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This week in farm to school: 9/1/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 01, 2015

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. 2016 Culture of Health Prize
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2016 Culture of Health Prize "recognizes and celebrates communities that have placed a priority on health and are creating powerful partnerships and deep commitments to make change." A Call for Applications is currently underway.  "In this fourth round of the competition, up to 10 winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and the chance to share their accomplishments with the nation. Communities-urban and rural, tribal, large, small, and in between-are invited to apply."  Deadline for applications is November 12th.  An informational webinar is scheduled for Thursday, September 10th, 3-4pm EDT.

2. Local Foods, Local Places 2015-2016 Application
Communities are invited to apply for a new round of technical assistance from Local Foods, Local Places. Local Foods, Local Places helps communities create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods through the development of local food systems. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. The assistance process features a community workshop that brings people together to develop shared goals and steps to achieve them. This is not a grant program. Applications dues September 15, 2015. Learn more here.

Webinars & Events
1. Slow Food USA: Town Hall Call with Dan Barber and Alice Waters, September 2
Join Slow Food USA Executive Director Richard McCarthy for a national telephone conversation with Dan Barber and Alice Waters about the future of food on Wednesday, September 2 at 4pm ET. To join the call,  RSVP here. You'll receive an email with the call-in information. Space is limited. 

2. Webinar: South Dakota State University, iGrow Webinars
Fall Gardening with Children
Wednesday, September 3, 9:30-10am CSDT, repeated 3:30-4pm CDT
The program will feature planting information, season extension techniques and other garden learning activities for the fall. School teachers, afterschool and garden program leaders and helpers are all encouraged to participate. To participate in the webinar, visit the iGrow events page.

Putting Your School Garden to Bed for Winter
Thursday, September 24, 9:30-10am CSDT, repeated 3:30-4pm CDT
Visit the iGrow website for more information about this webinar and for registration details. 

3. Field to Tray, Mid-Atlantic Regional Farm to School Conference, Nov 4-5, MD
Field to Tray: Strengthening Farm to School Purchasing in the Mid-Atlantic will bring together farmers, food service directors, suppliers and other stakeholders from the region for a day of digging in to local food procurement strategies. The Mid-Atlantic region has experienced significant growth in farm to school practices over the past several years, and this conference will be a sharing, learning and networking opportunity for key farm to school players in the region. Register by September 5 to receive the early bird discount. Learn more about the conference and register here

4. Growing Minds Farm to School Conference, Nov 14, Asheville, NC
With more than 10 years of experience in farm to school training and programming, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program offers a combination of creative ideas and practical applications for school environments. This year’s conference will feature workshops focused on four specialized tracks: Early Childhood, Health and Community, Cafeteria, and Classroom. Each track features content for folks new to farm to school as well as those that want to improve their existing programs. For more information please visit the Growing Minds website.

5. Transforming Food Access Summit: Accelerating Affordability with Nutrition Incentives
The Transforming Food Access summit will be hosted by Wholesome Wave in Atlanta, GA on January 11 - 13, 2016. The event is designed to bring together key stakeholders, from the national level to community-base organizations, to engage around building food system change through affordable access to healthy food. Submissions for presenters, sessions and workshops are due September 18. More information is available on the Wholesome Wave website

Research & Resources
1. Many Eligible Children Don’t Participate in School Nutrition Programs
This study uses data from the 2013 Current Population Survey’s Food Security Supplement to document levels of participation in two of the largest programs authorized by this act—the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program—by region and place type (rural, suburban, and city), to identify areas where expanding participation may be especially important. Key finding include: Only 64 percent of eligible households participate in the National School Lunch Program; 52 percent participate in the School Breakfast Program. Read the full brief here

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Farm to school in the news
Farm-to-School: Why We Need It and How to Get It 
With over 30 million students relying on school meals every day in the US, the quality of food we put on their plates is important — and can help us achieve a healthier, more sustainable society. Here’s why we need to step up and help local schools bring freshly farmed food to our children, and some ways to make it happen. (via EcoCentric)

5 Things to Know About the Congressional Battle over School Lunch
Kids are finally getting more whole grains and vegetables at school. But the healthier rules are at risk as Congress debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Read how the Farm to School Act of 2015 is expected to be one of the more bipartisan aspects of CNR. (via Civil Eats)

