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This Week in Farm to School: 7/07/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 07, 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 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.   

2. Call for Proposals: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health Prize
Deadline: July 30
A Culture of Health recognizes that where we live—such as our access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs, and reliable transportation—affects how long and how well we live, and that improving health and well-being requires collective efforts to create the conditions to ensure all residents have a fair and just opportunity for health. This request seeks an entity to re-imagine, lead, and manage the next two-year phase of the leadership and management of the national RWJF Culture of Health Prize. Learn more and apply. 

3. Pure Farmland™ Pure Growth Project
Deadline: July 31
Pure Farmland believes that good things are grown from the ground up. That’s why they created the Pure Growth Project— an initiative and grant program (ranging from $1,000 to $20,000) that supports community gardens in neighborhoods throughout the country and builds on our longstanding commitment to protect vital American farmland. View the press release. Learn more and apply. 

4. Farmers Advocating For Organic (FAFO) Fund 
Deadline: August 1 (LOI) and August 15 (Application)
Funded entirely by voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers, FAFO is the largest farmer-funded grant program in the U.S. and one of the few focused solely on organic. FAFO awards grants of $5,000-$50,000 to research, education, and advocacy projects that protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers. Learn more and apply. 


Webinars & Events
1. Workshop Series: Edible Schoolyard Summer Training at Home
Starts June 30
Edible Schoolyard is hosting a free, multi-month summer program of online training and professional development sessions for the field of edible education. The program will consist of a four-part workshop series on adapting edible education to remote and home learning and a three-part panel series on the core values of nourishment, stewardship, and community. All sessions will be offered at no cost. Learn more and register here. 

2. EQUITY Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) Build, Unlearn, Decolonize Learning Series
Deadline to apply: Today!
Drawing inspiration from abolitionist & decolonial pedagogy, CoFED’s Build, Unlearn, Decolonize program (BUD) is a 5-week-long cooperative education intensive designed to support teams of young BIPOC looking to build community health and wealth through thriving, cooperative food and land-based businesses. BUD will take place from September 14 - October 19, 2020, in virtual space. Open to teams of 2-3 people from ages 18-30, BUD is a life-changing experience where you and your crew can learn more about cooperative economics, decolonizing our food system, and creating community-led food solutions with a triple bottom line of food sovereignty, sustainability, and decoloniality. Learn more and apply.

3. Building Sustainable Power for Change: Toolkit for Activism
Join The New School's four-part workshop series on organizing, community building, and how to influence change in the world. Hear from Ted Kerr, Kiara Nagel, A.W. Strouse, and Miski Noor, who will lead the discussions. Workshops will take place every Tuesday in July from 3:00-4:30 p.m. (EST).  Presented by the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Justice and the Dean's Office at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts.

Self Care and Resiliency in the Face of Grief: Working Inside and Out
(7/7)
Narrative Power in the Time of Uprising (7/14)
Organizing by Understanding Power (7/21)
Engagement Burnout: How to be Restored (7/28)

4. How to Host a Nonpartisan Virtual Candidates Forum 
July 8 & July 22 // 12-1PM EST
Join Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Community Food Strategies, and Rural Advancement Foundation International - USA in this webinar designed to support food councils or community groups in considering hosting their own local food-themed virtual forum this fall. With a presidential election this fall, it is an important election year to bring attention to issues related to food, farming, and health with your community leaders and stakeholders. Register for July 8. Register for July 22. Contact Jared Cates at jared@carolinafarmstewards.org or Matt Kneece at matt@carolinafarmstewards.org with questions. 

5. National Young Farmers Coalition Produce Safety for Farm to School Focus Group
July 8 // 4PM EST
The National Young Farmers Coalition is seeking produce farmers who grow for Farm to School programs to participate in an online focus group this summer on produce safety in farm to school. All participants will receive a $50 stipend and a copy of our food safety guidebook: A Small Farmer's Practical Guide to Food Safety.  Register here.

6. NFSN Twitter #LunchChat 
July 9 // 1PM EST
National Farm to School Network is hosting a Twitter #LunchChat with FoodCorps next Thursday, July 9 from 1-2pm ET and you're invited to join us! We'll be tweeting about the ways school meals can support our country through COVID-19, how communities and policy makers can take action, and our vision that all students – across all races, places, and classes – deserve access to healthy food. Hope to see you there! Follow: @FoodCorps & @FarmtoSchool on Twitter.

7. EcoFarm's Farm to Farmer Conversation Series
July 28 // 12 PM PST
During the pandemic, USDA and state agencies have funded over $3 billion to purchase food as a way to reduce food waste and to feed the millions of newly unemployed. This 90 minute conversation hosted by the Ecological Farming Association will feature national leaders from organic farms, food hubs, food banks, academia, and sustainable agriculture groups to explore these new and old programs. You will learn about the policy, marketing, and nutritional implications of this new CFAP program and related state efforts. Register here.

8. National CACFP Sponsors Association's Child Nutrition Virtual Summit
Deadline to register: August 7 //  August 11, 12, 18, & 19
The National CACFP Sponsors Association is bringing training to your office! With offerings spanned over 4 days, the virtual summit allows up to 20 hours of Continuing Education Credits for food program training for $149. View the schedule and register here. Online registration deadline is August 7.

9. The Power of Food: Cultivating Equitable Policy Through Collective Action
September 20-22, 2021 // Kansas City, Missouri
Join the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks project for the first-ever, in-person national forum dedicated to food policy councils (FPCs) and similar groups. The Power of Food: Cultivating equitable policy through collective action will now take place on September 20-22, 2021, in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Forum is committed to creating an equitable space to foster learning and sharing that will transform how FPCs imagine community-centered policy change for vibrant, healthy and equitable communities. To stay up-to-date on the latest plans for the Forum, sign up here.

