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News

This Week in Farm to School: 5/23/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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 

1. Webinar: Economies of Local Food
May 25, 1pm EST
In recent years, a considerable effort has been made at improving data collection for local food systems, engaging and developing resources for practitioners to evaluate local food system activity, and to standardize the metrics used in reporting the impacts of local food grant and loan programs. The presenters will provide an overview of some of these initiatives. Register here.

2. Webinar: Tackling Resilience Through Food Policy Councils
May 25, 1pm EST
The increasing prevalence and severity of environmental, political, and humanitarian emergencies are prompting governments and communities to think more about where their food will come from in such situations, and how their local food systems may contribute to (or lessen the impact of) them. Food policy councils can play an important role in assisting with these efforts. Register here.

3. Webinar: Team Up for Creative Ways to Boost Flavor with Less Sodium!

May 25, 3pm EST
Presenters will share their efforts with procurement, menu planning, student acceptance, and staff professional development related to creating heart-friendly school meals. USDA Food and Nutrition Service staff will also share the latest on the Agency’s sodium reduction initiatives in school meals. Register here

4. Webinar: School Garden Support Organizations Best Practices: Measuring Impact 

June 6, 1pm PST 
In this webinar, hear how and why school garden support organizations across the nation measure the impact of school garden programming. A wide range of assessment tools and strategies from different organizations will be shared. This webinar is hosted by the National School Garden Network. Register here


Events
1. Healthy Food Fuels Hungry Minds: Advancing Children's Health In & Out of School
June 7 // Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
“Healthy Food Fuels Hungry Minds" is presented with the objective of enabling participants to make our kids’ nutrition the best in the nation by creating an environment both in and out of school where great nutrition is fostered and valued and healthy choices, including healthy beverages and clean, drinkable water, are always the easiest ones. Featuring Keynote addresses from Marion Nestle & Betti Wiggins. 6 CE credits offered for school nutrition personnel. Register here

2. Life Lab: Educator Workshops at the Garden Classroom
Santa Cruz, Calif. 
Life Lab offers trainings and workshops for educators in their Garden Classroom on the UCSC CASFS Farm. Upcoming trainings this summer include: The Growing Classroom: Two-Day Intensive in Garden-Based Learning (June 19-20) and Outdoor Classroom and Garden Program Management (July 27). Additional trainings will be offered this fall. Learn more and find additional training opportunities here

3. Summer Institute: Using Gardens to Teach & Build Community
August 15-17 // Poughkeepsie, NY
Poughkeepsie Farm Project's annual summer institute is designed to help educators integrate gardens into their teaching. The institute cover topics in literacy, social studies, science, and nutrition, as well as build knowledge about sustainable agriculture, food systems, social justice, and ecological gardening practices. Register here

4. Food Solutions New England: Network Leadership Institute
Sessions held September 2017 - January 2018 // Location TBA
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) seeks to grow, strengthen, and diversify its network leadership across the region. They seek regional thinkers and doers to participate in the second FSNE Network Leadership Institute, and invite applications from individuals who are active in food system efforts locally and/or regionally, who are committed to FSNE’s values, and who are eager to contribute to the FSNE network in this way. Applications are due June 1. Learn more and apply here

5. 2017 Georgia Farm to School Summit 

October 5-6 // Helms College in Augusta, GA
Early bird registration now open for the 2017 Georgia Farm to School Summit. Hear from Keynote Betti Wiggins and Honorary Co-Chair Donna Martin, tour farm to school programs, and choose from 21 education sessions including focused content for school nutrition, educators, and early care providers. Only a limited number of early bird tickets are available. Visit the Summit website for more information.


Research & Resources
1. Garden Project in Schools Linked to Lower BMI in Kids
Findings of a new study suggest that well-designed interventions can produce salutary changes in children's food knowledge and eating habits in the short period of just one school year. A prominent feature of the study was the opportunity to work in gardens established at participating schools. Learn more here

2. Online Course: "Intro to US Food System: Perspectives from Public Health"

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is now offering an updated, on-demand version of its free, online Coursera course, “An Introduction to the US Food System: Perspectives from Public Health”. New sessions begin every six weeks, and the next one opens on May 22nd. You can begin any time by signing up and previewing lectures while you wait for your session's start date. Learn more here