School Lunches Becoming Healthier, Statistics Indicate
A federal report released last Thursday that showed that the nutritional profile of school meals in the United States had improved substantially since higher government standards went into effect in 2012. “Literally, the way the school lunch line looks is different,” said Deb Bentzel, senior associate at the Food Trust. “It’s brighter, it’s healthier-looking, it’s fresher.” (via New York Times)

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: 8/25/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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. INUAg Innovators in Urban Agriculture Prize 
The International Network for Urban Agriculture (INUAg) is announcing the first global INUAg Innovators in Urban Agriculture Prize. INUAg is looking to recognize innovative urban agricultural projects contributing to their local communities in 3 different categories: Food Access, Educating Producers, Teaching Youth. Each category will have 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winners, $1250, $500, $250. INUAg is accepting nominations through August 28, 2015. Nominees can self-nominate or be nominated by others. Learn more and find instructions for nominating projects here

2. Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
As Farm Credit enters its 100th year of service to rural communities and agriculture, it has launched a new effort to champion the women, men and youth, whose insights and influence are ensuring thriving rural communities for years to come. The Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives program will seek out and celebrate 100 visionaries – the entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders who are shaping the future of agriculture and the fabric of our nation. To recognize the diverse ways individuals are contributing to the future success of rural communities, nominations will be accepted in ten categories, including youth leadership, agricultural education and community impact, and rural and urban connection. Ten exceptional leaders, one in each category, will each receive a $10,000 award to help further their contributions to thriving rural communities and agriculture. Nominations can be submitted until Dec. 18, 2015. Learn more here

Webinars & Events
1. Field to Tray, Mid-Atlantic Farm to School Conference, Nov 4-5, Rockville, MD
Field to Tray: Strengthening Farm to School Purchasing in the Mid-Atlantic will bring together farmers, food service directors, suppliers and other stakeholders from the region for a day of digging in to local food procurement strategies. The Mid-Atlantic region has experienced significant growth in farm to school practices over the past several years, and this conference will be a sharing, learning and networking opportunity for key farm to school players in the region. Register by September 5 to receive the early bird discount. Learn more about the conference and register here

2. Growing Minds Farm to School Conference, Nov 14, Asheville, NC
With more than 10 years of experience in farm to school training and programming, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program offers a combination of creative ideas and practical applications for school environments. This year’s conference will feature workshops focused on four specialized tracks: Early Childhood, Health and Community, Cafeteria, and Classroom. Each track features content for folks new to farm to school as well as those that want to improve their existing programs. For more information please visit the Growing Minds website.

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities 
1. Communications and Development Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition 
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC is currently seeking a Communications and Development Specialist to support our policy and grassroots work through strategic communications efforts and expanded development capacity. This position is located at NSAC’s DC office on Capitol Hill. The Communications and Development Specialist reports directly to the Managing Director. Learn more about the position here

2. Call for papers: Labor in the Food System from Farm to Table
The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development welcomes submissions of papers on descriptions and analyses of the scale and scope of labor problems in the food system, as well as those that inform solutions. This can include case studies, positive experiences of food service and kitchen staff implementing farm to school, etc. Submissions are due September 22. More details can be found here

Farm to school in the news
Poll Finds Most Back Healthy School Meals
A majority of Americans support providing schoolchildren with healthy meals that consist of more fruits and vegetables and fewer foods high in calories, according to a national poll recently released by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The poll also found that about 90 percent of Americans support more government spending on farm-to-school programs. (via New York Times)

Beefing Up School Lunch 
The latest addition to Oakland Unified School District’s (Calif.) school lunch menu is organic beef sourced from retired dairy cows. The verdict, according to one high school student: "The chili is on point." (via East Bay Express)

Farming programs hitting public schools
Farm and garden programs are becoming popular in Hawaii’s public schools. They’re sprouting up on 75 percent of school campuses across the state. In addition, Governor David Ige recently signed a bill establishing a Farm to School program in the state. The program means a menu makeover for the next school year. (via KITV

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: 8/18/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 18, 2015

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. Native Agriculture & Food Systems Scholarship Program
First Nations Development Institute believes that reclaiming control over local food systems is an important step toward ensuring the long-lasting health and economic well-being of Native people and communities. The Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program encourages more Native American college students to enter agriculture-related fields by awarding five $1,000 scholarships annually to students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields. The deadline to apply is September 30. Visit First Nation’s website for more information. 

