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This Week in farm to school: 11/15/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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. 

This Week in farm to school: 11/08/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 08, 2016

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. Schoolyard Garden Grants 
This grant provides up to $1,000 for plants, gardening equipment, curriculum, staff development and anything else that fosters connections between K-12 students and nature. Schools may design their own garden, enhance an existing garden, or better use an existing garden. Applications are due on Tuesday, December 16, 2016. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. Healthy and Ready to Learn: State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness Webinar
Nov. 17, 11am-12pm CT
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of student health and wellness. To help school health advocates and others take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to integrate health and wellness into education policy and practice, Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for Healthier Generation will be releasing Healthy and Ready to Learn: ESSA State Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about this important resource and connect with other advocates working to advance student health and school wellness through ESSA state plans. Register here

2. The Role of State, Local and Tribal Governments
Nov. 17, 3-4:30pm EST
The National Prevention Strategy (NPS) is a guide for improving the health and well-being of every American by shifting the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. This webinar series will highlight ways various partner groups are successfully addressing two key NPS priorities, Healthy Eating and Active Living, in their communities. The next webinar will focus on the role of state, local and tribal governments. Register here


Research & Resources
1. New FSMA resources from NSAC
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition been hearing questions from produce farmers about food safety training and, in particular, whether they need to sign up for a training focused on FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule for produce farms right away. The short answer is: probably not, but you should start considering your options now! If you grow fruit or vegetables and have questions, check out this just-released FAQ from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition here. It covers such questions as: "Do I have to take a FSMA training?", How do I know if I am covered by the FSMA Produce Rule?", and more!

2. Real Food Standards 2.0
The Real Food Standards were researched over the course of 18 months, with input of 100+ industry experts, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food service operators, and students. 130 certification and label claims were vetted; 40 now qualify as 'real food' in the final version of the Real Food Guide. Check out our most comprehensive compilation of criteria and certifications to date. Learn more 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. Plate to Politics and Communications Coordinator, Women Food & Ag Network
WFAN seeks a Plate to Politics and Communications Coordinator to join its team. This position will coordinate WFAN’s Plate to Politics program, and coordinate WFAN’s communications. Plate to Politics is WFAN’s training program for emerging leaders in healthy food and farming movement. WFAN’s communication efforts are focused on amplifying the voices of WFAN members and ensuring that the media narrative of food and agriculture includes women’s voices and our values of sustainability and food justice. Learn more here

3. Outreach Assistant Intern, Union of Concerned Scientists
Do you want to make food more sustainable? The Union of Concerned Scientists seeks an Outreach Intern to support its campaign to bring more funding to sustainable agriculture. In this paid, nine-month internship, you will organize and engage scientists, experts, and supporters through online and offline activities, coordinate outreach events, and assist with research and writing for UCS materials. Apply by November 21. Learn more here.  


Farm to school in the news
“Boat-to-School” Programs Source Fresh Seafood for Students
“This is a lesson farm-to-school advocates learned in the apple industry: People started selling cider apples, the really small ones, to schools because they were perfect for little kids,” says Simca Horwitz, the Eastern Massachusetts director for the Massachusetts Farm to School project, reflecting on similar uses of underutilized, abundant fish in east coast schools. “In a lot of ways, schools turning to local seafood today is where we were with land-based agriculture about 10 years ago.” Civil Eats

Local restaurants partner with schools for veggies
Mississippi restaurant customers are eating up kale grown by local second-grade students. First-grader Celia Johnston said she loves working in the garden, and she’s especially excited that the vegetables she and her classmates have grown will be put to good use at local businesses. “Our food is very good, and I think people will like to eat it,” Johnston said. Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Farm-to-school nutrition comes full circle
Farm to school efforts are taking root in West Virginia. Mason County schools are leading the way for efforts happening across the state, serving 4,200 students locally grown peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces, melon, potatoes, eggs, ground beef and pork. In addition to an innovate food service director, the district has wide support from the school board, school superintendent, and West Virginia University County Extension. Charleston Gazette-Mail 