10. Honoring School Food Heroes Campaign
Kids can’t eat a virtual lunch, and farmers can’t sell virtual vegetables! It’s time to recognize the school food heroes who serve our children meals every day, and use their school food dollars to support our local food producers. Help appreciate these front line heroes by sharing this video and join TIPS for School Meals That Rock, Chef Ann Foundation, Life Time Foundation, Wellness in the Schools, and Whole Kids Foundation in celebrating our heroes. View the campaign video and learn more. 

11. University of Massachusetts' Online Organic Vegetable Production Class 
The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering an online class on organic vegetable production beginning July 6.  STOCKSCH 320 - Organic Vegetable Production is a 3 credit, college class taught by Stockbridge instructor, Renee Ciulla, who has experience both as a college teacher and an organic farmer.  This online course will cover the principles and practices of growing vegetables organically for both the professional small farmer and serious home gardeners. The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering 5 online classes during the 6-week summer session including Urban Agriculture and Professional Development in Sustainable Food and Farming. Classes offered during the second summer session will begin on July 6, 2020, and registration is now open.  For information on all 5 online classes offered this summer as well as the 13 classes offered this fall at UMass Amherst click here.


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY Indigenous Futures Survey Research Project
Deadline: August 1
IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance, and Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth are partnering with acclaimed researchers Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) of the University of Michigan and Dr. Arianne Eason of the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct the Indigenous Futures Survey -- a groundbreaking research project for Native peoples by Native peoples. The 15-20 minute survey launched Tuesday, June 23, 2020 and will close on August 1, 2020. IFS researchers are looking to reach as many Native relatives as possible, and are seeking to partner with organizations and tribal leaders to help disseminate the survey to at least 2,000 participants 18 years of age and older. IFS disseminating organizations and tribes can request access to data collected from the survey to be helpful to their future work. To participate in the IFP survey dissemination, or have questions regarding the survey, please email indigenousfuture@aspeninstitute.org or call (202) 736-2905. Learn more and take the survey.

2. In Defense of Food: A Middle School Curriculum
The IDOF curriculum was developed by Kikim Media, the producers of the program, in partnership with the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University.  It is designed to help adolescents develop something valuable: practical tools for healthier eating. Even though scientists know a lot about food and health, the messages that reach adolescents about healthy eating have become increasingly complex and contradictory. View the curriculum.

3. Urban Agriculture Survey: Please Share Your Thoughts
What do you need from your local Cooperative Extension? If you are engaged in urban agriculture anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast region, U of M like to hear from you -- please fill out this survey to help get a better understanding of what urban agriculture looks like and how Extension can better serve urban farmers! The survey should take less than 30 minutes to complete. It is open to all individuals who are at least 18 years old and grow food plants or engage in other agriculture in urban areas in the Northeast U.S. If you have any questions, please contact Neith Little at nglittle@umd.edu and Dr. Matthew Richardson at matthew.richardson@udc.edu. Complete the survey.

4. EQUITY A Reading List For Learning About Anti-Black Racism and Food
Here are some books to educate ourselves on racism in America as it relates to farming, cooking, grocery shopping, and beyond. 

5. EQUITY ASAP Growing Mind's Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Bias Resources
Children begin to develop racial awareness and bias at a very young age. In an effort to create learning environments that are more diverse, inclusive, and reflective of our culturally diverse society, farm to school programs should follow equity-minded best practices. Visit the ASAP Growing Minds Farm to School website for our Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Bias resources page, to find children’s books (including farm to school literature) that celebrate diverse voices, and access recommended external resources that can be used by both teachers and parents to teach children about race, diversity, and inclusion. 

6. EQUITY Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development Statement on Anti-Black Racism
After consultation and feedback from the JAFSCD Shareholder Consortium, the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development has released the JAFSCD Statement on Anti-Black Racism. This is a starting point and a way to remain accountable to the work the journal needs to do. Feedback on this statement is welcome. Contact JAFSCD Shareholder Consortium Co-Chair Keith Williams for comments and questions: keithw@fnti.net

7. 'Google Maps for Food Systems': New Dashboard Aims to Aid Decision-Making
A new online data hub intended to help countries make more informed food policy decisions aggregates data from different aspects of the food system — from supply chains to individual diets — to provide a fuller picture of whether and how people around the world access the nutritious foods they need. Read more.

8. National Museum of African American History and Culture's Talking About Race Resources
Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. The National Museum of African American History and Culture provides tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation. View the resources.



Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. National Farm to School Network's 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 Local Food Assistance and Resilient Markets Act
Last week, the National Farm to School Network endorsed the Local Food Assistance and Resilient Markets Act, a bill by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to expand food assistance and increase support for the local and regional food systems that have proven most resilient during the COVID-19 crisis. This bill addresses several of NFSN’s asks for crucial COVID-19 relief for our partners, families, kids, and farmers. The bill would:
  • Cover 100% of project costs with USDA Farm to School Grants for the next two years (rather than the 25% match currently required to access F2S grants)
  • Waive the matching requirement for several other local food systems grants
  • Expand funding for local food projects
  • Expand funding and access for Farm Microloans to help the smallest producers 
  • Address barriers to online SNAP participation for smaller retailers, including local food hubs and farmers markets

3. House Appropriations Subcommittee Increases Funding for USDA Farm to School Grant Program 
On July 6, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture approved a spending bill to fund agriculture and nutrition programs for Fiscal Year 2021. The federal Farm to School Grant Program received an unprecedented increase to $12 million per year in funds -- $7 million per year above the mandatory $5 million level. We wish to thank subcommittee leaders, particularly Chairman Sanford Bishop and Ranking Member Jeff Fortenberry, for prioritizing the expansion of these crucial grants. Join us in thanking these Members of Congress! Their Senate counterparts are hard at work on their own version of funding legislation, which will be unveiled later this month.

4. COVID-19 California Budget Provides Essential Funding for Safe School Meals
California’s legislative leaders and Governor Newsom have passed a final budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year that includes a $112 million allocation for California school districts providing free school meals during the pandemic, and another $10 million in funding for the Farm to School program and the Office of Farm to Fork. Read more. 