3. American Farmland Trust: Profiles in California Stewardship Project 

Over the course of the past year, American Farmland Trust conducted 60 interviews with specialty crop growers across California who are dedicated to practicing environmental stewardship on their farms and ranches, and now, American Farmland Trust is announcing the launch of a new interactive website where these profiles are hosted. In addition to viewing more than 60 examples of outstanding environmental stewardship, this new website provides visitors with the ability to search and sort profiles of specialty crop growers by the stewardship practice(s) used, crops grown and geography. The profiles contain contact information for the grower, and each has agreed to be contacted as a resource for other California specialty crop growers hoping to implement similar practices. Learn more here


Job Opportunities 
1. Executive Director, Rogue Valley Farm to School 
Rogue Valley Farm to School is seeking a skillful professional to lead the nonprofit organization under the strategic direction of the Board of Directors. This is an incredible opportunity for someone who is passionate about quality nutrition education programs for children and the community, and sustainable agriculture. Learn more about applying here

2. Director of Development/Co-Director, CoFED
Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) is seeking a Director of Development / Co-Director of CoFED. CoFED trains young people, ages 18-30, to develop food co-ops that advance racial justice and community-owned wealth in the food system. We have a deep belief in the power of young people to build a multiracial, multiclass, multicultural movement committed to creating alternatives to a racist and extractive food system that does not serve us as people or the planet. Learn more and apply here

3. Produce Project Educator, Capitol Roots Produce Project 

Capitol Roots Produce Projects seeks a Produce Project Educator. Capital Roots is striving to create a more vibrant and equitable food system in New York’s Capital Region by reducing the impact of poor nutrition on public health through community gardens, healthy food access, nutritional and horticultural education. The Produce Project is a job-readiness program where students from Troy High School engage in all aspects of operating a 2-acre urban farm. Learn more and apply here

4. Youth Farm Specialist, Urban Roots
Urban Roots seeks a Youth Farm Specialist to join their Austin, TX based team. Urban Roots is a non-profit organization that uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community. The Urban Roots Youth Farm Specialist (YFS) ensures the success of youth and community members engaged in Urban Roots’ unique ecosystem of multiple year-round youth leadership development programs and supports Urban Roots’ agricultural activities, using sustainable farming practices to maintain a productive community farm. Learn more and apply here

5. Multimedia Specialist, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets 

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets seeks a multimedia specialist to join their Communications Team. Under the advisement of the Director of Communications, this position will be responsible for developing video, online, and print content in support of Agency programming. Applications will be accepted thru May 30. Search position #621189 here.


Farm to School in the News
For Kansas students, lessons from bees are ‘bold and loud’
A Wichita middle school recently became home to the area’s first school-based honeybee hive. A hive with about 30,000 honeybees has been installed near an exterior wall in one of the school's classroom, and a clear acrylic tube allows students to watch the bees move from the hive to the school’s fruit and vegetable garden and back again. “There’s so many life lessons inside the hive that are so bold and loud.” (The Wichita Eagle)

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Helps “Berries by Bill” Bring Local Produce to Arkansas Schools
Bill Landreth, owner of Berries by Bill, Inc., has a u-pick strawberry patch and grows a variety of fresh produce sold on his farm and at local farmer’s markets. He can also be found making deliveries of his seasonal fruits to local schools in Arkansas - what he calls a “win-win” for him and the students. Landreth worked with the USDA’s Farm Service Agency to help finance the equipment used to produce his strawberries. (USDA FSA Fence Post)

Special needs students sowing success in Massachusetts

Educational Support Professional Nancy Burke launched the Haverhill High School's Learning Garden program five years ago. She and her students have received local, state and national news coverage and honors after renovating a neglected school courtyard into a handicap-accessible outdoor learning lab filled with wheelchair accessible raised-bed vegetable and berry gardens. (Eagle-Tribune

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: 5/16/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 16, 2017
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. 


News From NFSN
1. School Nutrition Association Selected As 2017 NFSN National Partner of the Year
As a national organization uniquely situated at the intersection of numerous sectors, networking and partnership building are at the core of the National Farm to School Network’s efforts. As such, we’ve launched a new initiative to expand engagement in farm to school through the annual designation of a “National Partner of the Year.”  In this inaugural year, we are excited to announce the School Nutrition Association (SNA) as our 2017 National Partner of the Year. Through intentional programmatic collaboration, resource sharing and cross-promotion, we aim to better connect our members and school nutrition professional towards fostering a nation of healthy, well-nourished kids engaged in our food systems. Learn more on our blog.

