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This week in farm to school: 9/22/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 22, 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. Building Healthy Communities in the South & Appalachia
The Health Impact Project will award seven grants of up to $45,000 to help communities identify their most pressing health equity challenges and the factors outside of the health care sector that help drive them (for example, housing or education). Grants are available in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wester Virginia. Applicants from outside of the public health sector are encouraged to apply, and experience conducting health impact assessment is not required. An informational webinar is scheduled for 2pm ET on Sept. 30, 2015. View the call for proposals here. Proposals are due Nov. 13, 2015. 

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: National Farm to School Network
Farm to School 101
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 12-12:30pm CT
Mark your calendar for a Farm to School 101 webinar! On Tuesday, October 13 we’ll discuss the basics of the farm to school movement, its core elements, and how it is working to connect 23.5 million children to local food in schools all over the country. Register here

2. Webinars: Barnraiser, Crowdfunding 101
Crowdfunding for Good Food & Healthy Living
Every Thursday, 10am PT
Calling all farm to school advocates, farmers, producers, and school gardeners. Join Barnraiser's weekly webinars to learn the 5 keys to successful crowdfunding on Barnraiser. Hear the stories of successful campaigns, as well as tips, tricks and insider knowledge from the Barnriaser team to get your farm to school project successfully funded. Register for the webinar here

3. Webinar: edWeb.net
Next Generation Science in the Garden
Monday, Sep. 28, 4-5pm ET
In this webinar, Life Lab will share how to use a garden as a meaningful context in which students can engage in next generation science and engineering practices to examine disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts. Where better to explore ecological interdependence, growth and development of organisms, structure and function, adaptation, and the environmental impact of human activity than in an outdoor garden classroom? Formal and informal educators interested in using a garden to enrich science learning and connect to the new Next Generation Science Standards in grades K-5 will benefit from this live, interactive webinar. Register here.

4. Webinar: Exploring Innovation
Food Entrepreneurship: A Proven Approach to Build Your Local Economy and Jobs
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2-3:15pm CT
This discussion will highlights the economic impacts of local food systems and how food entrepreneurship can assist a community’s efforts to build a thriving economy and create jobs. Register here

5. Yale Food Systems Symposium, Oct. 30-31, New Haven, CT
The Yale Food Systems Symposium (YFSS) is a student led, interdisciplinary conference initiated by students at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The aim of the YFSS is to provide a space where researchers, practitioners, theorists, and eaters can come together to answer the pragmatic question: how can we get from here, to a just, sustainable food system? An effort by students, for students (in a broad sense of the word), the YFSS privileges new ideas that push the conventional boundaries of food systems thinking, and as such seeks to highlight emerging researchers, innovative projects, truly interdisciplinary thinking, and  non-traditional collaboration. Learn more here

6. Register for the Food Day Apple Crunch on Oct. 22, 2015
On and around Food Day 2015 (Oct. 24, 2015), millions of people around the country will crunch into an apple in a unifying action to raise awareness about eating better diets for our health and the environment, access and affordability of fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers. Hundreds of thousands of school students will crunch into an apple at lunch time, joined by Americans at public Food Day events, in corporate cafeterias and at home. Because Food Day falls on a Saturday this year, most schools will be participating in the Apple Crunch on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Start planning now to join the Food Day Apple Crunch and register your event at the link below.
Click here to watch the Food Day 2015 Apple Crunch video
Click here to register for the Food Day 2015 Apple Crunch!

7. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 1-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. More information to come soon. 

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. Farm to School Coordinator, Georgia Organics 
Georgia Organics is a dynamic nonprofit working to connect organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. The organization is currently seeking a full-time Farm to School Coordinator to work at its office in Atlanta. The Farm to School Coordinator will work directly with and provide key support to the Farm to School Director to strengthen and expand farm to school programming in Georgia in Pre-K-12 grades. Visit the Georgia Organics website for more information about this position and application instruction. 

