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. KidsGardening 2017 Youth Garden Grants
The 2017 Youth Garden Grant is an award designed to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any nonprofit, school, or youth program in the United States planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. A total of 20 programs will be awarded. Applications are due December 15, 2016. Learn more here.
3. USDA Seeks Grant Applications for Projects to Test Fruit and Vegetable Incentives
In recent weeks, USDA requested a new round of applications for grants provided under the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program. The FINI grant program provides grants to test incentive strategies and technologies designed to help SNAP participants better afford fruits and vegetables. Projects funded range from small pilot projects to multi-year community-based projects and larger scale multi-year projects, designed to help make the healthy choice an affordable choice for SNAP participants. The deadline to apply for the latest round of FINI grants is December 12, 2016. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. Registration Open: National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference
March 5-7, 2017 // Washington, DC
Join 1,000+ anti-hunger advocates in Washington, D.C., for two days of networking opportunities, content-rich sessions, and 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. Early bird registration is now open through January 13, 2017. Learn more here.
2. Call for Proposals: National Children and Youth Garden Symposium 2017
July 12-25, 2017 // Greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area
NCYGS is a national event to network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world.bExplore topics ranging from curriculum to program management to garden design and maintenance during four dynamic days of educational sessions, field trips, and expert keynote presentations. Submit session proposals by Monday, December 5, 2016. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. Survey Findings: The How and Why of Local Government Support for Food Systems
In 2015, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the International City-County Management Association (ICMA) conducted a second national survey of local government leaders on their policies, programs, plans, and partnerships that support local food systems. More than 2,200 communities responded. The Food Policy Networks project of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future hosted this webinar, which featured CRFS and ICMA offering one of the first in-depth discussions of the study’s findings. Data indicating how and why municipal and county governments across the country are (or are not) supporting local food and farm efforts are presented, followed by discussion with three local leaders about how government supports food system initiatives in their communities. View the webinar here.
Jobs & Opportunities
1. Chief Programs Officer, Chef Ann Foundation
Chef Ann Foundation seeks a Chief Programs Officer (CPO) to drive the vision for, and oversee the development, implementation and evaluation of all CAF programing. The position will be responsible for ensuring that CAF programing meets the overall mission of the organization and provides schools with needed support to help them create healthier school food. Applications are due by December 15. Learn more here.
2. Health Educator II, South Carolina Farm to Institution
Under general supervision of the Farm to Institution Director in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, this position (Health Educator II) will support the implementation of Farm to Institution in South Carolina. This position assists with program expansion, communication outreach, and implementation of Farm to Preschool and other Farm to Institution efforts. Learn more here.
Farm to school in the news
Learning Gardens Plant Seeds for Healthy Food Choices
There are more than 127 learning gardens growing throughout Chicago Public Schools, from pre-kindergarten to high school. “The next generation is the generation that is going to be solving our food system challenges, and so this kind of work, this exposure to what this real food is and what it tastes like, is going to create a generation of people who… are really deeply in touch with what real food is, what it tastes like, and why it’s important and help to make those changes to our food system.” Chicago WTTW
Farm to School Efforts Positively Impact Tribal Communities
Many tribal communities are reconnecting children with their rich history and cultures by establishing farm to school programs. Tribes are integrating traditional foods into the Child Nutrition Programs, sourcing foods locally, incorporating multicultural nutrition education into classroom curriculum and providing hands-on lessons in school gardens. USDA Blog
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.