5. COVID-19 One-Third of Small Independent Farms Could Go Bankrupt in 2020 Due to COVID-19
The poll finds that more than 35% of farmers experienced an average drop in revenue of over 51% in March and April, compared to the same period the previous year, due to a lack of sales to restaurants and at farmers’ markets. The concern for them is getting stuck with goods they can’t sell; of the almost 37% who expect to have this problem, over half don’t have cold storage or another way to salvage what they’ve produced. Read more.


In The News
EQUITY Remembering Philando Castile, School Food Hero
On the four-year anniversary of the police killing of Philando Castile, National Farm to School Network and The Rockefeller Foundation have co-authored a blog honoring the legacy of Philando, a school nutrition professional, and calling for the recognition of school food programs as essential drivers of racial justice. Read the blog here

COVID-19 Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Program Expands Into Oregon
Despite school closures during the coronavirus pandemic this spring, Walla Walla Valley Farm to School volunteers have kept busy maintaining gardens at local schools and expanding the program south of the state line. Program manager Beth Thiel said funding from an Oregon State Farm to School Grant now supports a garden education manager in Oregon. (Union-Bulletin)

COVID-19 FoodCorps Members Keep Students Learning About Food
When COVID-19 forced schools to close across the United States, FoodCorps reimagined hands-on food and nutrition education. The national service program educates students in more than 375 schools across the United States. But now FoodCorps service members are teaching classes remotely while also serving on the frontlines of emergency feeding programs.(Food Tank)

How the Rise of Supermarkets Left Out Black America
60-plus years of corporate strategies, white flight and stereotypes about black Americans have made it significantly harder for many black people to access a supermarket than it is for most white people, according to leaders of big cities across the country as well as food policy advocates, historians and urban studies experts. (CNN)

An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism
From Audre Lorde's groundbreaking essays to Ibram X. Kendi's guide to being antiracist, these books are a great resource for understanding why people are protesting right now. View the list.


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: 6/30/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 30, 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 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.

2. Food Waste Warrior Mini-Grants
Deadline: June 30
These mini-grants enable schools and districts to implement educational lessons and audits to help drive food waste reduction in cafeterias across the US as part of the World Wildlife Fund Food Waste Warrior initiative. Submission deadline is June 30. Learn more and apply. 

3. 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.   

4. Call for Proposals: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health Prize
Deadline: July 30
A Culture of Health recognizes that where we live—such as our access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs, and reliable transportation—affects how long and how well we live, and that improving health and well-being requires collective efforts to create the conditions to ensure all residents have a fair and just opportunity for health. This request seeks an entity to re-imagine, lead, and manage the next two-year phase of the leadership and management of the national RWJF Culture of Health Prize. Learn more and apply. 

5. Pure Farmland™ Pure Growth Project
Deadline: July 31
Pure Farmland believes that good things are grown from the ground up. That’s why they created the Pure Growth Project— an initiative and grant program (ranging from $1,000 to $20,000) that supports community gardens in neighborhoods throughout the country and builds on our longstanding commitment to protect vital American farmland. View the press release. Learn more and apply. 

6. Farmers Advocating For Organic (FAFO) Fund 
Deadline: August 1 (LOI) and August 15 (Application)
Funded entirely by voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers, FAFO is the largest farmer-funded grant program in the U.S. and one of the few focused solely on organic. FAFO awards grants of $5,000-$50,000 to research, education, and advocacy projects that protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers. Learn more and apply. 


Webinars & Events
1. Food Safety Focus Group with The National Young Farmers Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition is seeking produce farmers who grow for Farm to School programs to participate in an online Food Safety focus group this summer. This is a PAID opportunity for farmers to share their knowledge and experience, and learn more themselves. Each hour-long virtual focus group will feature a farmer co-facilitator discussing their operation and systems and 8 - 10 farmers asking the lead farmer questions and sharing their own experience with the topic. The farmer co-facilitator and participants will be paid for their time; $250 and $50, respectively, and be joined by Maggie Kaiser from the Coalition and Billy Mitchell from National Farmers Union. More information and sign-ups can be found at youngfarmers.org/focusgroups. You can also send questions directly to maggie@youngfarmers.org. 

2. EQUITY Virtual Workshop: People's Sovereignty Lab's Workshop: "Resisting and Reclaiming Land, Territories and Peoples Sovereignty"
Today! June 30 // 2PM CEST or 7AM CST 
This workshop, organized by the People´s Sovereignty network, aims at sharing the experiences of social movement and civil society activists from different regions of the world who are struggling to defend their rights and sovereignty over their territories and lives. This workshop brings together activists from the Basque Country, Guatemala, Kenya and the Six Nations in Canada who, along with a group of academics, are part of the People´s Sovereignty network experience and have recently engaged in a process of reciprocal learning and co-authorship that led to a forthcoming special forum of the Globalizations Journal. Learn more and register. 

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Safe Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfection in Child Care Facilities and Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Today! June 30 // 1PM ET
During this webinar, public health panelists will address how to more safely choose and use cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products and practices for child care facilities and schools in this time of COVID-19. The speakers will also describe the differences between these different activities and how to know where and how often each should be done. There will be ample time for Q&A. Learn more and register here.

4. EQUITY Black Women on Black Food Sovereignty
Today! June 30 // 2pm ET
Join FoodShare Toronto for a conversation featuring four Black women leading the call for Black food sovereignty in Canada, the U.S.A., and the United Kingdom. Through our panelists’ uniquely valuable perspectives and experiences, we’ll explore what Black food sovereignty means, why it is important, and how we can collectively work to advance it. Register here. 

5. COVID-19 Taking Advantage of CEP This School Year
Today! June 30 // 2pm ET
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides school meals to students at no cost to them. With rising food insecurity due to COVID-19, CEP will be a lifeline for students and families in the coming school year. Among its numerous benefits, CEP simplifies counting and claiming (hello, meals in the classroom!), eliminates school meals debt, and improves student behavioral and academic outcomes. Join this webinar hosted by No Kid Hungry to learn more about how to make CEP work for your team and your students this year. Register here. 

