1. Get Counted! USDA Farm to School Census Still Open
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems' third Farm to School Census is currently open and will be wrapping up at the end of November. Be sure your school district is counted! The Farm to School Census is the only national survey that examines school districts’ farm to school activities. It's imperative that all School Food Authorities (SFAs) - whether or not they currently participate in farm to school activities - complete the Census in order to have the most accurate picture of the scope, reach and impact of farm to school nationwide. The Census has been sent directly to SFAs. Please check with your SFAs to ask if they've submitted the Census, and make sure your efforts are counted! Learn more about the Census here.
Grants & Funding
1. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA Now Open
Deadline: December 13
The 2020 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. With additional funding made available through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $10 million in FY 2020 funding. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 will be available to schools, nonprofits, State and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan and implement farm to school activities. Applications are due Dec. 13, 2019. Learn more here.
2. NFSN Consultation Services to Support USDA Farm to School Grant Applicants
National Farm to School Network advocated for the establishment of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program and is committed to ensuring this funding reaches the communities that need it most. NFSN is available on a consultation basis to provide assistance during the application process (thought partnership, preparing the grant application, evaluation) and during grant implementation (needs assessment, evaluation, action plan, virtual coaching). Learn more here.
3. USDA Regional Farm to School Institutes RFA
Deadline: December 27
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems is pleased to announce the new Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications (RFA). This new grant for fiscal year 2020 will support the creation and dissemination of information on farm to school program development, and provide practitioner education and training, and ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. The Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding at least two grants with a combined total of $150,000, to eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations working regionally to promote farm to school activities and support practitioners. Learn more here.
4. Food System Vision Prize
Early Deadline: Dec. 5 / Final Deadline: Jan. 31
With a total of $2 million in prize money and a global network of partners, the Food System Vision Prize is an invitation for organizations, companies, governments, and other entities around the world to develop inspirational, concrete Visions for the food system of the future. The Prize, launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, is driven by a central question: “How might we envision regenerative and nourishing food futures for 2050?” The Prize seeks systems-focused proposals that encourage people worldwide to take action and think collaboratively about the future. Submitted Visions should also reflect the Prize’s core beliefs that include diversity, resilience, equity, and the power of food to connect people. Learn more here.
5. NCR-SARE 2020 Call for Proposals Youth Educator Sustainable Agriculture Grants
Deadline: November 14, 2019
NCR-SARE recognizes that youth programs are a way to introduce new and exciting farming and ranching options to youth, parents, and community members.Youth Educator Grant projects provide opportunities for youth in the North Central Region to learn about Sustainable Agriculture (farming and ranching that is ecologically sound, profitable, and socially responsible). Educators use the grants to encourage young people and their parents to try sustainable practices and see sustainable agriculture as a viable career option. Learn more here.
6. National One Earth Award
Deadline: Varies by region / As early as December 1, 2019
The National One Earth Award, sponsored in part by the Salamander Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, provides four students whose creative works address the pressing issue of human-caused climate change with $1,000 scholarships. Additional state scholarships of $500 are available to two students from each of the following states: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. This award is part of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. The Awards encourage, publish, and grant scholarships to creative teens. Learn more here.
1. Webinar: Product Spotlight - Increasing Regionally Sourced Grains in Institutions
Nov. 19 // 2 PM EST
Join FINE and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) for a one-hour webinar to learn more about regional grain production and how it can be a cost effective choice for your institution. Across the state of Maine, allies are working to transform the grain economy by increasing production and reducing procurement bottlenecks while serving and educating customers. Register here.
2. Farm to School 101: Free Farm to School Trainings
Nov. 21 // Massachusetts
Join ChicopeeFRESH for Farm to School 101, a training opportunity for K-12 food service operators and community partners who are looking to take the leap into farm to school. Each training will take place in a different region of Massachusetts, and will feature a field trip to a local farm. Farm to School 101 will cover the basics of launching a successful farm to school program, including building relationships with farmers and producers, planning affordable seasonal menus, and branding and marketing your program. The first two trainings will take place in November. Learn more here.
3. 2020 National Child Nutrition Conference Scholarship: Application Open
Deadline: January 16, 2020
Scholarships are now available for the National Child Nutrition Conference. Apply today for the opportunity to join over 1,700 attendees at the premier training and networking event for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and Afterschool Meals community. The conference will be held April 14-16, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. 2019 Florida Farm to School Annual Report
In the 2018-2019 school year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services collected specific data for the third year in a row related to the purchase of Florida agricultural products by school districts. As part of the Farm to School initiative, the department analyzed the economic impact these purchases had to the state of Florida using IMPLAN, a regional economic modeling system that utilizes Florida’s state and county databases to estimate economic multipliers for over 500 different industries. Working with school districts, food service vendors, processors and agricultural associations, the department is able to create a summary of local purchasing made by school districts and the impact on Florida’s economy. Read here.
2. New Book Featuring Minneapolis Public Schools' Farm to School Program
Why is it so hard for schools to cook healthy meals from scratch using locally sourced ingredients? Why are so many school kitchens and cafeterias lacking adequate facilities? How are schools at the forefront of the real food movement managing to eliminate "ingredients of concern" from their supply chains and build robust farm-to-school programs? The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools, a new book by Professor Jennifer Gaddis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, answers these questions and more. Notably, this is the first major study to center the perspectives of cafeteria workers who cook and care for the nation's children. Chapter 5, "Building a Real Food Economy," will be of special interest to farm-to-school practitioners and policymakers. It features a case study of Minneapolis Public Schools, a leader in the national farm-to-school network. Using interviews with frontline workers and district leadership, the chapter traces the process and impact of investing in on-site kitchens and values-based purchasing. Learn more here.
1. Prevention Resource Center VISTA, Montana Team Nutrition Program (Bozeman, MT)
Montana Team Nutrition Program at Montana State University in Bozeman is now searching for a Prevention Resource Center VISTA to serve for one-year beginning in January 2020! This project will move Montana children out of poverty by assessing and addressing training, resources and communication gaps resulting in the increased access to healthy foods through the implementation of farm to school in Montana schools, afterschool, and early care and education settings. Learn more here.
2. Office Specialist 2, Oregon Department of Education (Portland, Oregon)
The Office Specialist 2 provides a wide variety of secretarial, technical, or minor administrative related tasks in support of an agency program or operation. The Office Specialist 2 will support the Farm to School Program and Farm to School Coordinator in the delivery of Farm to School Program. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
Kentucky agriculture students grow their own food
Instead of growing food in large rural fields, John Hardin High School agriculture students are farming plants indoors next to their classroom. The program was created out of what Hall said is “a need to educate and empower students on the issue of food security as well as solutions.” (The News Enterprise)
Florida teacher, students revive agriculture program with hydroponic garden
Dozens of teenagers broke a sweat Tuesday morning in a back-campus garden at Riverdale High School, driving poles into the ground, building towers of pots and hand-churning a faux-soil mixture that will soon sprout salad bar fixings for the school’s lunchroom. By the final bell, the students had created a functional hydroponic garden — a self-contained system of growing plants in columns instead of in the ground. (News-Press)
New York students grow with new garden
Thanks to the efforts of first grade teacher Terry Stacy, CER students are now able to explore healthy eating options and grow some of their own food in the school’s new garden. (Oswego County Today)
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.