Webinars & Events
1. Webinars: The Lunch Box, Chef Ann Foundation
Recipes and Menus 
Thursday, August 27, 2-3pm EST
The Lunch Box presents recipes and menu cycles with Amy Glodde, RD, MPH, menu planner and training supervisor with Oakland Unified School District and RD consultant.  Amy will join us and discuss recipe writing in the scratch-cooking environment; creating menu cycles that feature your favorite farm to school ingredients; navigating The Lunch Box recipe database and more. Register here

Kids Eat Real Food – Marketing and Lunchroom Education 
Thursday, September 24, 2-3pm EST
Join Curry Rosato, Farm to School and Events Coordinator and Chef Ann Cooper, Director of Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO to learn the techniques that have brought Boulder’s kids back to the lunch program and raised participation every year since 2009.  Learn marketing best practices and turn your students into “real food” aficionados. Register here

2. Urban Food Systems Symposium, June 22-25, 2016, Olathe, KS
Kansas State University is holding an Urban Food Systems Symposium on June 22-25, 2016 to bring together a national and international audience of academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and the role they play in global food security. This symposium includes knowledge on: urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, and food access and justice. Learn more here

3. NESAWG 2015 Conference, November 13-14, Saratoga Springs, NY
It Takes a Region Conference: Putting MOVE in the Movement
Civil rights, labor, women’s rights—the movements that transformed our world can give us insight on ways to accelerate food systems change.  What can we learn from leaders past and present? At this year’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conference (Nov 13-14), learn and strategize with hundreds of attendees—from farmers to researchers to policymakers—as we work to build a movement and realize the change we want to see. Shirley Sherrod, a longtime civil rights activist and advocate for family farms and food justice, will deliver the keynote speech. Register before October 3 and get the Early Bird discount. Visit the conference website for more information. 

Research & Resources
1. Poll: Nine out of 10 Americans want to keep school meals healthy
new national survey commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation shows that people in the United States overwhelmingly support current efforts to keep school meals healthy. Among the key findings: 86 percent support today’s school nutrition standards, which are helping more than 31 million kids get their daily nutrition through healthy school meals and 88 percent support government-funded farm to school programs. See the results of the 2015 Food Poll here

2. New USDA local procurement guide available Just in time for the new school year, our revised guide, Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs, is now available and can help you decide how to buy local for your program. The guide covers procurement basics, defining local, where to find local products, and the variety of ways schools can purchase locally in accordance with regulations. This revision incorporates information about micro-purchases, buying local foods for child care and summer meal programs and more real-world examples. Check out the new guide for sample solicitation language, detailed geographic preference examples and helpful resources. 

3. Study: School fresh fruit, vegetable program cuts childhood obesity rates
In a state with some of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation, a new study shows that a program bringing fresh fruits and vegetables into Arkansas schools not only lowers obesity rates, it can also save hundreds of dollars per child each year to prevent obesity. Read more about the study here

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities 
1. Senior Food & Environment Outreach Coordinator, Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists uses the power of knowledge to demonstrate the true costs of the current food and agriculture system and show how to achieve a healthier, more sustainable and science-based system. The Senior Outreach Coordinator’s critical focus is to conceive, plan, and implement outreach activities aimed at transforming our agricultural system into a more sustainable and equitable enterprise. On behalf of an 11-person team and under the supervision of the Campaign Manager, the Senior Outreach Coordinator carries out online activism, builds relationships with key constituencies, leads visibility efforts at professional society meetings, and coordinates with allied organizations. Learn more about the position here.