6. Workshop Series: Edible Schoolyard Summer Training at Home
Starts June 30
Edible Schoolyard is hosting a free, multi-month summer program of online training and professional development sessions for the field of edible education. The program will consist of a four-part workshop series on adapting edible education to remote and home learning and a three-part panel series on the core values of nourishment, stewardship, and community. All sessions will be offered at no cost. Learn more and register here. 

7. Food Systems Mapping 101: Tools and Skills Call
July 2 // 2pm ET
Mapping can be a great tool for understanding what’s happening in your community food system. However, there are lots of tools to choose from when making a map. Next up in a series on food systems mapping is a call to learn about the available data sets and mapping platforms, and how to find the right tools for your needs. Carolyn Talmadge from Tufts University and Cynthia Caul from Chatham University will join Wallace Center staff to share their expertise and introduce you to some tools to help create useful and effective food systems maps. Register here.

8. EQUITY Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) Build, Unlearn, Decolonize Learning Series
Deadline to apply: July 7
Drawing inspiration from abolitionist & decolonial pedagogy, CoFED’s Build, Unlearn, Decolonize program (BUD) is a 5-week-long cooperative education intensive designed to support teams of young BIPOC looking to build community health and wealth through thriving, cooperative food and land-based businesses. BUD will take place from September 14 - October 19, 2020, in virtual space. Open to teams of 2-3 people from ages 18-30, BUD is a life-changing experience where you and your crew can learn more about cooperative economics, decolonizing our food system, and creating community-led food solutions with a triple bottom line of food sovereignty, sustainability, and decoloniality. Learn more and apply.

9. National CACFP Sponsors Association's Child Nutrition Virtual Summit
Deadline to register: August 7 //  August 11, 12, 18, & 19
The National CACFP Sponsors Association is bringing training to your office! With offerings spanned over 4 days, the virtual summit allows up to 20 hours of Continuing Education Credits for food program training for $149. View the schedule and register here. Online registration deadline is August 7.

10. Honoring School Food Heroes Campaign
Kids can’t eat a virtual lunch, and farmers can’t sell virtual vegetables! It’s time to recognize the school food heroes who serve our children meals every day, and use their school food dollars to support our local food producers. Help appreciate these front line heroes by sharing this video and join TIPS for School Meals That Rock, Chef Ann Foundation, Life Time Foundation, Wellness in the Schools, and Whole Kids Foundation in celebrating our heroes. View the campaign video and learn more. 

11. University of Massachusetts' Online Organic Vegetable Production Class 
The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering an online class on organic vegetable production beginning July 6.  STOCKSCH 320 - Organic Vegetable Production is a 3 credit, college class taught by Stockbridge instructor, Renee Ciulla, who has experience both as a college teacher and an organic farmer.  This online course will cover the principles and practices of growing vegetables organically for both the professional small farmer and serious home gardeners. The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering 5 online classes during the 6-week summer session including Urban Agriculture and Professional Development in Sustainable Food and Farming. Classes offered during the second summer session will begin on July 6, 2020, and registration is now open.  For information on all 5 online classes offered this summer as well as the 13 classes offered this fall at UMass Amherst click here.


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY Indigenous Futures Survey Research Project
Deadline: August 1
IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance, and Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth are partnering with acclaimed researchers Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) of the University of Michigan and Dr. Arianne Eason of the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct the Indigenous Futures Survey -- a groundbreaking research project for Native peoples by Native peoples. The 15-20 minute survey launched Tuesday, June 23, 2020 and will close on August 1, 2020. IFS researchers are looking to reach as many Native relatives as possible, and are seeking to partner with organizations and tribal leaders to help disseminate the survey to at least 2,000 participants 18 years of age and older. IFS disseminating organizations and tribes can request access to data collected from the survey to be helpful to their future work. To participate in the IFP survey dissemination, or have questions regarding the survey, please email indigenousfuture@aspeninstitute.org or call (202) 736-2905. Learn more and take the survey.

2. National Museum of African American History and Culture's Talking About Race Resources
Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. The National Museum of African American History and Culture provides tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation. View the resources.

3. COVID-19 The Coronavirus Will Make Child Care Deserts Worse and Exacerbate Inequality
As COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders to protect public health continue, a quiet crisis is unfolding in child care programs across the country.  Without federal intervention, it is possible that licensed, reliable, high-quality child care will become a privilege of the wealthy, while millions of young children will end up in care of uncertain safety, reliability, and quality. Child care deserts will become the norm, holding back millions of working families, particularly working mothers, in the middle-class communities that were already falling behind economically prior to the pandemic. Read more.

4. Soul Fire Farm's BIPOC Led How-To Videos, Gardening Resources and Online Learning Resources
Soul Fire Farm's got you covered. This list of resources has everything you need to learn from BIPOC siblings paving the way to food justice, grow food, and support your community all while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. View the repository.

5. BIPOC in Agriculture and Food: A Resource Guide
View this open source database of black, indigenous people of color in the agriculture and food spaces across the country.  Read more. 

6. National Young Farmers' Coalition Racial Equity Toolkit
This toolkit is a starting point to help farmers organize around transformative learning and action. It aims to orient and incite members toward preliminary consciousness-raising and direct action. This toolkit does not detail a universally applicable pathway toward resolving pervasive racialized oppression; it is an initial resource for people who are overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of the problem, and need help determining how to start dismantling racism in their communities. View the toolkit.

7. EQUITY Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Issue
Across the country, local and state leaders are declaring racism a public health crisis or emergency. These declarations are an important first step in the movement to advance racial equity and justice and must be followed by allocation of resources and strategic action. American Public Health Association has created a growing list of states, cities and counties that are naming racism as a determinant of health. See the list here. 