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: 11/01/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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. Safer® Brand School Garden Grant 
Safer® Brand is starting an annual school garden grant to help kids build healthy habits through gardening. The $500 grant will be awarded to a school in the United States to start a school garden in 2017. Applications are due December 1. Learn more here

3. School Food Support Initiative 
Chef Ann Foundation is currently accepting applications for an 18-month technical assistance program, which can help districts improve their meal programs and transition to scratch cook operations. Their goal is to provide up to seven school districts with technical assistance, strategic planning and funding opportunities to improve their operations. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2016 and more details about program services and eligibility criteria, as well as a link to the online application can be found on the School Food Support Initiative Webpage. To learn more, attend an informational webinar on Nov. 2 at 2pm ET. Register here


Webinars & Events
1. Healthy and Ready to Learn: State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness Webinar
Nov. 17, 11am-12pm CT
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of student health and wellness. To help school health advocates and others take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to integrate health and wellness into education policy and practice, Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for Healthier Generation will be releasing Healthy and Ready to Learn: ESSA State Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about this important resource and connect with other advocates working to advance student health and school wellness through ESSA state plans. Register here

2. 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

3. Registration Open: California Farm to School and Garden Conference
March 27-29, 2017 // Modesto, Calif. 
Registration is now open for the 2017 CA Farm to School and Garden Conference which takes place March 27 - 29, 2017 in Modesto, Calif. Register now and join this gathering of movers and shakers in the farm to school and garden movement, including farmers, distributors, government representatives, procurement officers, educators, garden practitioners, food program administrators and others from around the state. Early bird registration is available now through December 2. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Montana Beef to School Case Study
The Montana Beef to School Project has written a case study report to help Montana beef producers, meat processors, schools and communities explore what factors make beef to school programs successful and encourage the use of local beef in every Montana school. The case study report features: (1) an overview of findings, (2) amazing graphics that describe our findings, (3) stories that feature the efforts of schools, beef producers, and meat processors across Montana. These lessons learned contribute to an understanding of how to make beef to school and farm to school generally more feasible in Montana. See the full case study report here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Senior Director of Programs, Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network seeks an outstanding leader in program design, implementation, and evaluation to join the organization during a period of exciting growth. The Senior Director of Programs will provide leadership and unity to its programs to increase its impact nation-wide. The Senior Director will oversee the integration and growth of flagship programs such as Double Up Food Bucks and the Michigan Good Food Fund, in addition to growing pilot programs and leading the strategic expansion of FFN’s programs across the country. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Small steps, big impacts - Farm to School Month 2016 highlights
For the past 31 days, millions of schools, farmers and communities across the country have been celebrating the movement that’s connecting kids to fresh, healthy food and supporting local economies. From governors signing Farm to School Month proclamations in their states to Apple Crunches, Farm to School Month celebrations took place in all 50 states! Check out highlights of this year’s celebrations here

Farm to school program is good for students, schools, and farmers alike
"The nearly year-round nature of the school year means a longer, more dependable market for smaller suppliers, not just at harvest time,” says Abby Harper, Farm to School Specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. “Schools build stronger relationships with farmers and the farmers then see themselves as part of the community. This adds a new level of marketing and name recognition, depending on the relationship that’s been built." Second Wave Media

Does Your Kid’s School Have One of These Amazing Learning Labs?
Gardens are springing up in schools across the nation, as educators and parents look for ways to connect kids with natural, healthy, local food. Emily Jackson, Director and founder of ASAP’s Growing Minds program, and Anupama Joshi, NFSN Executive Director and Co-Founder, share the benefits and how-to’s of school gardens. Toca Boca

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: 9/27/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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 Open
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.  On Thursday, September 29, at 1pm EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Learn more here

2. AgEnhancement Grants
Each year, Northeast agricultural credit associations and CoBank award grants ranging from $500-$8,000 to help organizations promote awareness and strengthen agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products in the six New England states, New York and New Jersey. Applications are due December 1. Learn more here