2. Food Systems Volunteer Field Specialist, South Dakota State University Extension  
South Dakota State University Extension is seeking a Food Systems Volunteer Field Specialist. They are looking for an individual to join them in growing their Healthy Food, Healthy Families, and Healthy Communities initiative by cultivating a more formal process for volunteer management to increase the capacity of our organization’s food systems efforts. This position will be located in Sioux Falls, SD, but will coordinate state-wide volunteer outreach activities. Learn more about the position here

Farm to school in the news
More Americans support farm-to-school programs, report says
Nearly nine out of 10 people want to see an increase in farm-to-school food programming in the U.S., according to national survey results released Tuesday. The poll — commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation — asked 1,200 adults across the country for their opinions on school nutrition standards and healthy food educational programs. (via USA Today)

Accessible garden a hit with special needs students
For students with special needs, planting, tending and harvesting in the garden can be difficult. But at Haverhill High School (Mass.), handicap-accessible garden beds & dedicated teachers are helping students earn their green thumbs and enjoy the fruits of their labor. (via The Haverhill Gazette)

Building A Successful Farm To School Movement: One Person, One Plot, One Policy At A Time
Chaffee County, Colorado is building a successful farm to school programs with supportive school district administration, a strong school wellness policy, a food service director passionate about incorporating locally grown foods into school meals, and buy-in from local residents, businesses, and nonprofits. (via Health Affairs 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. 


This week in farm to school: 8/11/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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. "It's All About the Fruits and Veggies" Garden Grant

Join Jamba Juice and KidsGardening.org as they celebrate five years of garden grants. The Fall 2015 Jamba Juice "It's All About the Fruits and Veggies" Garden Grant is an award designed to support schools, community organizations, and nonprofits in charitable and educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life in their communities. The grant program is open to schools, community organizations, and non-profit programs in the United States gardening with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. Applications are due by October 2, 2015. Learn more about the grant program and apply here

2. Multiple grants available to educators, The NEA Foundation
The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation supports new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. Their goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures. Over the last 10 years, the NEA Foundation has awarded more than $7.1 million to fund nearly 4,500 grants to public school educators to enhance teaching and learning. There are multiple grant opportunities available to all eligible educational professionals. Visit the NEA Foundation website to learn more

3. Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards
Recognizing the need to raise the status of child care teachers and the need for quality child care, the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation created the Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards. Award recipients receive $1,000 - $500 for the teacher's personal use and $500 to implement a project. Learn more about the award and application process here.   
 
Webinars & Events
1. Nutrition Policy for Food Banks and Food Pantries: Free Online Course
The Nutrition Policy Institute is offering “Developing a food bank nutrition policy: A guide to procure healthful foods” as a free, online course. It will include guides, tips, example policy language, learning activities and videos to support your work and help food banks become model food provider organizations by distributing healthful foods to low-income populations in their communities. The course starts on September 14, 2015 and runs for 6 weeks. Sign up for the course here.

2. Webinar: National Collaborative for Health Equity, August 26, 2pm ET
The Place Matters Approach to Promoting Racial Equity 
This webinar will highlight the recently published report “Blueprints to Action:  Community Strategies to End Racism and Promote Racial Healing”,  a collaborative effort of the PLACE MATTERS national learning community.  PLACE MATTERS is a national initiative of the National Collaborative for Health Equity designed to build the capacity of leaders and communities around the country to identify and address the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape health and life opportunities. Learn more about the webinar and register here

3. Earn Continuing Education Units for USDA webinars
Did you know that USDA Foods webinars are eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the new Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals? Visit the Professional Standards site to download the Training Tracking Tool or view the lists of Learning Topics and Learning Objectives. Archived USDA Foods webinars are available in the Food Distribution playlist on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service YouTube channel

Research & Resources
1. "Food for Thought, Food for Life" documentary available
Food for Thought, Food for Life, a new documentary directed by Susan Rockefeller, is an informative call-to-action film created to help us think differently about what we eat, and to make changes that will positively impact our health, environment and communities. This 20 minute film is available for free to farmers, nonprofits, educators, businesses and individuals. Visit the film’s website to learn about hosting a screening in your community.

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

2. Stakeholder Input Sought for Promise Zones Third Round Application Process
Public comments are now being accepted on the proposed selection process, criteria, guides and submissions for the third and final round of the federal Promise Zone Initiative led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the USDA. This is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback and suggestions on how federal agencies can better work in partnership with local leaders in high-poverty communities to leverage private investments that create jobs, increase economic activity, improve affordable housing, increase educational opportunities, and reduce violent crime. Comments may be emailed to PromiseZones@hud.gov with ‘‘Third Round Promise Zones selection’’ in the subject line. The deadline for comments is September 28, 2015. 

