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. Request for Applications: Native Communities with Farm to School
The National Farm to School Network is pleased to announce a new mini-grant project: Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School. This project aims to expand farm to school activities (procurement of local and traditional foods, school gardens, and food and agriculture education) in Native communities as a strategy to leverage community-wide initiatives towards building food security and food sovereignty and towards revitalizing use of traditional foods. The project will provide five Native schools mini-grants in the amount of $5,900 to expand and promote farm to school. Native schools/early care and education sites will be selected through an open application process to partner on this project. The full RFA can be found here. Applications are due March 22, 2017 at 6pm ET.
2. RFA: Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Sustainable Community Projects
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA announces the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) funding program to improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for at-risk children, youth, and families supported by the Cooperative Extension System. The application deadline is March 29, 2017. Learn more here.
3. Seeds of Change: Garden Grant Program
Seeds of Change® is awarding grants to 24 garden project around the country. Four Grand Prize grants (totaling $110,000) and twenty Secondary grants (totaling $200,000) will be awarded. To be eligible, entries must be received by March 28, 2017. Learn more here.
4. United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grants Program
The United Fresh Start Foundation is now accepting applications for its new Community Grants Program, established to help advance the organization’s mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Not-for-profit organizations focused on child nutrition, food access and creating healthy communities through increased access to fresh produce, can download the grant application here. Applications are due by Monday, April 20, 2017.
Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Farm to School in the Every Student Succeeds Act
March 21, 3-4pm ET - TODAY!
Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this webinar will discuss new opportunities for farm to school under the newest authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this legislation, there are various funding opportunities and policy levers that advocates and educators on the ground can utilize to move farm to school forward in their communities. This webinar is open to the public. Register here.
2. Webinar: Schools As Nutrition Hubs: The Business Savvy Strategy to Reduce Childhood Hunger
Wednesday, March 22, 2-3:15pm ET
Are you passionate about providing meals to food insecure students? Do you want to operate a year-round food service program that is financially sustainable, creates jobs, and eases procurement? Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is working to support schools serving as “Nutrition Hubs” within their communities. Nutrition Hubs provide children with access to the full range of child nutrition programs including breakfast, served after the bell, lunch, afterschool suppers, and summer meals. In low-income neighborhoods, where students rely heavily on school meals, the role of the Nutrition Hub holds increased importance. In this interactive webinar, learn tips and how-to lessons from and brainstorm with expert Food Service Directors who operate Nutrition Hubs. Register here.
3. Webinar: Local Meat to Local Schools: Lessons Learned from the Montana Beef to School Project
Thursday, March 23, 12-1pm ET
Many folks all over the nation are organizing to get local ingredients into public schools and other institutions as a way to support local farmers as well as improve the quality and healthfullness of school food. Fruits and vegetables have been the low-hanging fruit; local meat and animal products can be much more challenging to get on school menus. The Montana Beef to School Project is a three-year collaborative project between several Montana beef producers and processors, schools and many stakeholders represented in the Montana Beef to School Coalition. Hear from one of the project leaders, Thomas Bass of Montana State University Extension along with one of the key processing partners, Jeremy Plummer of Lower Valley Processing in Kalispell, about what they learned over the three years of this project. Register here.
4. Webinar Rescheduled: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
New Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2pm ET
With the goal of bringing practical information to improve the lives of agricultural producers, consumers, families, and children, extension is a natural fit for partnership in farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives. The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, will be offering a webinar to share extension and farm to ECE partnerships and projects. Register here.
5. Webinar: Statewide Farm to ECE Network Building
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 3:30 – 4:30 PM ET
Statewide farm to early care and education (ECE) network building is a key approach to institutionalizing farm to ECE and increasing opportunities for all children, families, and communities to reap the many benefits of farm to ECE. Join us for the April NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar where we will hear from Emily Jackson of the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network and Erin Croom of the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition who will share models from their states and identify keys to success in building a statewide farm to ECE network. This webinar is open to the public so please share through your networks. Register here.
1. Webinar recording: Health, Nutrition and Wellness Strategies for Your Community
NFSN's webinar for the AFT Share My Lesson Plan Virtual Conference is now available to view online. “Health, Nutrition and Wellness Strategies for Your Community” features Lacy Stephens, MS, RDN, Farm to Early Care and Education Associate with the National Farm to School Network, who discusses how farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites. Educators receive free professional development hours by viewing. View the recording here.
2. Campus Dining 101: A Benchmark Study on Farm to College in New England
Farm to Institution New England is pleased to announce a report that highlights the data collected from college dining operators in the region. “Campus Dining 101: A Benchmark Study on Farm to College in New England” presents in-depth findings and makes specific, data-based recommendations for institutions of higher education as well as government officials, funders, and institutions. Explore the report here.
1. Organizational Sign-On Letter: Young Farmer Success Act
Last month, Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA) and John Faso (R-NY) reintroduced the Young Farmer Success Act (H.R. 1060), National Young Farmer Coalition’s bill to provide student loan forgiveness to young farmers. To demonstrate broad support for this bill, NYFC is circulating an organizational sign-on letter that will be sent to the Chair and Ranking Members of the Committees of jurisdiction for this measure. If your organization would like to add their name, please fill out this Google Form by March 22.
2. Nominations for USDA Beginning Farmer and Minority Farmer advisory committees
USDA is currently accepting nominations for both the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee and the Minority Farmer Advisory Committee. Learn more about the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers here. Learn more about the OAO Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers here. Nominations for both committees are are due next Friday March 31.
3. 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is committed to addressing all forms of racism in our food system. FSNE believe that we cannot talk about and work for sustainability, food security, and economic prosperity in our region without facing the realities of discrimination and social inequity in our food system and beyond. You’re invited to join FSNE’s 2017 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge: April 9 - April 29. Sign up here.
1. Farm to School Educator, Island Grown Schools
Island Grown Schools, Martha’s Vineyard’s Farm-to-School program, is hiring a full-time educator. This position works with grades K-12 at two local schools throughout the school year, and facilitates our teen apprenticeship program during the summer months. If interested please send your resume, cover letter, and 2 references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm to School in the News
Vermont students compete in Jr. Iron Chef cook-off
Fiftyfive student cooking teams gathered on Saturday wearing uniforms as inventive as the food they hoped to present to the judges at the 10th Junior Iron Chef Vermont competition. The competition’s mission is to empower students to use local products and develop healthy eating habits. Vermont FEED (NFSN Vermont Core Partner) sponsors the event. Burlington Free Press
Fish to School: Sitka lunch program continues to satisfy
A weekly lunch program in Sitka, Alaska is getting wild salmon out of the fisherman’s net and onto students’ plates. “No one that’s not vegetarian does not like fish that I know,” exclaims Seren. She’s in fifth grade and takes a second to think of her favorite foods of all time. “Salmon is second on my list of favorite foods,” she says. KCAW
A healthier school lunch
Try County Schools (Nebraska) recently held its first farmer’s market, which included veggies picked from the school’s greenhouse and foods provided by local businesses. “Every class of students gets to go through our farmer's market today and try local produce. We have new vegetables out today, and we're all still learning how to spell them.” Beatrice Daily Sun