2. USDA Demotes Rural Development 
Last week, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a new restructuring plan for the USDA which downgrades the Office of Rural Development and eliminates its Under Secretary position, effectively demoting Rural Development from a core USDA Mission Area. Many of the programs within the Office of Rural Development have been integral to incubating and supporting rural business (many of which are farms) and have been key to building infrastructure that supports farm to school efforts in rural communities. Under the restructuring, these programs may now be on the chopping block. The Office of Rural development has been a champion for rural economies, and NSFN will continue to advocate that this restructuring plan does not impede the progress family farmers have gained in the last decade to supply nutritious food to schools. Learn more about the restructuring and its potential impacts in this blog post from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Webinars 
1. Webinar: Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit Launch
May 18, 4pm EST
Slow Food USA has assembled a Garden to Cafeteria (GTC) toolkit to assist a school district in developing the necessary food safety protocols, training workshops, and partnerships to launch their own GTC program. Register here

2. Webinar: Economies of Local Food
May 25, 1pm EST
In recent years, a considerable effort has been made at improving data collection for local food systems, engaging and developing resources for practitioners to evaluate local food system activity, and to standardize the metrics used in reporting the impacts of local food grant and loan programs. The presenters will provide an overview of some of these initiatives. Register here.

3. Webinar: Tackling resilience through food policy councils
May 25, 1pm EST
The increasing prevalence and severity of environmental, political, and humanitarian emergencies are prompting governments and communities to think more about where their food will come from in such situations, and how their local food systems may contribute to (or lessen the impact of) them. Food policy councils can play an important role in assisting with these efforts. Register here.

Research & Resources
1. Study: How the quality of school lunch affects students' academic performance 
A new study from Brookings Institute looks at how school nutrition impacts educational achievement. Most researchers study this based on the quantity (calories) of food students receive but this one focuses on the quality of food. They found that in years when a school contracts with a healthy lunch company, students at the school score better on end-of-year academic tests (4% higher for all students and 40% for free and reduced lunch students).

2. Are your kids passionate about food? Here's how they can make a difference.
"Regardless of which side of the aisle you're on, kids' finding their voices about issues that matter to them is a splendid thing." For facts aimed at peaking students' interest in the food system along with 12 ideas for how kids can take action to make a difference through food activism, check out this Associated Press article

Action Opportunities
1. Help NFSN Compile State Policy Campaign Resources 
As the National Farm to School Network works to create a 2015-2017 addendum to our 2002-2014 state policy resource, we are collecting examples of state policy campaign resources, such as one-pagers, fact sheets, social media samples, graphics and other ways farm to school advocates have shared messaging in support of their efforts. Please send any such examples to Julia McCarthy, mccarthy.julia@gmail.com.

2. Make Sure Your Farm or Ranch Counts - Census of Agriculture
Farmers and ranchers: make sure you are counted! If you are "any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017)," please sign up to take the 2017 Census of Agriculture

Job Opportunities 
1. Operations Manager and Membership Engagement & Training Lead, HEAL Food Alliance 
The HEAL Food Alliance is seeking to hire an Operations Manager and a Membership Engagement & Training Lead. HEAL works to uplift the power of communities mobilizing for a healthy, green, fair, and affordable food system. Learn more here.

2. School Garden Coordinator, Belle Chasse Academy 
Belle Chasse Academy (BCA) is a K-8 charter school located on the Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, La. (New Orleans metro area). They are looking to hire a full time (with benefits) School Garden Coordinator. Learn more here

3. Communications Coordinator, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) 
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is a nonprofit that provides education, resources, and practical advice to help farmers grow organically. MOSES seeks a Communication Coordinator to be a part of their Spring Valley, Wis. based team. Applications are due Friday, May 19. Learn more here.

4. Development & Communications Coordinator, Community Food & Agriculture Coalition
Montana's Community Food & Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) is seeking a Development & Communications Coordinator to lead their donor engagement, communications and community outreach efforts. Applications are due Wednesday, May 31. Learn more here.