Farm to school in the news
Healthy Eaters, Strong Minds: What School Gardens Teach Kids
School is still out for the summer, but at Eastern Senior High School in Washington, D.C., students are hard at work — outdoors. Read what lessons students are learning and taking home with them through summer school gardening programs. (via NPR: The Salt)

Reversing the food desert, with local produce
Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School in Illinois will become the nation's first food hub selling locally-grown food to distributors and providing the school with both free and low-cost produce for school lunches. (via The Daily Journal)

Students seeing the 'fruits' of their labor in farm program
Students at Floyd County High School in Virginia have spent their summer building infrastructure - from a shade house for apple trees they had grafted. to installing an irrigation system - for their school’s farm program. FCHS Principal Dr. Scott Watson referred to the program as a “prime example of what solid education is.” (via SWVA Today)

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


This week in farm to school: 8/4/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 04, 2015

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 Accepting Applications for K-12 Field Trip Grants Program
Target Corporation is accepting applications from education professionals for the Target Field Trip Grants program, an annual program designed to expose K-12 students in the United States to museums, historical sites, and cultural organizations. More than 3,600 grants of up to $700 each will be awarded in January 2015. Applications will be accepted from August 1, 2015, to September 30, 2015. Visit the Target website for complete program guidelines and access to the application form.

Research & Resources
1. New study shows healthier lunches in secondary schools
Last week, Bridging the Gap published a study showing that lunches in U.S. middle and high schools have been getting healthier in recent years. In particular, significantly more students were in schools with healthy lunches the first year of the national standards than were just two years earlier. The study also found that, prior to the national standards, students in predominantly white schools and large schools were far more likely than those in more diverse and small schools to have access to healthier lunches, but that after the first year of the national standards many of those differences were no longer significant. Read the study abstract here

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

2. Show Your Support for the Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act of 2015 
Early this year, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced the Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act to expand and strengthen the Child and Adult Care Food Program so even more children have access to nutritious meals. That means less hunger, less obesity, and better eating habits. Individuals can encourage your Senators to cosponsor this bill here.

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Network Coordinator, Pioneer Valley Grows, Massachusetts 
Pioneer Valley Grows is a collaborative network dedicated to enhancing the ecological and economic sustainability and vitality of the Pioneer Valley, Mass. food system. The Network Coordinator is responsible for strengthening the PVGrows network, including facilitating Steering Committee activities, managing membership outreach and networking, fundraising, collaboration with the PVGrows Investment Fund, and planning the annual Forum or other networking and educational events.  The Network Coordinator position is a part-time consultant under contract with CISA, PVGrows’ host organization. Find more information and the full job description here

2. Organic Policy Coordinator, The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association 
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is hiring an Organic Policy Coordinator. The Organic Policy Coordinator will research and advocate for organic integrity and spearhead efforts to promote the interests of family-scale organic farmers with national and state regulators. The Organic Policy Coordinator will identify and implement strategies and tactics to prevent dilution of the organic standards and ensure that consumers expectations of the standard environmental stewardship, family-scale farming, fair labor practices, high animal welfare standards, zero tolerance for GMOs, freedom from chemical residues, and wholesomeness are met. Learn more about the position here

3. Research & Education Director, The Farmers Market Coalition
The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) is seeking a detail-oriented and creative professional to direct the research and education initiatives for a non-profit devoted to strengthening farmers markets nationwide. With a small staff, FMC operates a ‘virtual office,’ with a high value on independence and initiative. Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director (ED), the Research & Education Director will spearhead a variety of initiatives seeking to improve stakeholder understanding of the characteristics of farmers markets in the United States, and the roles they play in public health, local economies, farm viability, and community development. Learn more about the position here

Farm to school in the news
Back to school also means back to the garden
Some teachers are preparing more than their classrooms for a new year of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. They’re also are prepping for gardening. Read what five teachers say they’re committed to school gardens. (via Arizona Daily Star)

Bringing free, farm-fresh food to kids during the summer
Green Mountain Farm to School runs a food truck for ten weeks in the summer to bring good, free fresh food to kids. About 60% of the food budget of the program goes to local food provided by twelve Vermont farms and food producers. (via WCAX-TV)