3. New York Farm Viability Institute Grants

NYFVI has issued a Request for Proposals that aims to create knowledge that will quickly and directly benefit farmers through work in one of the organization’s five priority areas: improve operational practices, foster industry-wide innovation, incubate new ideas, improve route to market and market practices, and develop people. In 2017, NYFVI will award grants of up to $150,000 for projects lasting between six months and two years. Applications are due November 10. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Celebrate National Farm to School Month, Take the Pledge
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. Join the celebrations by taking the One Small Step Pledge. Pledge to take one small step to get informed, get involved and take action for farm to school in October and you'll be entered to win support for farm to school activities at the school or early care and education site of your choice! Take the pledge and find other opportunities to celebrate National Farm to School Month at farmtoschool.org

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. #RealSchooFood Campaign
Chef Ann Foundation is raising awareness about #realschoolfood, cooked with healthy, nourishing ingredients. Join their #RealSchoolFood campaign and help bring attention to the need to transition our nation’s schools from processed, heat-and-serve food to healthy scratched cooked meals. Learn more about the campaign and get involved here


Resources & Research
1. Growing Minds Farm to Preschool Toolkit 
ASAP's Growing Minds Farm to School program has been supporting and providing resources to schools and preschools throughout Western North Carolina, the Southern Appalachians, and as Southeast Regional Lead for National Farm to School Network, throughout the southeast since 2002. Their new Farm to Preschool Toolkit contains information about getting started with F2P, rules and regs, recommendations for local procurement, and monthly resources (sample recipe card and sticker, This Week in the Garden and Farm to School Goes Home resources, as well as food and farm based lesson plans). The Farm to Preschool Toolkit can be found here.

2. Gardening as a child may lead college students to eat more veggies

As researchers nationwide try to get college students to eat healthier foods, they’re finding that gardening may lead to a lasting habit of eating more fruits and vegetables. "This finding is particularly relevant, given the recent popularity of school gardens and farm-to-school projects," said Anne Mathews, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of food science and human nutrition and lead author of the study. Read a summary of the research here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Agriculture Development Coordinator at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
This Agriculture Development Coordinator position will focus on consumer access and producer marketing relationships with farmers’ markets, farmstands, and CSA (community supported agriculture) farms. Tasks will include collecting local food pricing data from farmers’ markets, farm to school programs, and farmstands, to guide consumers informed food purchasing choices and collect data for producers to competitively price their products for direct markets. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
A week for 'homegrown' lunches
During the week of Sept. 19-23, schools across Maryland participated in Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week, during which students were offered local produce from area farms at lunch and edible school gardens were celebrated. (via The Baltimore Sun)

Schools Planning Festivities Surrounding Jersey Fresh Produce
This week, September 26-30, schools across New Jersey celebrate the 6th annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week, lifting up partnerships being built between state farmers and schools which encourage schools to purchase produce from local farmers to incorporate into school meals. (via MercerMe)

A Colorado Farm Helps Refugee Kids Put Down Roots In A New Home

For refugee students in Colorado, the Growing Colorado Kids farm is a bridge between two worlds: a place to connect with the traditions their parents had to leave behind while also putting down new roots of their own. (via NPR)


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: 9/20/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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 Open
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.  On Thursday, September 29, at 1pm EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Learn more here

2. Nature Conservancy Seeks Proposals for School Gardens
The Nature Conservancy is awarding grants to support projects that implement green infrastructure to address local environmental challenges. These include access to healthy food, air quality, heat island effect, climate change, or storm water collection. Young people will work as social innovators to help their communities through project design and implementation. A $2,000 grant will be awarded to 55 schools. Applications must be submitted online by 5 PM ET October 31, 2016. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. Find celebrations happening in your community by visiting the Farm to School Month Events Calendar. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. NESAWG It Take  Region Conference
November 10-12 // Hartford, CT
The NESAWG Conference, now in its 23rd year, brings together practitioners and professionals from across the Northeast to explore ideas that move us towards a more sustainable and just farm and food system. Included on the agenda is a session for Farm to ECE and Preschool practitioners: “A Full Harvest: How Farm to Preschool Improves Food Security and Farm Viability.” Lean how Farm to Preschool increases access to local foods by connecting farmers to preschools serving low-income populations and be delve deeper as you discuss how this model can be adapted to engage broader communities. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA Food and Nutrition Services
USDA Food and Nutrition Services seeks a  Farm to School Regional Lead in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Western Regional Office in San Francisco, CA. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program; provide on the ground training, technical assistance, and support to a wide variety of farm to school stakeholders; and, be a resident expert on key local and regional procurement issues. Applications are due September 22. Learn more here

