Grants & Funding
1. USDA FY 2018 Farm to School Grant RFA
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems has released the FY 2018 Farm to School Request for Applications (RFA). The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Interested in applying? Complete applications must be submitted on grants.gov by 11:59pm ET on December 8, 2017. Check out our resources for applicants and see a list of awardees since the release of the first RFA in 2013.
2. Value Added Producer Resource Grants
The Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income. Learn more by attending the October 18th webinar and apply here.
3. Local Foods, Local Places
Local Foods, Local Places supports locally led, community-driven efforts to protect air and water quality, preserve open space and farmland, boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, improve access to healthy local food, and promote childhood wellness. Communities are invited to apply for a new round of planning assistance from Local Foods, Local Places. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on October 25, 2017.
1. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Farm to Early Care and Education in Head Start – A Natural Alignment
Tuesday, October 10, 3-4 PM ET
Explore the National Farm to School Network’s exciting new resource, Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education, and hear from Head Start practitioners about best practices and successes in implementing farm to ECE in the Head Start setting. Register here.
2. NFSN WEBINAR Webinar: Economic Impacts of Farm to School
Wednesday, Oct. 11 // 12-1pm ET
This webinar is part of a wider effort to promote the release of the associated report Economic Impacts of Farm to School: Case Studies and Assessment Tools (a collaborative project of the National Farm to School Network and Colorado State University). Panelists will discuss findings of the new report, highlight the use of two key resources for conducting economic impact studies of food system initiatives and their application to farm to school economic impact assessment, and discuss continuing work to better understand the impacts of farm to school activities. Additional panelists include representatives from USDA Office of Community Food Systems, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and Cornell University. Register for the webinar by submitting this form.
3. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) Webinar: National Farm to School Month: Early Care Education Edition
Tuesday, October 17 // 12-1:15pm ET
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. It is also a great time to learn more about farm to early care and education (ECE), a suite of activities and strategies that entails three core elements, including the use of local foods in meals and snacks, gardening opportunities, and food-based learning activities implemented in the ECE setting. Join speakers from the National Farm to School Network and Arizona State University to learn about opportunities to celebrate National Farm to School Month and to learn more about the vast array of benefits of farm to ECE for children, families and communities. This webinar is free and open to the public. Register here.
4. Special Session on Soil Health
Wednesday, October 25 // 9:30 am -11:30 am ET
Organized by the Organic Farming Research Foundation, this special session on Soil Health Research is applicable to both organic and conventional practices, providing production systems to improve sustainability and profit. Presenters will discuss effects of cover crops, compost, and rotation, as well as the influence of soil management practices on economic returns. Register here or plan to watch the archived recording here.
1. October is National Farm to School Month!
National Farm to School month is here! The National Farm to School Network has free resources, planning materials, activity ideas and a new calendar of events for ways you can get involved in October. Visit farmtoschool.org/month to get involved.
2. National Farm to School Month Tweet Chat
October 12 // 12-1pm ET
Every October, communities across the country come together to celebrate the connections happening between children and local food. Come celebrate with us during a live chat on Twitter! Ask your farm to school questions, hear from movement leaders, share resources and tell us about your favorite examples of farm to school in action. Join the National Farm to School Network (@FarmtoSchool) and special guests for a #FarmtoSchool101 tweet chat onThursday, October 12 from 12-1pm ET to discuss how farm to school supports healthy kids, thriving farms and vibrant communities.
3. National School Lunch Week 2017
Oct. 9-13 is National School Lunch Week! During this annual weeklong celebration, School Nutrition Association members and students around the country celebrate in their cafeterias with decorations, special menus, events, and more. The 2017 NSLW theme is “School Lunch: Recipes for Success”, and it’s all about showing off the secrets to your school lunch success in your schools and districts—fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and of course, our students. Learn more and find resources to celebrate here.
4. Summit for Beginner Farmer Service Providers
January 11, 2018 // Hyattsville, MD
This summit brings together beginning farmer service providers from across the region to discuss best practices, policy, and emerging trends in beginning farmer training. This one-day summit is held annually. Register here.