Farm to School in the News
Alaska students run greenhouses, grow lunch year-round
“We're trying to teach our kids to be entrepreneurs, and so we have contracts now with a few of the grocery stores on the island. We have a restaurant that the school owns that we supply our produce for,” said superintendent Nick Higson. “We supply quite a bit of the produce for our school lunches.” (KTUU)

Mozart Meets Monet’ in Georgia school garden
Jefferson Parkway recently combined art and music with a “Mozart Meets Monet” cross-curricular lesson held in the school’s garden. Students learned about the life and accomplishments of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the history of Claude Monet and how his art was inspired by his love of his garden in Giverny, France. (The Newnan-Times Herald

Idaho: how does your garden grow?
Southside Elementary second-graders helped Elks Lodge members fill all the new, raised garden beds at their school. Now, every elementary school in the Lake Pend Oreille School District now has a garden, where kids can grow and eat their own vegetables. (Bonner County Daily Bee)

Farm to cafeteria: Massachusetts Food Hub receives new box truck

The new truck is added to a fleet of four that service the school system as part of the Food Hub program. “Working the food hub into our procurement system has given us additional access to a variety of fresh commodities such as apples direct from local farms.” (Worcester Magazine

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: 5/09/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 09, 2017

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. Food Safety Outreach Program, USDA NIFA 
The Food Safety Outreach Program will complement and expand the national infrastructure of the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups .Applications are due Tuesday, June 6, 2017. For more information, participate in the May 18th webinair or apply here

2. CHOICES Funding 
Funding from the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) will support states, cities, and counties in preventing childhood obesity and associated health outcomes by building local capacity among decision makers to choose and implement cost-effective strategies. The partnership will run from July 2017 to June 2018, and the CHOICES team intends to fund up to four health agencies during this 12-month project period. Monetary assistance will be available (contingent upon funding) at an expected average of $50,000 per awardee. Application are due Wednesday, May 31, 2017.  Learn more and apply here

3. 2018 Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge
The Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses. Rural entrepreneurs compete for $145,000 in startup funds. Apply here

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Breakfast Matters - Back to School
May 11 at 3pm EST
The school year is ending, but the planning for the next academic year is already beginning. Join us as we share tips and tools for preparing your school district’s food and nutrition service strategies for the 2017–2018 school year. Topics will include forming an unpaid meal policy, making the most of the Community Eligibility Provision, and launching or enhancing your Breakfast After the Bell and afterschool meal programs. Register here.

2. Webinar: Tackling resilience through food policy councils
May 25 at 1pm EST
The increasing prevalence and severity of environmental, political, and humanitarian emergencies are prompting governments and communities to think more about where their food will come from in such situations, and how their local food systems may contribute to (or lessen the impact of) them. Food policy councils can play an important role in assisting with these efforts. Register Today!


Research & Resources
1. Research Brief: Farm to ECE in Pennsylvania: A Promising Start with Room for Growth
The Food Trust recently released their "Farm to ECE In Pennsylvania" research brief.  This is a valuable resource for anyone looking for methods to do some background research on what's going on in their state, or a useful example for framing farm to ECE from a statewide perspective.
 
2. New Study: Timing and duration matters for school lunch and recess
A new study finds that the duration and timing of lunch and recess is related to food choices and physical activity of school children. These findings could help schools make policies that promote healthier school lunches and increased physical activity during recess. Read more about the study here.
 
3. Power of Produce (PoP) Club Toolkit
University of Minnesota Extension is pleased to announce the release of the Power of Produce (PoP) Club Toolkit. The PoP Club is a farmers market incentive program for children. Each week children receive a $2 token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. This program is the perfect addition to farm to school efforts since its goal is to engage children at farmers markets and empower them to make healthful food choices. Access the toolkit here

Action Opportunities
1. 4 Not-So-Easy Ways to Dismantle Racism in the Food System
This article offers four infographics that explain different aspects of how racism is built into the US food system. It also contains two solutions for each of them—some of the systemic changes needed to fully address it, and ways for individuals to take action. Read the article and explore the infographics and actions here

Job Opportunities 
1. Vice President of National Policy and Advocacy, Healthy Schools Campaign
Healthy Schools Campaign is seeking a Vice President of National Policy and Advocacy to oversee the organization’s national and state policy agenda. HSC advocates for all students to have access to a healthy school environment that includes nutritious food, physical activity, health services and clean air at school. For more information and to apply click here.

2. Coalitions Coordinator, Union of Concerned Scientists
As part of a 14-person interdisciplinary team, the Coalitions Coordinator will convene priority coalitions focused on addressing racial equity and social justice in the food system. Learn more and apply here.