2. Food & Nutrition Community Engagement VISTAs, Texas
Texas Department of Agriculture is excited to announce a new partnership with AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to place Food & Nutrition Community Engagement VISTAs in select rural Texas communities. More information is available here


Farm to school in the news
35 Food Education Organizations
Many organizations around the globe are working to instill healthy eating habits, foster food literacy, teach culinary skills, and educate children about the environmental, social, and health consequences of their food choices. Food Tank has selected 35 particularly noteworthy programs to feature on their blog - including the National Farm to School Network! See the full list here.  

New Program Brings School Garden Produce to Cafeteria
Brooke Elementary in Austin, Texas has had a school garden for a several years, but for the first time, they're taking what they grow and serving it in the cafeteria. After several months of planning, AISD's new Garden to Café Program is finally launching this school year. Ninety-five of the district's schools have gardens on site, and they're working to get all of them to cook up their produce in the cafeteria. (via Spectrum News)

Boulder County school districts adding more local produce to school lunch menus
St. Vrain Valley and Boulder Valley school districts celebrate “Colorado Proud” Day, making lunches from only Colorado products. Farmers visited the schools to share their produce, and students learned where their food comes from. While school lunches generally don't have all local — or at least all Colorado — ingredients, both school districts are working with area farmers to include more local food. (via Daily Camera)

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: 9/13/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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 Open
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.  OnThursday, September 29, at 1pm EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Learn more here

2. Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program
The Whole Kids Foundation, in partnership with FoodCorps, is accepting applications for its School Garden Grant Program, an annual grantmaking program that supports school garden projects designed to help students learn about topics such as nutrition and health, sustainability and conservation, food systems, and community awareness. Grants will be in the amount of $2,000 for year-long projects. Applications dueOctober 31. Learn more here

3. Safer® Brand School Garden Grant 
Safer® Brand is starting an annual school garden grant to help kids build healthy habits through gardening. The $500 grant will be awarded to a school in the United States to start a school garden in 2017. Applications are due December 1. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. Save the Date: National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference
March 5-7, 2017 // Washington, D.C.
Join 1,000+ anti-hunger advocates in Washington, D.C., for two days of “can’t miss” networking opportunities, content-rich sessions, interactive training, followed by a day on Capitol Hill. You’ll go home with an arsenal of best practices, innovative advocacy methods and personal connections to help you better fight hunger in your community, your state, and at the national level. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Join the Movement: America’s Healthiest Schools
National Farm to School Network is proud to join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to celebrate America’s Healthiest Schools and shine a light on the importance of creating a culture of health at school nationwide. You, too, can make a difference in helping kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Join the movement at www.healthiergeneration.org and add your voice to the conversation on social media using #HealthiestSchools.
 

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA Food and Nutrition Services
USDA Food and Nutrition Services seeks a  Farm to School Regional Lead in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Western Regional Office in San Francisco, CA. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program; provide on the ground training, technical assistance, and support to a wide variety of farm to school stakeholders; and, be a resident expert on key local and regional procurement issues. Applications are due September 22. Learn more here