School food service staff go to boot camp
“We try to buy as much local as we can. It is a good way to promote fruits and vegetables to your students. It is a really good opportunity to talk with students about how this came from Clayton Farms or this came from Harris Farms. We are not about bringing it out of the box anymore. We are about color and freshness.” (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: 7/21/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Captain Planet Foundation Grant
The Captain Planet Foundation provides grants between $500 and $2,500 to school and community groups to support hands-on environmental projects. The objective of the foundation is to encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. The next deadline is September 30, 2015. Learn more here

2. CHS Classroom Grant
CHS and National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) are offering five $1,500 classroom grants to teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade. The funds can be used for schoolyard or classroom gardens, animal science and other projects that educate K-12 students in general education classrooms about the source of their food, fiber and fuel. The deadline for applications is Sept. 15, 2015. Learn more and apply here

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, July 23, 1pm EST
Whole Measures for Community Food Projects
This webinar will introduce Whole Measure for Community Food Systems (WM CFS), a values-based, community-oriented tool for planning and evaluation of Community Food Projects. It will discuss how CFP grantees can utilize the Whole Measures CFS frame for their annual Indicators of Success reporting, a collective impact report for all CFPs, as well as a tool for community organizing. The presenter will be Jeanette Abi-Nader of the City Schoolyard Garden and formerly of the Community Food Security Coalition. Register here

2. Food Day Green Meal initiative
Green Meal is a national initiative created by Food Day, The Humane Society of the United States, Health Care Without Harm, and Meatless Monday to raise awareness about the critical importance of eating less meat and enjoying more whole plant-based foods as a way to become healthier and to help animals and the environment. During Food Day on October 24, millions of meals will be served to celebrate a green and healthy plant-strong diet. You’re invited to join the Food Day Green Meal initiative! Learn more and sign up to participate here.

Research & Resources
1. New USDA newsletter
To better serve its stakeholders in the growing area of local and regional food systems, USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative has launched a new newsletter. If you do not currently receive the newsletter, you are welcome to sign up to receive it by emailing intergovernmental@osec.usda.gov and replying “YES.” You can view the inaugural edition here

2. Advancing Farm to School: Lessons from the Field
This "Farm to School 2.0" resource is meant for those that are hoping to expand or fine-tune farm to school programming in their community. The contents reflect the experience of fourteen Wisconsin communities, as they worked to establish and strengthen farm to school efforts in their respective regions. Chapter topics range from designing a successful Harvest of the Month program to strategies for fostering farm to school program sustainability. Actionable tips and insight are provided through case studies, distilled 'lessons learned', and field-tested resource recommendations. View the resource here

3. AGree: Food and Agriculture Education in the United States
Food and agriculture education in the U.S. has changed dramatically over our nation’s history. Topics to study and careers to pursue go beyond production agriculture and include food and nutrition, natural resources, and information technology. The education system must be strengthened to address the challenges and opportunities facing our global food system and support the young people who will define it. A new AGree paper examines the evolution of U.S. food and ag education, its current structure, and how it must adapt to meet emerging challenges. Read the full paper here

4. Small Farmers Can Make Food Safety Work: The GroupGAP Pilot in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
This case study provides an overview of the processes, challenges, benefits, and lessons learned from the Group Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) pilot project in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The project goal was to test how a group-based farm-based food safety certification process could benefit small farmers. This pilot study confirms that good agricultural practices (GAP) certification can meet group needs at an affordable cost working with small and very small farms. Read the case study here

5. Journal of School Health: School Gardens Enhance Academic Performance and Dietary Outcomes in Children
Schools face increasing demands to provide education on healthy living and improve core academic performance. Although these appear to be competing concerns, they may interact beneficially. This article focuses on school garden programs and their effects on students' academic and dietary outcomes. This small set of studies offers evidence that garden-based learning does not negatively impact academic performance or FV consumption and may favorably impact both. Additional studies with more robust experimental designs and outcome measures are necessary to understand the effects of experiential garden-based learning on children's academic and dietary outcomes. Read the article here

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

2. Give us your feedback on "Lunch Bites" webinars 
NFSN’s monthly 20-minute “Lunch Bites” webinars have been on a short hiatus, and we’re gearing up to bring them back later this summer. Please take 5 minutes to answer 8 short questions, provide your feedback and help us continue to make this webinar series informative and engaging. Take the survey and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of three NFSN aprons or t-shirts! The survey closes this Friday, July 24, 2015. Your feedback is greatly appreciated! 