3. Development Manager, Real Food Challenge
Real Food Challenge seeks a Development Manager to be a part of the largest student movement in the country fighting for food justice and a sustainable food economy. Priority will be given to applications received before May 18, 2017. Learn more here

4. Program Coordinator and Research Assistant, ASAP

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) seeks to fill multiple opening on their team to help their organization continue to build healthy communities through connections to local food. Applications for both positions are open throughSaturday, May, 20, 2017. Learn more and apply here.

Farm to School in the News
Salt stays and grains go in school meals
As his first major action in office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the Agriculture Department will delay an upcoming requirement to lower the amount of sodium in (school) meals while continuing to allow waivers for regulations that all grains on the lunch line must be 50 percent whole grain. (AP News)
 
Governor Designates October “Farm To School Month In Hawai‘i”

In April, Hawai’i Governor David Ige signed a bill into law designating the month of October as “Farm to School Month in Hawai‘i,” and bringing attention and awareness to farm to school programs across the state. (Maui Now)

Chef in the Cafeteria

Kids love kale when it's prepared with care. ASAP’s weekly “Growing Local” radio series joins Biltmore chef Kirk Fiore for a local food taste test at North Buncombe Elementary in North Carolina. (Growing Local

Sustainable gardens grow in Oklahoma schools
Principal Chris Crelia is excited about students having the opportunity to plant, take ownership of the gardens and learn to become more mindful and responsible “about the Earth and taking care of not just the Earth but themselves with healthy living.” (NewsOK


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: 4/25/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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. National Black Farmers Association Scholarships 

In its third year, the NBFA Scholarship Program will award scholarships of up to $5,000 to African-American farmers/students or dependents of African-American farmers who plan to enroll or are enrolled in agriculture-related study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school. The National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program application deadline for the 2017-18 academic year is April 28, 2017. 

2. RFP: Nourishing Native Children: Feeding Our Future
First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has launched the new “Nourishing Native Children: Feeding our Future” grant program, which falls under First Nations’ larger Native American Food Security Project. The project will provide grants to Native communities interested in expanding nutrition resources for existing programs that serve American Indian children ages 6-14. With the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, First Nations plans to award up to 10 grants of up to $15,000 each to continue or expand existing nutrition efforts. Proposals will be due Friday, May 5, 2017. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar Series: School Garden Support Organizations Best Practices 

April 25, 1pm PST
School Garden Support Organizations will present best practices, case studies, tools, and resources from 5 SGSO key topics. The first webinar in the sires “School Garden Program Sustainability and Finances” is April 25, 1pm PST. This webinar series is presented by The National School Garden Network, which connects individuals and organizations working to support school garden programs at a district, regional, statewide, or national level. Learn more here.

2. Webinar: Local Food for Campus Dining: Stats & Stories
April 27, 1pm EST
Join Farm to Institution New England (FINE) for Local Food for Campus Dining: Stats & Stories, a webinar on Thursday, April 27th from 1:00 to 2:15 pm ET featuring highlights from Campus Dining 101: A Benchmark Study on Farm to College in New England. This recently-released campus dining report presents data collected from dining operators at 105 colleges and universities in New England. Learn more and register here

3.National Children and Youth Garden Symposium 
July 12-15 // Greater Portland, Oregon & Vancouver, Washington area
NCYGS is the only national event of its kind where you can network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world. Find out more about this opportunity to learn and connect at ahsgardening.org


Action Opportunities
1. Every Kid Healthy Week

April 24-28
Join us in celebrating Every Kid Healthy Week, April 24-28! Launched by Action for Healthy Kids in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is a time for schools, students, parents and communities to recognize their school’s wellness achievements through fun and interactive health-promoting events. More information on how to get involved at EveryKidHealthyWeek.org.

2. Celebrate School Nutrition Employee Week
May 1-5 
School nutrition professionals are true heroes. On Friday, May 5, 2017, School Nutrition Employee Week (May 1-5) will end with a bang by celebrating the 5th Annual School Lunch Hero Day! School Lunch Hero Day is a chance to showcase the difference school nutrition professionals make for every child who comes through the cafeteria. Here are some creative ideas on how to recognize the hardworking professionals in your school cafeterias.  Additionally, SNA is offering veggie-rific School Lunch Hero Day logos and artwork that you can download and use over social media. 