8. Article: Food Waste in a School Nutrition Program After Implementation of New Lunch Program Guidelines
Researchers conducted a study to assess the amount of food waste by meal components according to the new National School Lunch Program guidelines among pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. Analyzing the results, researchers found that strategies to reduce food waste in school lunch should be researched and implemented. 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 Extended Waivers through June 30, 2021 for SBP, NSLP, and CACFP
These flexibilities allow for:
- Meals that do not meet normal meal pattern requirements when necessary to keep kids fed;  
-Meals to be served outside of group settings and outside of standard times to facilitate grab-and-go and other alternate service options; & 
-Parent/guardian pick-up of meals for students participating in distance learning. View the full press release.

3. COVID-19 USDA Adds Digital Options for Farmers and Ranchers to Apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that it will now accept applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. FSA is also leveraging commercial document storage and e-signature solutions to enable producers to work with local service center staff to complete their applications from home. Currently, the digital application is only available to sole proprietors or single-member business entities. Read the full press release. 

4. “Absolutely Essential”: USDA Cuts Red Tape for School Lunch Programs This Fall
Despite all these changes, school nutrition directors say there’s still a lot more than USDA can do to help them feed kids next year. Read more.

Job Opportunities
1. Healthy Food Access Program Manager, Kansas State University Extension (Manhattan, Kansas)
Deadline: July 18
Kansas State University is seeking a Program Manager to join our healthy food access team.  K-State’s food access work includes the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative (www.kansashealthyfood.org) and the Rural Grocery Initiative (www.ruralgrocery.org). This position will be responsible for providing technical assistance, assisting with grant development, event management, and managing partner and stakeholder relationships.  For best consideration, please submit your application materials using the link below by July 18. Learn more and apply.

2. Food Systems Researcher, The Lexicon (California)
The Lexicon, a California based NGO, is hiring food systems researchers with established domain expertise in the following subject areas: regenerative agriculture, food equity, food & climate change, supply chains, and agrobiodiversity. Applicants must have a secondary degree in a food or ag related field, demonstrable expertise in self-directed food research, and the ability to meet tight deadlines. Strong English language writing skills are a must, as is fluency in Google's suite of cloud based tools (Drive, Sheet, Doc, etc.) The work begins immediately and starts with a 3 month probationary period. Interested applicants can share a resume with Mary@thelexicon.org.


In The News
Stream: Arthur Jafa’s Love is the Message, The Message is Death
Arthur Jafa premiered Love is the Message, The Message is Death at Gavin Brown's enterprise in Harlem just days after the tumultuous 2016 election. Created earlier that summer, in the midst of an eruption of citizen documentation of police brutality towards Black people in the United States and subsequent protests, the seven-and-a half-minute video demanded viewers see the epidemic of racial violence that has always been in front of them. With Jafa’s support, 13 institutions have come together to amplify this work and simultaneously stream it for the first time. “What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?”-Amandla Stenberg.  Learn more and watch the live stream.

COVID-19 How Garden-Based Education Programs Are Adapting to COVID-19
The novel coronavirus has forced many garden-based education programs to find new ways to engage students from a distance. Two programs located in the Southern United States, Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) in Birmingham, Alabama and The Green Heart Project in Charleston, South Carolina, are finding similar ways to adjust their programs so they can continue to use gardening as an educational tool. (Food Tank)

COVID-19 Program Supports West North Carolina Farmers and Offers Food Relief During Pandemic
Asheville-based agriculture aid nonprofit Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project has stepped up to do what it does best: support Southern Appalachian farming communities by building connections to locally grown food. ASAP’s recently announced Appalachian Farms Feeding Families program connects farmers in Western North Carolina with smaller-scale food relief efforts, providing funding that covers costs to farmers. (Carolina Public Press)

Rediscovering Detroit’s Roots Through Indigenous Food
Through a collective maple sugaring effort, pop-up dinners, seed saving, and more, an urban community is reconnecting to its Indigenous foodways. (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: 6/23/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 23, 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 Pacific Northwest Farm Aid Farmer Resilience Fund
Deadline: June 26
For Alaska, Oregon, and Washington Farmers, Farm Aid has created a fund to give farmers  struggling during COVID-19 a one time $500 emergency relief payment. Learn more and apply. Applications in Spanish available here.

2. 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.

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. 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.   

5. Call for Proposals: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health Prize
Deadline: July 30
A Culture of Health recognizes that where we live—such as our access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs, and reliable transportation—affects how long and how well we live, and that improving health and well-being requires collective efforts to create the conditions to ensure all residents have a fair and just opportunity for health. This request seeks an entity to re-imagine, lead, and manage the next two-year phase of the leadership and management of the national RWJF Culture of Health Prize. Learn more and apply. 

6. Farmers Advocating For Organic (FAFO) Fund 
Deadline: August 1 (LOI) and August 15 (Application)
Funded entirely by voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers, FAFO is the largest farmer-funded grant program in the U.S. and one of the few focused solely on organic. FAFO awards grants of $5,000-$50,000 to research, education, and advocacy projects that protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers. Learn more and apply. 


Webinars & Events
1. 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

2. 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. 

3. Regional Ohio Action for Resilience's Next World Conversations
June 25 // 7:30PM CT
Please join Regional Ohio Action for Resilience for a series of conversations that will be a facilitated dialogue between two leaders in the field of agriculture and food, followed by a conversation with you, the audience. In the face of interlinked challenges including climate change, pandemics, and systemic racism, a new vision of the future is needed. Our systems are breaking down and we are searching for and re-visioning what our future could look like. This series will address systems such as food, energy, education, democracy, health – major systems that impact our quality of life. Register here.

4. COVID-19 Webinar: Local Food Markets, Farm Labor and Metrics in a Time of Covid-19
June 26 // 12pm ET
The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) along with the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) host this free webinar to discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on local food systems. Register here. 

5. COVID-19 Webinar: Safe Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfection in Child Care Facilities and Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic
June 30 // 1PM ET
During this webinar, public health panelists will address how to more safely choose and use cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products and practices for child care facilities and schools in this time of COVID-19. The speakers will also describe the differences between these different activities and how to know where and how often each should be done. There will be ample time for Q&A. Learn more and register here.