2. Farm & Food Policy Analyst, Cornucopia Institute
The Cornucopia Institute is seeking an employee to join its team conducting research and investigations into organic and sustainable food and farming production practices with an emphasis on livestock and livestock-based food products. Get details here

Farm to school in the news
What Happens When You Teach Math in the Garden?
In garden-based education, the core curriculum helps frame the work of growing food and vice versa. Read how garden-based math lessons are working in Massachusetts. (via Civil Eats)

School greenhouse about to sprout
The new greenhouse at Mount Desert Elementary School will contain much more than plants; it will hold what school officials see as almost limitless opportunities for learning and developing life skills. (via Mount Desert Islander)

Students harvest vegetables, learning from the garden
"We see kids struggle in the classroom to pay attention, stay focused, and behave. They need a lot of assistance. But, when they get out into the garden, they don't have those problems. They are on an equal playing field, and they literally see the fruit of their labor blooming and growing." (via MassLive)

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: 9/15/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 15, 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. Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program
Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to a K-12 school, or a nonprofit working in partnership with a K-12 school, to support a new or existing edible garden on school grounds. Applications for the 2016 Garden Grant Program are now open, and close on October 31. Visit the Whole Kids Foundation website for complete program guidelines, FAQ, and the online application form.

2. Let’s Move! Child Care Celebrates 4th Anniversary - Complete an action plan to win
Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC) gives child care and early education providers the tools to help children develop healthy habits for life. As part of the anniversary of LMCC, the program is highlighting child care centers that have not only signed up, but completed their action plans to work toward creating a healthier environment at their center. Let’s Move! Child Care is awarding healthy toolkits to enable early care and education providers to continue to meet the goals of the program. These toolkits include supplies and materials on healthy meal times, physical activity, and the importance of healthy beverages. Learn more and develop an Action Plan by September 18th for a chance to win.

Events & Webinars
1. Tweet Chat: National Farm to School Network & Slow Food USA
School Gardens & #CNR2015 : Getting Involved Now 
From containers in the classroom to multi-acre farms, school gardens are sprouting up in every type of community around the country. These green spaces are providing opportunities for kids to connect with food from the soil up, and in turn, have proven to be an effective tool for helping kids learn to try and like new foods. Simply put, hands-on agriculture and nutrition education are helping shape a healthier next generation. This month, Congress has the opportunity to show its support for school gardens and other farm to school programs as it debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Join the National Farm to School Network (@farmtoschool) and Slow Food USA (@SlowFoodUSA) for a tweet chat on Wednesday, September 16 from 2-3pm EDT to discuss school gardens, CNR, and how the USDA Farm to School Grant Program can support healthier kids. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #gardens4CNR

2. Webinar: Food Research & Action Center
New Spanish Language Nutrition and Wellness Resources for Child Care
Friday, September 18, 1-2:30pm EDT
Join USDA, FRAC and Robert Wood Johnson to learn how you can create healthier child care environments with the newly released Spanish language version of USDA's "Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program," and other Spanish language resources, including the Look and Cook Recipe Cards and the Two Bite Club. This is an opportunity to learn and ask questions, and the webinar will be presented in English and Spanish. Register here

3. Register for the Food Day Apple Crunch on Oct. 22, 2015
On and around Food Day 2015 (Oct. 24, 2015), millions of people around the country will crunch into an apple in a unifying action to raise awareness about eating better diets for our health and the environment, access and affordability of fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers. Hundreds of thousands of school students will crunch into an apple at lunch time, joined by Americans at public Food Day events, in corporate cafeterias and at home. Because Food Day falls on a Saturday this year, most schools will be participating in the Apple Crunch on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Start planning now to join the Food Day Apple Crunch and register your event at the link below.
Click here to watch the Food Day 2015 Apple Crunch video
4. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 1-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. More information to come soon. 

5. Field to Tray, Mid-Atlantic Regional 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

6. Canada's first national school food conference, Montreal, Nov. 12 -14
Changing the Menu, the first-ever Canadian 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 event will bring together a diverse group of participants from various sectors including health, education, food service, recreation, agriculture, policy and research. Some 400 people from coast to coast including members of indigenous communities are expected to attend the Montreal event. Find more information and register here.  

7. 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.

Resources & Research
1. New USDA Farm to School Grant Program Report
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of a new report that shows that USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program, established and funded through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, has helped 12,300 schools improve nutritious meal options made with local ingredients for 6.9 million students, while expanding market opportunities for family farmers and ranchers in their communities. Through its Farm to School Grant Program, USDA has awarded 221 grants in 49 States, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands over the past three years. Fifty percent of funded projects included expanding healthy menu options offered in the cafeteria; 46 percent included training for food service staff about menu planning, meal preparation, and cooking with local and regional foods; and 65 percent included nutrition education activities. Read the full report here

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Coordinator, Georgia Organics 
Georgia Organics is a dynamic nonprofit working to connect organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. The organization is currently seeking a full-time Farm to School Coordinator to work at its office in Atlanta. The Farm to School Coordinator will work directly with and provide key support to the Farm to School Director to strengthen and expand farm to school programming in Georgia in Pre-K-12 grades. Visit the Georgia Organics website for more information about this position and application instruction. 