2. Farm to School Coordinator, Alaska Department of Natural Resources
The primary purpose of this position is managing the Farm to School program which includes encouraging schools to utilize Alaska Grown/harvested products in their school lunch program, developing tools to facilitate communication between schools and producers of Alaska Grown/harvested products, supporting and enhancing curriculum-based projects that increase students awareness of healthy food choices as they relate to Alaska Grown/harvested foods, and helping producers to understand the requirements for selling their Alaska Grown/harvested foods to schools. Application closes September 21. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Ricketts Proclaims October Farm to School Month in Nebraska - shout out to Sarah Smith, NFSN Nebraska State Lead!
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has proclaimed October as Nebraska Farm to School Month in recognition of the growing importance and role of Farm to School programs in the state as a means to improve child nutrition, support local farming and ranching economies, spur job growth and educate children about agriculture and the origins of their food. (via KTIC)

School districts purchasing more Wisconsin food
What happens when three school districts collectively buy Wisconsin local food for school meals? Students and school staff benefit by eating fresh food packed with more nutrients, a smaller carbon footprint which results in less carbon in our atmosphere, and area institutions are supporting community local food growers and producers. (via The Star)

Stayton students dig education
In just the first week of classes at Stayton/Intermediate Middle School, members of the students' Green Team will be reaping what they sowed last spring as part of their garden project. What was originally the Greenhouse and Garden elective class for seventh- and eighth-graders grew into the Green Team as they have begun growing food directly for their school cafeteria. The new class also incorporates basic landscaping, recycling and grounds beautification. (via Statesman Journal)

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: 9/7/16

NFSN Staff Wednesday, September 07, 2016

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. Target Field Trip Grants
Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside the classroom. Target’s Field Trip Grants help make it possible for schools to give their students these unique learning opportunities. As part of the program, Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700. Consider applying for a grant to take students to a farm, farmers market, or other food production site. Applications are due Oct. 1. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. Webinar: Finding SNAP-Ed Materials the Easy Way
September 15, 1pm ET
Join USDA FNS to learn how to navigate the SNAP-Ed Library, how to drill down in your search to find relevant materials, and how to submit relevant SNAP-Ed materials to the library. Register here

4. Webinar: Smart Ideas to Implement Smart Snacks in Schools
September 28, 2pm ET
Now is the time to look at the school food environment. Join Action for Healthy Kids and AASA, The Superintendents Association, in this timely and informative webinar to learn about the Final Rule about Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School (Smart Snacks) and putting these new requirements in action. Register here

5. 2016 Maine Farm to School Conference
October 14 // Lewiston, Maine
Join the 5th Annual Maine Farm to School Conference on October 14, 2016 at the beautiful Bates College campus in Lewiston. This conference will provide networking opportunities; hands-on workshops to support the three farm to school pillars of Local Food Procurement, School Gardens, and Agriculture Education; a tour of nearby Whiting Farm; learning opportunities from local, state, and national Farm to School partners; conversations about policies to support farm to school implementation, and more! Learn more and register here

6. Registration Open: 6th Farm-Based Education National Gathering
November 2-6 // Concord, Mass.
The 6th Farm-Based Education National Gathering will convene people from a variety of sites to share skills, build relationships, and celebrate the vibrant field of farm-based education! The Gathering will take place November 4-6 in Concord, Massachusetts just outside Boston. Field trips, a wood-fired pizza dinner, rich discussion, hands-on workshops and lots of fun will inspire ideas and enrich existing farm-based programs. Learn more and register here

7. Call for Abstracts: AFHVS/ASFS Annual Meeting and Conference
June 14-17, 2017 // Occidental College
Occidental College is pleased to host the Joint 2017 Annual Meetings and Conference of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS). The conference theme, “Migrating Food Cultures: Engaging Pacific Perspectives on Food and Agriculture,” invites us to reflect on and engage with the entirety of the Pacific region. AFHVS and ASFS support scholarship and public presentation on a wide variety of topics at their conferences. For this year's conference, them encourage but do not require that papers, panel sessions, roundtables, and workshops speak to the theme. The submission system opens December 15, 2016. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Webinar Recording: 2015 Farm to School Census 
USDA's Farm to School Program and the National Farm to School Network hosted a webinar providing an in-depth review of the 2015 Farm to School Census. Presenters summarized the Farm to School Census website and highlighted the raw data files and data explorer tool. Presenters also described ways in which Census data can be used at the local, state, and national levels in support of farm to school. Watch the webinar recording here