1. 9th Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Call for Workshop & Poster Proposals
The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Cincinnati, OH, April 25-27,2017! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene more than 1,000 diverse stakeholders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Conference organizers are seeking workshop and poster proposals from individuals and organizations working to improve our food system, strengthen community health, empower youth, advance equity and increase opportunities for farmers. Learn more information about proposal submissions here. Proposals are due no later than 8 pm ET on November 14, 2017. All questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. National Farm to School Month's Take Action Pledge
Celebrate National Farm to School Month by adding your name to the National Farm to School Network's Take Action Pledge! Sign the pledge and you’ll be entered to win our Farm to School Month sweepstakes! Ten winners will receive a prize package that includes: assets from the Captain Planet Foundation Project Learning Garden™ program, a Stand2Learn student standing desk, and a collection of seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds. No action is too small – take the pledge now!
3. #RealSchoolFood Campaign
It’s easy! Post a #RealSchoolFood selfie to social media throughout the month of October, and our generous sponsors will donate $1 to the Chef Ann Foundation. Make sure your post includes #RealSchoolFood, a call out to @ChefAnnFoundation , and make it public so it's counted! Post as many times as you want, each post gets us a $1 donation to help schools serve healthier food to kids.
4. Call for Nominations: 2018 School Nutrition Heroes
School Nutrition Association is seeking nominations of SNA members who go above and beyond their responsibilities to make a difference in the community for SNA's 2018 School Nutrition Heroes awards. To tell them about the individual that you think should be recognized as a School Nutrition Hero, fill out the Online Nomination Form. All nominations are due no later than Friday, October 27, 2017.
Resources & Research
1. Johns Hopkins' FoodSpan Curriculum
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has developed a curriculum for high school students on the food system. The curriculum, called FoodSpan, is highlighted in this Baltimore Sun article.
2. FoodTank's List of 18 Farm-to-School Initiatives Making an Impact
Food Tank is celebrating farm-to-school month by featuring 19 inspiring and innovative farm-to-school programs from around the world. These programs are making a demonstrated difference in child health, school attendance rates, food security, and farmer livelihoods in many communities. The National Farm to School Network was honored to be included on the list. Read about all 18 of the farm to school programs that made the list.
1. Public Health Nutritionist, Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD)
The CPHD seeks to hire a Public Health Nutritionist to develop, implement and coordinate activities in Cambridge to promote healthy eating and active living with a focus on policy, practices, systems changes to create an environment that promotes healthy choices. Learn more here.
2. Executive Director, National Farm Farm Coalition (NFFC)
NFFC seeks to fill the role of Executive Director to engage its diverse and dedicated membership to influence national farm and fisheries policy, magnify its fundraising capacity, and expand relationships with allies, potential allies and legislators while serving as a public face of the coalition. Read more here.
3. Operations Manager and Culinary Manager, San Francisco Unified School District
San Francisco Unified School District has two open management positions within Student Nutrition Services. Both are great opportunities to drive innovation and create change within a large school district's school meals program. Learn more about the Operations Manager role as well as the Culinary Manager.
Farm to School in the News
Student-grown salad in the school cafeteria? These D.C. kids dig it
At Horace Mann Elementary School in Northwest D.C., instruction isn’t confined to a few cedar-raised beds. After leafy vegetables are planted and cared for, students harvest the crops, chop them up and serve them to more than 400 of their peers for lunch. (WTOP)
Local Food Hub brings apples to Virgina Elementary for "Crunch Heard 'Round the Commonwealth"
For Virginia Farm to School Week, the Local Food Hub is supplying cafeterias in six public school districts and one private school with fresh, fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products grown by Virginia family farms. In total, the schools purchased over $10,500 in local products. (Charlottesville Tomorrow)
Pennsylvania elementary students sow seeds for hydroponic garden business
The agricultural team planted 100 strawberries and is breeding tilapia as part of the project. The technology team works with tools to gather data, and the business team is tasked with creating a logo and marketing the shop. (Triblive)
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.