Job Opportunities 
1. FoodCorps, Digital Communications Manager & Communications Coordinator

FoodCorps seeks two communications professionals to join its New York City-based team: Digital Communications Manager and Communications Coordinator. Applications will be accepted until the ideal candidates are identified. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Florida School Lunches are Farm to Table 
Gone are the days of small, novelty gardens at Miami-Dade public schools, filled with annuals that die out and require constant maintenance and replanting. They are being replaced by food forests, with edible perennials that are adapted to South Florida’s climate and continue to spread and produce crops with minimal upkeep.In past years, the food forests have sent home more than 20,000 bags of vegetables and fruits grown at school to students’ families. (Miami Herald)

Healthy school lunches that kids actually want to eat? These Louisiana schools show it's possible
Richland Parish and Lafayette Parish schools used grant money to build greenhouses to grow fresh produce. Martha Vinyard Elementary School in Tangipahoa Parish started a farm-to-school program that creates a relationship between the campus and a local farm, helping students try fresh vegetables and meet the people growing their food. (The Advocate

GREEN Tool offers evidence-based guidance for school garden success
To better understand what it takes to help a garden thrive, Kate Gardner Burt of Lehman College and her colleagues mapped out the characteristics of gardens that played an enduring role in the life of the school. Based on these findings, they defined a four-level process toward successful school garden integration. Dubbed the GREEN Tool, it’s one of the first evidence-based guide to planting and nurturing sustainable school gardens. (Reuters)


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: 4/18/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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. 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 April 20, 2017.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: School Garden Program Sustainability and Finances
April 25, 1pm PST
School gardens are tremendously popular and valuable resources, but these programs often face questions about if they can continue year-to-year. In this Webinar, the National School Garden Network will discuss dedicated garden program staffing, community engagement, and other factors that lead to programmatic sustainability. You’ll also learn from successful initiatives to secure corporate sponsorships; community partnerships; legislation; and school or district-level investments that lead to financial sustainability. Learn more and register here

2. Every Kid Healthy Week
April 24-28
Join us in celebrating Every Kid Healthy Week, April 24-28! Launched by Action for Healthy Kids in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is a time for schools, students, parents and communities to recognize their school’s wellness achievements through fun and interactive health-promoting events. Find more info and get involved at EveryKidHealthyWeek.org.

3. Request for Proposals: Southern Obesity Summit
October 1-3 // Atlanta, Georgia
The Southern Obesity Summit Planning Committee invites individual applications for pre-conference sessions, breakout sessions, special sessions and Pillar workgroup sessions during the 11th Annual Southern Obesity Summit. These sessions  will help attendees develop strategies and provide resources and tools to use in their work to reverse the obesity epidemic through working together with other southern states. The deadline for submissions in May 1. Learn more here


Resources
1. Webinar Recording: Statewide Farm to ECE Network Building
Statewide network building is a key approach to institutionalizing farm to ECE. Watch a recording of the April NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar to hear from farm to ECE leaders who share models from their states and identify keys to success in building statewide networks. Watch the recording here


Action Opportunities
1. Be Counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture
In just a few months, America’s farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their operations and communities by taking part in the Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census captures a complete count of all U.S. Farms and ranches and those who operate them. NASS is in the final stage for preparing the 2017 Census of Agriculture mailing list. If you are new to farming or didn’t receive a 2012 Census of Agriculture questionnaire there is still time to be counted by signing up at https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/cgi-bin/counts/.  Simply click on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button below and provide the requested information.


Farm to School in the News
Hawaii farm to school program awarded NFSN grant
Mala‘ia Kula Kauai Farm to School Pilot Program is one of five schools selected for the National Farm to School Network’s Seed Change in Native Communities mini-grants. That means those involved with Mala‘ia Kula will be able to help develop school menus that include traditional foods like kalo; work with native producers for the school food supply chain and plant traditional crops; and break down barriers and reinvigorate traditional food philosophies. (The Garden Island)

Local farm to school efforts could expand amid state uncertainty
Despite concerns Wisconsin’s farm to school leadership could be cut in the next state budget, local proponents are carrying on with what an expanded outreach of homegrown healthy food selections. "What's happening in the classrooms and cafes is not going away. We know we have passionate schools and producers committed to farm to school," said Beth Hanna, farm to school director for Community GroundWorks and NFSN Wisconsin Core Partner. "What is at stake is the big picture planning ... needed to continue at significant levels or to scale up." (Green Bay Press-Gazette)

Massachusetts Representative gets a taste of farm to school education
State Representative Dylan Fernandes ate overwintered kale from the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School’s garden, and it quickly became a new favorite. “This is truly the best kale I’ve ever had,” Representative Fernandes said during a tour of the school garden last Thursday. (The Martha’s Vineyard Times)

Schools Will Soon Have To Put In Writing If They 'Lunch Shame'
With policies to handle unpaid meals all over the map, the USDA will soon require that all school districts have a policy on what to do when kids can't pay. By July 1, those policies must be in writing and communicated to staff, parents and the community. (NPR)

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

This Week in farm to school: 4/11/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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. Webinar: Statewide Farm to ECE Network Building
Wednesday, April 12, 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.