Farm to school in the news
Brockport school lunches going local - shout out to Jim Liebow, NFSN New York State Lead!
Jim Liebow, Food Service Director, is brining more local food to students of  Brockport Central School District. By "going-local,” they’re reducing the carbon footprint, getting kids to eat healthier, and supporting local businesses. “Fresh is best,” says Liebow. (via WHEC)

Grant creates pilot farm to school program in Colorado
In school districts throughout Colorado, demand for fresh local produce far outpaces supply. To help more farmers get involved, a group of Colorado organizations have launched a pilot program on the Western Slope, awarding a $90,000 grant to eight farmers, two school districts, and a community nonprofit with a strong track record for creating successful local food programs. (via Denver Post)

Lake Placid Elementary students greeted by a chicken coop
Five familiar (chicken) faces welcomes Lake Placid Elementary School students back to school this fall. Third-grade students hatched the chickens last spring, and they now have a permanent coop behind the school. "We'll talk about life cycles, connecting it again with the farm to school nutrition - you can just go on and on. Compassion, kindness, service - not every kid has a pet at home, so this kind of gives them a little feel for taking care of something else." (via Lake Placid News)

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

This Week in farm to school: 8/30/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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



Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Donating School Garden Produce to Those in Need
August 31, 3-4pm ET
As harvest season approaches, there are many ways to utilize your school garden produce. Donating to food pantries, soup kitchens, and meals-on-wheels programs is a great option that connects students to their community and educates around issues of hunger. Join Slow Food USA to learn how to identify community groups to accept produce donations, food safety in harvesting, and the logistics of a donation. Learn more here

3. Webinar: Local Wellness Policies with the CDC & USDA
NEW SESSION - September 7, 1-2pm ET
Due to high demand, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have scheduled a second webinar on Sept. 7 about the local wellness policy final rule. Join the webinar to learn how your school can start making changes before the implementation deadline (June 30, 2017) and what tools and resources are available to support your efforts. Register here

4. Webinar: Farm to Institution: Focus on Equity and Impact
September 8, 1-2pm ET
The Common Market partners with food service management companies to reach vulnerable communities and scale impact for sustainable farms. Through these partnerships, we can leverage the purchasing power of food service operations to re-invest in rural communities. In this webinar, you will learn more about specific tools and initiatives to measure and promote local procurement used by top food service management companies. Learn more and register here.

5. Webinar: School Fundraising Policies and Practices: A Shifting Landscape
September 9, 11am ET
Join Healthy Eating Research, Boise State University, and the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods project for the release of a new report: “School Fundraising Policies and Practices: A Shifting Landscape.” Following the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, schools are required to meet updated nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold at fundraisers during the school day, unless their state has established an exemption policy for occasional fundraising events. Using a series of interviews with key stakeholders in a sample of states that either prohibit or allow fundraiser exemptions, this project examined the impact on fundraising practices in districts and schools.  Findings explore the successes, challenges, and financial aspects of implementing these new fundraising policies. Register here

6. Registration Open: Vermont Farm to School Conference
November 2-3, 2016 // Fairlee, VT
Registration is now open for the Vermont Farm to School Conference happening November 2-3 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee. The conference agenda will include 26 workshops led by national, regional and local leaders in the farm to school movement. National Director of the USDA Farm to School Program Deborah J. Kane will address the conference as keynote speaker on Thursday, November 3. Betti Wiggins, Executive Director, Detroit Public Schools Office of School Nutrition, a 25+ year school nutrition veteran will present “How F2S Made Me a Triple A Threat” on Wednesday, November 2. Learn more and register here

7. Registration Open: 2016 Hunger Free Communities Summit
October 5-6, 2016 // Indianapolis, IN
The 2016 National Hunger Free Communities Summit is a two-day event providing current and aspiring Hunger Free Community organizers and the broader anti-hunger community a forum to learn, share and network while exploring best practices in hunger eradication. Learn more and register here