6. Food Systems Mapping 101: Tools and Skills Call
July 2 // 2pm ET
Mapping can be a great tool for understanding what’s happening in your community food system. However, there are lots of tools to choose from when making a map. Next up in a series on food systems mapping is a call to learn about the available data sets and mapping platforms, and how to find the right tools for your needs. Carolyn Talmadge from Tufts University and Cynthia Caul from Chatham University will join Wallace Center staff to share their expertise and introduce you to some tools to help create useful and effective food systems maps. Register here.

7. COVID-19 Webinar Recording: Disinfecting, Cleaning, and Best Practices for Protecting Your Family

During the COVID19 PandemicSince the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic began there has been an onslaught of news, information, and emerging science on the topic. Discerning how to best keep family and loved ones safe can be challenging in these times. Since the Coronavirus started spreading in the US, there has been an increased use of disinfectants and cleaners that pose potential dangers of their own. During this webinar scientists presented their work on effective, non-toxic solutions to cleaning and disinfecting in the home. View the recording.

Research & Resources
1. The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens
It is clear that Black farmers need help now more than ever. We also need fresh produce they provide. Here is  a list of Black owned farms and food gardens that you can support. Learn more. 

2. BIPOC in Agriculture and Food: A Resource Guide
View this open source database of black, indigenous people of color in the agriculture and food spaces across the country.  Read more. 

3. Soul Fire's Reparations Map for Black-Indigenous Farmers
Members of the Northeast Farmers of Color Network are claiming their sovereignty and calling for reparations of land and resources so that we can grow nourishing food and distribute it in our communities. The specific projects and resource needs of farmers of color are listed here.

4. Agricultural Employer Checklist for Creating a COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan
To prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19, agricultural employers can use this checklist to create a COVID-19 assessment and control plan for applying specific preparation, prevention, and management measures. This checklist has been developed based on the Agriculture Workers and Employers Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor. Read more. Ver recursos en español aquí.

5. 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.

6. National Young Farmers' Coalition Racial Equity Toolkit
This toolkit is a starting point to help farmers organize around transformative learning and action. It aims to orient and incite members toward preliminary consciousness-raising and direct action. This toolkit does not detail a universally applicable pathway toward resolving pervasive racialized oppression; it is an initial resource for people who are overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of the problem, and need help determining how to start dismantling racism in their communities. View the toolkit.

7. Article: Household Food Insecurity, Coping Strategies, and Happiness: The Case of Two Public Housing Communities
While the module recognizes some of the strategies households employ to cope with food hardships, it hardly encompasses the salient strategies commonly used by low-income families. The purpose of this study is to identify the major strategies low-income households employ to cope with their food insecurity, and to gain insight into the process they go through toward making ends meet and into how the process may affect their sense of overall happiness. Read more.

8. Call for Proposal: Transforming School Food Politics Around the World
Due: 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. 

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 Minnesota Department of Agriculture Grants Support Farm to School Connections During COVID-19
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) anticipates awarding up to $124,000 through two new Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) mini-grants to respond to the disruptions COVID-19 has caused in traditional Farm to School markets. “During this period of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re looking for ways to support farmers and invest in schools differently,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “These mini-grants help preserve and expand markets that provide students with locally grown, healthy, nutritional food options.” Read more.

3. COVID-19 Farmers to Families Food Box COVID-19 Relief Program Gets 2-Month Extension in Northeast
Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) announced that two Vermont-based entities, the Abbey Group and Willing Hands, have secured extended contracts through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue the delivery of food boxes throughout this summer through the end of August.  These two contracts will bring an additional $8.5 million in nutrition assistance to Vermont and the Upper Valley community in New Hampshire, most of which will go toward buying produce and dairy from local farms. Read more.

Job Opportunities
1. Property Manager, Farm Fresh Rhode Island (Providence, Rhode Island)
Deadline: July 7
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is seeking a full-time Property Manager for its soon-to-be-completed 60,000 sf Food Hub, located in the Valley neighborhood of Providence.  Farm Fresh RI will occupy approximately 30,000 sf and the remaining space will be tenanted by food and farm-related businesses. An ideal candidate is committed to supporting local farmers and agriculture and improving the local food system, has a proven track record in hands-on property and tenant management, and is a strong team player. Learn more and apply. 

2. Creative Coordinator, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development (Amana, Iowa) 
The Creative Coordinator leads social media, graphic design, and marketing for specific projects as well as for the organization. They are also responsible for managing websites, copyediting, research, and supporting special projects and publications. The position works in both of the organization’s focus areas: Food Systems and Creative Placemaking. Food system efforts include farm to school, farmers markets, farmer training, food safety, food hub development, food entrepreneur technical assistance, food production, and community food security. Learn more and apply.

In The News
School Lunch as We Know It Is Over
School nutrition professionals overhauled their operations on the fly. They feed families now, too. And they’re reinventing lunch programs for the coming year with fewer workers, untold variables, and multimillion-dollar budget deficits. Inside the effort to keep students fed while we rethink how to educate them safely. (The Counter)

COVID Questions Abound in School Lunch Planning and Prep
As the extent of the pandemic became more widely known, USDA announced 13 temporary COVID-19 waivers to help school districts meet the challenge of shifting meal delivery methods and menus away from the school cafeteria through the 2019-20 school year. While USDA has extended three of those waivers — non-congregate feeding, meal service times, and parent pickup — through Aug. 31, the School Nutrition Association (SNA), nutrition directors, and meal distributors and manufacturers agree schools need more certainty given the virus’ continued threat. (Agri-Pulse)

Gardening Projects in West Virginia Bring Kids, Families and Community Together
Several separate efforts to encourage gardening and healthy eating in Morgan County, WV have put down roots and grown with a wider community vision this spring. Local agencies and students have joined together to work with families and young people to teach the strategies, benefits and joys of gardening. They started with seeds and progressed to making box gardens and planting at people’s houses. (The Morgan Messenger)

Land Loss Has Plagued Black America Since Emancipation – Is It Time to Look Again at ‘Black Commons’ and Collective Ownership?
Underlying the recent unrest sweeping U.S. cities over police brutality is a fundamental inequity in wealth, land and power that has circumscribed black lives since the end of slavery in the U.S. (The Conversation)

‘Resilient Food Systems’: Carroll County Group Looks to Connect Gardeners With Food Banks
A Baltimore county group wants to gather modest-sized gardens together to create a big effect on the supply of fresh produce for food pantries. Neighbors Nourishing Neighbors is a new effort by a group of gardeners and people passionate about solving food insecurity. They’re working to gather home gardeners and start up new community gardens on church and government properties. (Baltimore Sun)

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: 6/16/20

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.

