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. USDA Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training. Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here.
2. Youth Garden Grants, Katie's Krops
Katie's Krops is accepting applications from youth between the ages of 9 and 16 for grants to start a Katie's Krops vegetable garden in their community with the purpose of donating the harvest to people in need. Selected applicants will be awarded a gift card to a garden center in their area (of up to $500), support from Katie’s Krops, and a digital camera to document the garden and the harvest. Applications are due December 31. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. School Food Focus 2016 National Gathering
Dec. 6-8, 2016 // Braselton, Ga.
School Food Focus is the national collaborative that ignites change in our food system by working on both the demand and supply sides of school food. Now in its sixth year, the National Gathering is a unique space for attendees to share innovative procurement strategies, connect with supply chain leaders and strengthen the school food movement. Learn more here.
2. Request for Proposals: New England Farm to Institution Summit
April 5-7, 2017 // Leominster, Mass.
The New England Farm to Institution Summit Steering Committee invites you to respond to its request for proposals. Farm to Institution New England will be hosting the second biennial New England Farm to Institution Summit on April 6-7 in Leominster, Mass. Do you have a great idea for a workshop, roundtable, panel, field trip, demo, training, tour or meeting? Session proposal are due Friday, Nov. 18th. Learn more here.
3. Whole Food Summit
Online through Nov. 16
Join Dr. Lisa Suski, founder of Miracle of Food, for a free online summit featuring seven food experts discussing issues including plant based eating, fermenting, cooking from scratch and more. Featured speakers include NFSN Advisor Miguel Villareal. Videos from the summit are available through Nov. 16. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. USDA Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Kit
Engage school staff and parents in school wellness using these ready-to-go communication tools. Sharing news about your Local School Wellness Policy is easy with these flyers, presentations, newsletter articles, and social media posts. Your school can personalize them to make them specific to your Local School Wellness Policy activities. Explore the toolkit here.
Jobs & Opportunities
1. Director, USDA Office of Community Food Systems
After five successful years of leading USDA's farm to school portfolio and launching a new Office of Community Food Systems, Deborah Kane is moving on to new adventures. USDA is currently seeking an equally driven, strategic and nimble leader to guide this high impact program through its next chapter of development. The director must demonstrate extensive experience implementing and managing community food systems or farm to school programming and have proven effective working relationships with community food systems or farm to school practitioners and coalitions. The director oversees a dynamic team that manages the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, conducts and disseminates research, and provides training and technical assistance related to community food systems in child nutrition programs. Applications are due Nov. 15. Learn more here.
2. The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program
The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, is a leadership development program that trains, inspires, and sustains a network of leaders committed to social justice. The Emerson program bridges community-based efforts with national public policy to develop Hunger Fellows as effective leaders in the movement end hunger and poverty. Each year 16 participants are selected for this year-long program. Applications for the 2017-2018 class of Emerson Fellows are due January 11, 2017. Learn more here.
Farm to school in the news
Fresh approach with farm-to-school meals in Oakland
Up to 80 percent of the produce served at Oakland Unified School District schools comes from nearby farms, as well as locally processed pasta and meat. As a sign of its commitment, the Oakland school board is now expected to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Policy. Sheila Golden, NFSN California Co-State Lead, says “Oakland is such a great model. They’re one of the biggest districts doing the things they do.” San Fransisco Chronicle
Bringing food from the farm to school
Seventh- and eighth-graders at Thermopolis Middle School in Wyoming are feeding their school with a new vocational “farm to school” learning course. The course’s 22 students have visited local growers and producers, picked apples for the school lunch program and harvested potatoes from the school garden. Wyoming Daily News
Elementary school shows off garden to state superintendent
Georgia's school superintendent recently visited an elementary school to learn more about its school garden. The garden, which includes more than 100 plant varieties, so far has yielded more than 800 pounds of food. Gwinnett Daily Post
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.