Farm to school in the news
Heart group uses 'Parks and Rec' star in satirical video on school lunch regs
The American Heart Association (AHA) is using satire to fight back against special interest groups and lawmakers over regulations that force schools to serve healthier lunches. Watch the video here. Read an article about the video on The Hill

Washington County Public Schools workers prep and process produce
A school district in Maryland is working this summer to develop new systems for prepping and processing produce so that local food can be served year-round. (via Herald Mail Media)

Twist on 'Foodapalooza' takes educators on a field trip
"Everyone involved in the local food chain" came together last Tuesday in Louisiana to show educators how to get local, fresh produce into their schools and communities. (via The Town Talk)

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: 7/14/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has teamed up with Skoop, a superfoods company committed to bringing the health benefits of superfoods to every American. Together they have launched Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. These $2,500 grants assist in expanding students’ palates, and encouraging increased consumption of and exposure to fresh produce through engagement in lunchroom education activities that encourage students to taste new vegetables and fruits offered either in a dish, cooked, or raw. Learn more about the grant and find details to apply on The Lunch Box

2. Local Foods, Local Places 2015-2016 Application
Communities are invited to apply for a new round of technical assistance from Local Foods, Local Places. Local Foods, Local Places helps communities create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods through the development of local food systems. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. The assistance process features a community workshop that brings people together to develop shared goals and steps to achieve them. This is not a grant program. Applications dues September 15, 2015. Learn more here

Research & Resources
1. New USDA farm to preschool resource
USDA Farm to School team has published a new two-page fact sheet focused on preschool settings. Farm to Preschool: Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Settings presents basic information about farm to preschool efforts, including tips and resources. The fact sheet is available here

2. Farm to Early Childhood Programs: A Step-By-Step Guide
Michigan Farm to School has recently released Farm to Early Childhood Programs: A Step-By-Step Guide. Freely downloadable, this new guide provides tools and resources to help early childhood program providers of all types and sizes purchase and use local foods in their meals and snacks. Find a pdf copy of the guide here

3. Urban-Rural Differences in Childhood and Adolescent Obesity in the United States: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
This is a systematic literature review and subsequent meta-analysis performed to investigate differences in childhood obesity between urban and rural areas in the United States. All but one study suggested that residence in rural areas was associated with higher prevalence or increased odds of childhood obesity, compared to children living in urban areas. A meta-analysis of 74,168 pooled participants ages 2–19 found that rural children have 26% greater odds of obesity, compared to urban children. Read the full study here

4. Obesity: Americans Much Heavier Than in 1960
The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that over the past 45 years both men and women in the United States have gained weight and that "the average American woman now weighs 166.2 pounds – nearly identical to what American men weighed in the 1960s  … up from about 140 pounds in 1960." In addition, more than one in five U.S. children between the ages of 12 and 19 are considered obese, with 17.7 percent of kids ages 6–11 also weighing in at obesity levels. Read more about the study here

Webinars & Events
1. Canada’s first national school food conference, Nov 12-14, Montreal
Changing the Menu, Canada’s first-ever national school food conference, aims to advance activities to get more healthy, local and sustainable food into the minds and onto the plates of students. The three-day event will feature field trips to inspirational projects in Quebec, keynote speakers, presentations, workshops and networking opportunities. The conference will bring together a diverse group of participants from various sectors including health, education, agriculture, food service, recreation, policy and research. Early bird registration now open through September 15. Learn more about the conference on the Changing the Menu website

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Program Officer for Food Communities & Public Health Program, The John Hopkins Center for  Livable Future
The primary role of this position is to manage the Center’s Food Policy Networks (FPN) project, in close collaboration with senior staff at the Center for a Livable Future. As a core and senior member of the Food Communities and Public Health program team, the Program Officer will also contribute to other CLF projects within the FCPH program portfolio, such as the Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast (EFSNE) project, Meatless Monday and actively fulfill Center-wide activities as needed. Learn more about the position here.