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
School nutrition leader sees produce mandate as essential - shoutout to NFSN Advisory Board member, Bertrand Weber! 
Bertrand Weber, director of the Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Nutrition Services, discusses how students in Minneapolis have come to love fruits & vegetables. Spurred by salad bars and the farm to school program, he says the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the Minneapolis district has more than quadrupled in three years. (via The Packer)

Fighting food insecurity in Detroit
How are programs in Michigan working to combat food insecurity & ensure our youngest eaters have healthy food to eat? Farm to school and farm to preschool practices play a large part. (via Model D Media)

Preston Elementary showcases local produce
Maryland kicked off the eighth annual Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week with a Farm to School celebration at Preston Elementary School Thursday, Sept. 10. From locally sourced lunches to taste tests and farm visits, see how schools will be celebrating local food all week. (via My Eastern Shore MD)


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: 9/8/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 08, 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. NFSN & Slow Food USA Tweet Chat
School Gardens & #CNR2015 : Getting Involved Now
From containers in the classroom to multi-acre farms, school gardens are sprouting up in every type of community around the country. These green spaces are providing opportunities for kids to connect with food from the soil up, and in turn, have proven to be an effective tool for helping kids learn to try and like new foods. Simply put, hands-on agriculture and nutrition education are helping shape a healthier next generation. This month, Congress has the opportunity to show its support for school gardens and other farm to school programs as it debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Join the National Farm to School Network (@farmtoschool) and Slow Food USA (@slowfoodUSA) for a tweet chat on Wednesday, September 16 from 2-3pm EDT to discuss school gardens, CNR, and how the USDA Farm to School Grant Program can support healthier kids. Use the hashtag #gardens4CNR to join. 

2. Webinar: USDA, Regional Rural Development Centers
Why Local Foods Matter
Thursday, September 10, 2015 11 am EDT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s four Regional Rural Development Centers will host a webinar featuring Deb Tropp from the USDA Ag Marketing Service that will explore what is driving the public’s interest and USDA’s investments in local food initiatives. There is no need to pre-register, but on September 10th, 9 am MDT, you can go directly to this link to join. 

3. Webinar: USDA's Team Nutrition
Nutrition Education in the Classroom and Beyond: Tips for Educators
Wednesday, September 16, 3:00-4:00 pm EDT
Go back to school with tools and resources that support healthy learning! This webinar will discuss innovative ways elementary and middle school educators can integrate nutrition education into core subjects like math, language arts, and science. New teaching resources available from Team Nutrition for the 2015-2016 School Year will be shared. Register here. 

4. Webinar: The Lunch Box, Chef Ann Foundation

Kids Eat Real Food ‒ Marketing and Lunchroom Education
Thursday, September 24, 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
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. 

5. Mid-Atlantic Regional 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

6. 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.


Research & Resources

1. Harvest for Healthy Kids Pilot Study
Harvest for Healthy Kids Pilot Study: Associations Between Exposure to a Farm-to-Preschool Intervention and Willingness to Try and Liking of Target Fruits and Vegetables Among Low-Income Children in Head Start suggests that Harvest for Healthy Kids had a positive impact on willingness to try and liking of target foods. Other studies have shown that liking is a strong predictor of intake among children. Read more about the study 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. 


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
Merced County high schools use local produce for school lunches
Perfect Summer is the name of Live Oak Farms’ sweet red and yellow peppers, delivered to Merced Union High School District (CA) campuses Wednesday. At Merced High School, the peppers are used in wraps and at cafeteria condiment stations. (via Merced Sun-Star)

Students learn to love their veggies — by planting them
A group of Oregon elementary-schoolers played a big role in promoting healthy eating habits this summer. The kids helped design and plant a local garden before celebrating their efforts with an all-veggie picnic. (via The Daily Astorian)

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: 9/1/2015

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. 

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