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.

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.

This Week in Farm to School: 5/19/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 19, 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
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.


Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 Webinar: Opportunities and Challenges in Providing School Meals in the Wake of COVID-19
TODAY! May 19 // 1:30-3pm ET
School nutrition professionals are working hard to provide school meals to children in their local communities while our nation continues to deal with an unprecedented public health emergency. State agency leadership from three states will provide an overview for the progression of USDA policy changes requested from the state agencies to support local districts in receiving necessary flexibilities to successfully provide meals during COVID-19. This webinar is hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Register here.

2. COVID-19 Webinar: Menu Planning for Non-Congregate Meals
TODAY! May 19 // 2pm ET
Cold meals or re-heatable meals? Individually portioned items or bulk components? Planning menus for non-congregate meal service can be a challenge, especially as the weather turns warmer. Tune into this webinar to learn about planning and procuring healthy, nutritious meals for kids in your community - and about keeping those meals safe on hotter days. You'll hear from Jen McNeil from LunchAssist, Aleshia Hall-Campbell from the Institute on Child Nutrition, and Miguel Villareal from San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Register here.

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Are You Ready For The New Normal, Part Two
TODAY! May 19 // 3:30pm ET
Join Health-e Pro for the second in a two-part series on steps for child nutrition programs to prepare for Fall. Part 1 focused on asking the right questions. Part 2 will provide answers. This webinar will discuss: caring for staff; managing waivers; assessing changes to MPLH; and engaging with distributors and local farms. Register here

4. COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall: "Speak Up & Speak Out:  A Virtual Town Hall Meeting for Educators”
TODAY! May 19 // 7pm ET
Join the National Education Association for “Speak Up & Speak Out: A Virtual Town Hall Meeting for Educators," presented by the Congressional Black Caucus focused on COVID-19 and Black America. NEA’s Vice President, Becky Pringle will serve as a speaker in this important discussion. This Town Hall will include such allies as: Congresswoman Karen Bass and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (D-CA-37), Congressman and Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24), American Federation of Teachers, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., as well as other educators, activists, and thought partners. Register here

5. COVID-19 Webinar: CDC Stakeholder Webinar and Resources: Schools and Childcare 
May 20 // 4pm ET
CDC has announced upcoming live stakeholder calls to help communities plan for, respond to, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The May 20 call is specifically for schools and childcare programs. Register here

6. COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall: Dispatch from the Frontlines: COVID-19 and Indigenous Communities
May 20 // 7pm ET
The Congressional Progressive Caucus Center and the Native Organizers Alliance are hosting “Dispatch from the Frontlines: COVID-19 and Indigenous Communities” to focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Tribal Nations and Indigenous people in the U.S. Speakers include: Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01, Laguna Pueblo); Faith Spotted Eagle (Native Organizers Alliance, Brave Heart Society, Yankton Sioux); State Rep. Ruth Buffalo (ND-HD27, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation); Tara Houska (Giniw Collective); Kevin Allis (National Congress of American Indians, Forest County Potawatomi). Register here

7. COVID-19 Webinar: Farm Credit COVID-19 Specialty Crop Virtual Panel Discussion
May 21 // 11am ET
Join this virtual panel discussion featuring Farm Credit fruit and vegetable producers. The panelists will discuss the challenges they are facing due to COVID-19, the impacts on the food supply chain and what additional resources they may require to be able to continue to operate and meet the demands of consumers. This webinar is hosted by Farm Credit. Register here

8. COVID-19 Webinar Series: Mobilizing Food Policy Councils to Support Food Workers During COVID-19
May 21 & 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

9. COVID-19 Webinar: Transitioning to Summer Meals
May 21 // 3pm ET
Summer's almost here - what does that mean for the Summer Nutrition Programs and those schools and sponsors that have been operating feeding programs due to COVID-19? This webinar will cover the most up-to-date information on the program flexibilities, tips for maintaining momentum, and things to consider for this summer. This webinar is hosted by FRAC. Register here

10. COVID-19 Webinar: Pickup and Order Options at Farmers Market: Create Resilience, Not Legal Vulnerability
May 21 // 4pm ET
As Farmers Markets add curbside pickup, take advance orders, and offer bundled market purchases, customers are getting fresh, local foods in the midst of a pandemic. But, these innovations can also bring legal risk as well. With some advance planning, market managers can address these risks and create a program with strength beyond COVID-19. This webinar cover issues including increased liability risk, shifting insurance needs, potential licensing obligations, and concerns under site agreements. Register here.

11. COVID-19 Webinar: True Cost Accounting in Post-COVID Food Policy
May 22 // 3pm ET
The current pandemic is showing us how brittle our food supply chains can be. But there is scope to respond to the crisis through building more sustainable, equitable food systems with policies that support localized supply chains, creating circular economies that benefit people and the planet. True Cost Accounting in food and agriculture is a currently evolving way of seeking to make visible the true costs and benefits of different food production systems with implications for everyone. Dr. Robin Currey will facilitate this panel discussion to explore how true cost accounting - applied along the food value chain - could guide post-COVID food policy. Register here

12. COVID-19 Webinar: Delivering Food and Nutrition Content During COVID-19
May 22 // 1pm ET
The Tisch Food Center, FoodCorps, and Common Threads are partnering to host a webinar on producing digital food and nutrition education content. Key areas of focus will include tailoring interventions to your audience, basic filming and video editing tips, and developing content for Google Classrooms. Hear from FoodCorps and Common Threads as they describe how they are developing high-quality digital content for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Register here

13. COVID-19 Webinar Recording: USDA Posts Recording of CFAP Direct Payments Webinar
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.


