs are taking hold in Montana’s schools to equip children with the knowledge and desire to shape our food systems in the coming generations. As the stewards of our future, they will grow what we eat and influence the mechanisms by which it’s prioritized, processed, stored and distributed. One such program is Harvest of the Month, which began three years ago as a pilot project and is now a fully formed statewide program with 143 participating K-12 schools, overseen by Montana State University’s farm to school coordinator (and NFSN Montana Core Partner!), Aubree Roth. (Flathead Beacon)

Iowa school’s greenhouse is cultivating an interest in gardening
Thanks to a growing interest in gardening and the availability of a greenhouse, Central students have been able to stock their school salad bar with leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes during the winter months. (Clayton County Register)

Washington students enjoy food performance
Chef Arran Stark recently prepared purple sprouting broccoli while giving an engaging performance and a history of broccoli, sharing with high school students the importance of eating seasonally. He also offered cooking tips and tricks, and shared the story of his journey to becoming a chef. (PT Leader)

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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