2. Research, Data & Evaluation Manager, FOCUS
School Food FOCUS (FOCUS) is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of 43 large school districts across the country that collectively represent more than 4.9 million children. FOCUS seeks a Manager to coordinate research, evaluation and procurement data activities across the organization. View the full job description here

Farm to school in the news
Farm to school on The Many Shades of Green featuring NFSN Director of Development, Jaime Lockwood!
Jaime Lockwood was last week’s guest on The Many Shades of Green radio show. She discusses how farm to school works to bring fresh, local foods into school across the U.S., and how the Farm to School Act of 2015 can help strengthen the farm to school movement. Listen here

Op-ed: Don’t reverse progress toward healthier school lunches
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged Congress not to roll back the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act healthier school meal standards in an opinion piece this week. (via The Salt Lake Tribune)

Oregon to drastically change the way children get their school lunches
Oregon is taking its farm-to-schools statewide. As part of a spending bill, lawmakers agreed to pour $3.3 million of general fund money toward expanding the program, from the 19 school districts that currently enjoy farm-to-school benefits to every K-12 in the state. (via Portland Business Journal)

Ige Signs Law Creating Farm-to-School Program in Hawaii
Last week, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill that is intended to increase the amount of local food students eat in Hawaii’s public school system. The bill creates a state-wide farm to school program, and funds a full-time farm to school coordinator position. (via Civil Beat)

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: 7/7/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 07, 2015

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. Food Justice Webinar with Closing the Hunger Gap & Oregon Food Bank
Food Justice & Emergency Food Providers
Wednesday, July 15, 10:30-11:45 a.m. PST; 1:30-2:45 pm EST
What is food justice and how can emergency food providers support food justice efforts? During the webinar, Jess Powers from WhyHunger will outline what food justice means and two organizations will discuss how they use food justice to inform their work. Mireille Massac from Child Development Support Corporation in Brooklyn will discuss the injustices she sees in her neighborhood and the solutions the pantry has put in to place. Shannon Cogan from Portland’s Sisters Of The Road will talk about how her organization offers a space to empower community members, dine with dignity, and organize for justice and human rights for all. Register here and learn more about the speakers here.

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities 
1. Director, D.C. Hunger Solutions
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), seeks a highly motivated and skilled leader for the organization’s work to create a hunger-free community and improve the nutrition, health, economic security and well-being of low-income residents in Washington, D.C. The ideal candidate must be a highly skilled public policy advocate, manager and leader; evidence a strong commitment to social justice; be an effective supervisor of a talented staff; be creative and a self-starter; have a proven ability to excel at working in partnerships; and have experience balancing the needs of diverse stakeholders. This full-time, director-level position is located in Washington, D.C. and reports to FRAC’s president. For more information,click here

2. Garden Coordinator, CitySprouts 
CitySprouts is a nonprofit school garden organization that partners with public schools in Boston and Cambridge to integrate academic and environmental education in the schools and neighborhood. The Garden Coordinator is a 10-month staff position, March 1 to December 30. The Garden Coordinator maintains the physical space, supports teachers’ use of the garden for teaching during the school year, and is a lead teacher in the 8-week summer youth internship program. Applications due Friday, July 10, 2015. For more information and to apply, please visit the CitySprouts website

Farm to school in the news
MSU researchers study 'Beef to School' benefits with new grant
A team of researchers at MSU is working on a way to get more local beef into Montana schools. The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave MSU a three-year, $220,000 grant to help Montana beef producers and meat processors increase the use of local meat in K-12 schools. (via NBC Montana)

Fellowship of the farm: Teens tend school garden through summer
High school students in Oregon are participating in a program in which local students work at Corvallis High School’s garden and sell its produce at a weekly farmers market. The fellowship pays students a stipend for working at the garden for a few hours three days a week. (via Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Farm to School Win-Win in Illinois
School cafeterias around Illinois are using more locally-sourced fruits and vegetables, while teaching children about the benefits of healthy eating. Wes King, executive director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, says these opportunities help to put children in the "driver's seat" of a healthier diet. (via Public News Service)

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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