Research & Resources 
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here: www.farmtoschool.org/covid19

2. COVID-19 USDA Extends Three Nationwide Waivers
The USDA had announced that three nationwide COVID-19 Child Nutrition Response waivers will be extended through August 31, 2020, providing critical guidance to schools and other organizations making plans now to provide meals through the summer months. Waivers extend through August 31 include: the non-congregate meal service waiver; the parent meal pick-up waiver; and the meal service times waiver. The USDA also confirmed that program operators will be able to distribute meals for more than one day at a time. View the full press release here.

3. COVID-19 EQUITY When Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Programs Close, Who Cares for Farmworkers' Children?
Over 90% of Head Start programs have temporarily closed since the COVID-19 outbreak began. These closures include nearly all Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs, which provide early education, nutrition, and health services to agricultural workers and their families. Agricultural workers, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus and many of whom were excluded from stimulus relief, now have the added strain of finding child care, while Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs do their best to support families from afar. Read more

4. COVID-19 EQUITY Orgs Providing Emergency Food Relief to Native Communities During COVID-19
As COVID-19 continues to spread, Native communities across the country have been particularly hard hit by the virus. The pandemic has also exacerbated food insecurity in Native communities, which typically already face high rates of poverty and hunger in urban and rural areas. As COVID-19 disrupts food supply chains, communities face more severe water and food shortages. Food Tank is highlighting 17 organizations providing emergency food relief to Native communities during COVID-19. Read more here
 
5. 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

6. COVID-19 Big Green at Home - Virtual Education Resources
Big Green at Home compiles garden education resources for educators and families including standards-aligned curriculum material and weekly activity newsletters. See more here.

7. COVID-19 The Green Our Planet Virtual Academy
Farmers, chefs and hydroponic experts from Green Our Planet film themselves doing lessons in the gardens and at their homes, which Green Our Planet is sharing with teachers, students and families via the weekly Green Our Planet Virtual Academy Newsletter. See more here

8. COVID-19 Maine School Garden Network's Strategies for Remote School Garden Engagement 
The Main School Garden Network has a great list of ideas on how to maintain school or early care and education (ECE) gardens safely, strategies to engage kids this spring during the pandemic and many other resources. Access the document here.

9. Farmers Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms (English & Spanish)
This publication, created by the National Young Farmers Coalition, compares farm-specific software platforms that support direct-to-consumer sales, and highlights related educational resources. English version available here. Spanish version available here.

10. Spanish Translation of FDA Produce Safety Rule
The FDA has released a Spanish translation of the codified text of the Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety rule establishes, for the first time, science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. The rule is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. See 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. 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 fed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice to endorse NFSN’s federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate key food systems priorities in the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800). Sign on here

2. COVID-19 HEROS Act Provides Additional $16.5 Billion for Farmers During Pandemic
Last week, the House of Representatives unveiled another COVID relief package. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act largely builds off of previous relief bills and includes a broad range of support from support for nutrition programs to support for worker protections and increased funding for sustainable agriculture programs. Read more from NSAC here

3. COVID-19 NY State Kicks Off Nourish New York Initiative
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball kicked off the new Nourish New York Initiative last week. The initiative is providing $25 million to food banks for the purchase of surplus agricultural products from New York State farms to distribute to populations who need them most. Read more here

4. COVID-19 Massachusetts Invests $56M to Combat Food Insecurity
To bolster the food supply chain amid the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts state announced an investment of $56 million to combat food insecurity as a result of findings from the state’s Food Security Task Force. The group prioritized more than 80 recommendations tied to developing an emergency food program; fortifying the food bank system; maximizing federal resources for food and nutrition and reinforcing the food system infrastructure. Read more here.


Farm to School in the News
National Farm to School Network Announces FoodCorps as 2020 National Partner of the Year
In 2017, National Farm to School Network launched a “National Partner of the Year” program to strategically align and partner with other national organizations that share our goals of ensuring a nation of healthy kids, thriving family farms, and resilient communities. In 2020, we're pleased to be partnering with FoodCorps. We are joining forces to bolster our advocacy and programming so that we can better serve our communities, especially those most impacted by an unjust food system. Read more

COVID-19 Maine Lunches Made with Local Ingredients Feeding More than Students
The Community Regional Charter School in Skowhegan is pouring its school lunch dollars into the local community, helping businesses stay afloat. "It supports local and small businesses that are the backbone of our country and helps that local hub of businesses stay alive during this time and beyond really." (News Center Maine)

COVID-19 Tennessee Schools Serving Local Produce in Grab-n-Go Lunches 
Locally grown, fresh strawberries were served in Weakley County School lunches last week. “Supplying local schools has been a goal of ours for a couple of years;” Tyler Smith, owner of Future Vision Farms, said. “However, we just haven’t had the capacity. As we have grown to meet the production of our larger customers we have been able to begin servicing local school systems with our produce. We look forward to working with Weakley County Schools throughout our season from now until Thanksgiving.” (Weakley County Press)

COVID-19 YMCA Is More Than Gym-And-Swim When Kids Need Lunch
When Shelby County Schools had to cancel its plans to provide lunches for students during the pandemic because one of its food service workers had tested positive for COVID-19, the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South stepped up. As of last week, the project had made, boxed up, delivered and handed out 279,569 meals. (Daily Memphian)

COVID-19 Listen: ‘Our Food System Is Very Much Modeled on Plantation Economics’
CounterSpin, FAIR's podcast, interviewed Ricardo Salvador, Union of Concerned Scientists and NFSN Advisory Board member, about the coronavirus food crisis. Listen here.


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

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