8. Registration Open: 3rd Annual UCLA-Harvard Food Law and Policy Conference
Food Marketing to Children: The Current Reality and What Can Be Done
October 21, 2016 // UCLA School of Law
The Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law and The Food Law Lab at Harvard Law School invite you to the 3rd Annual UCLA‐Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Conference, which this year will address the issue of food marketing to children. This one day long conference will convene an interdisciplinary group of experts from science, law, and policy to discuss these issues and consider the scale, impact of, and legal considerations with regard to food and beverage marketing to children in the United States. Learn more and RSVP here

9. Growing Power and GFJI Dismantling Racism Training
November 16 -18 , 2016 // Growing Power
This training is designed to build a community of leaders and provide intensive training and dialogue for participants to facilitate anti-racist food justice in their own programs and communities. The trainings will explore: examples of institutional and structural racism and how it operates; practical applications of facilitating change and becoming a change agent, including some personal identification to understand the kind of facilitator you are; and, opportunities to explore the individual role in the anti-racism process of your work with the opportunity to strategize with others to develop an action plan for next steps for implementation. Learn more here.


Research & Resources
1. The GREEN Tool For Well-Integrated School Gardens
Why do some school gardens flourish while others start with a bang but fizzle over time? The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy identified 19 components shared by successful gardens at 21 NYC schools and determined how those components can work together. The result is the GREEN (Garden Resources, Education, and Environment Nexus) Tool - a practical, flexible, evidence-based tool designed to help gardens grow deep roots in schools. The research brief includes policy recommendations to strengthen NYC school gardens. Learn more here
 

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Program Coordinator, Edible Schoolyard Berkeley
Edible Schoolyard Berkeley seeks a Program Coordinator to join their team. The Program Coordinator supports the planning and execution of a fast-paced, innovative, and hands-on educational program within a public middle school of 1,000 students. Learn more and apply here

2. Campaign Manager, Food Policy Action
Food Policy Action Education Fund (FPA-EF) was established in 2015 to provide a platform for public education and engagement on the impacts of federal policy on the food system. FPA-EF is launching America's Hungry Campaign in early 2017; a cutting edge national messaging and digital advocacy campaign to change the way America thinks about hunger and advance policy solutions to hunger and poverty. FPA-EF is recruiting a Campaign Manager to coordinate all aspects of the America's Hungry campaign. Learn more here

3. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Project Coordinator, National Farmers Union
The FSMA Project Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the programmatic aspects of the FSMA Local Foods Project at National Farmers Union Foundation, including serving as liaison with partner organizations; assisting in preparation of project proposals, schedules and budget; and monitoring and tracking progress. The Coordinator will have technical expertise on either the legal components of FSMA and/or on other aspects of food safety. The Coordinator will assist in the drafting of resource materials. The position is full-time and the preferred location is in Washington DC. Some domestic travel will be required. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Why Farm-to-Institution Sourcing is the Sleeping Giant of Local Food
Each year, public and private institutions spend billions of dollars on food, and they prepare, cook, and serve thousands of meals every day. There is a rising national movement to persuade these institutions the source a higher percentage of their food from regional and local producers, specifically emphasizing farms, fisherman, and ranches that follow ecologically sound, socially just, and humane practices. (via Civil Eats)

Youth Academy garden to yield produce, learning opportunities
The cadets at Thunderbird Youth Academy in Oklahoma were happy to get their hands dirty and build a bed for their new school garden. With the Mayes County HOPE Coalition and the Northeast Oklahoma Community Action Agency, the school is now participating in farm to school activities. (via The Pryor Times)

School menus focus on local meats, produce
In Maine, food service directors are kicking off the school year with deliveries of local meat and produce to be just in school meals. Regional School Unit 71 Director of Food Services Perley Martin says 20 percent of the food budget, about $44,000 per year, is spent on ingredients purchased from local farms. “It's all about healthy choice and a better, healthier life down the road. We're in it for the long-term rewards.” (via The Republican Journal)

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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