2. Webinar: How to Bring Farm Fresh into Schools with New USDA Meal Pattern Recipes 
Thursday, April 13, 4pm ET
The Lunch Box, a program of the Chef Ann Foundation, is launching fifty new tried and true, farm-to-school recipes to bring farm fresh meals to your students. Join their upcoming webinar to see all the new recipes and menu cycles and how they credit toward the school and child care meal patterns. Hear from Andrea Northup from USDA Farm to School and Jerilin Nunu from USDA Farm to Summer and Child Care about how school districts across the nation are procuring food from local and regional farms and ranches. They’ll also share best practices for lunchroom-based nutrition education. Register here


Action Opportunities
1. Be Counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture
In just a few months, America’s farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their operations and communities by taking part in the Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census captures a complete count of all U.S. Farms and ranches and those who operate them. NASS is in the final stage for preparing the 2017 Census of Agriculture mailing list. If you are new to farming or didn’t receive a 2012 Census of Agriculture questionnaire there is still time to be counted by signing up at https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/cgi-bin/counts/.  Simply click on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button below and provide the requested information.


Farm to School in the News

$5.6 million for Oregon farm-to-school funding passes key committee
A bill directing $5.6 million to Oregon's farm-to-school food program has won unanimous approval from the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. (Portland Tribune

Montana made food the focus of HMS Harvest of the Month Program
Helena Middle School students got a Montana beef-centered treat Friday, concocted and served by their peers. The beef was provided thanks to a mini-grant the school recently received from the Montana Harvest of the Month Program through the Montana State University Extension. (Helena Independent Record

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: 4/4/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 04, 2017

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. Action for Healthy Kids Grants
Schools need resources to implement health and wellness practices that help students eat better and be physically active. Action for Healthy Kids’s School Grants for Healthy Kids can help your school health team achieve its goal to make every kid healthy and ready to learn. Action for Healthy Kids is now accepting grant applications for the 2017-2018 school year: School Breakfast Grants and Game on Grants. Applications are due Friday, April 7, 2017. Learn more here

2. RFA: USDA Team Nutrition Training Grants
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released the Request for Applications for the FY 2017 Team Nutrition Training Grants program. Team Nutrition Training Grants can be leveraged to expand and support statewide farm to school and farm to ECE efforts. Examples of previous Team Nutrition Grants for farm to school projects include:  Colorado's CACFP: CHOP Program; Missouri's Growing with MO: Harvest of the Season; Montana's Harvest of the Month Program. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
New Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2pm ET - TODAY!
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.

2. 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.


Resources
1. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
The annual County Health Rankings measure vital health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income inequality, and teen births in nearly every county in America. The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Explore the Rankings & Roadmaps here


Action Opportunities
1. 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


Job Opportunities
1. Farm to School Program Coordinator
South Carolina Farm to School seeks a Farm to School Program Coordinator. The Farm to School Coordinator will plan, develop  and  implement the SC Farm to School Program. Responsibilities include working with grants, providing training and technical assistance for the program, identifying training and technical assistance voids in the Farm to School community and filling these needs by modifying existing resources and/or creating new program offerings. Applications are due April 16. Learn more here

2. Communications Coordinator
Georgia Organics seeks a Communications Coordinator to join its team. The Communications Coordinator conveys Georgia Organics' programmatic impact to the public, strengthens our brand, strategically leverages digital platforms to remain relevant, and builds donor and stakeholder loyalty and trust through effective storytelling. Applications due May 1. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Columbus schools using more Ohio-produced food
Columbus City Schools serves 3 million apples to students every year. “Prior to this year, because we never asked, our apples were coming from Washington state.” Now, they’re saving more than $40,000 in transportation costs by purchasing apples from Ohio growers. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Farm to school advocates gather in California
Nearly 350 people turned out for a three-day event aimed at getting more wholesome food into student meals. “Farm to school is all about connecting the classroom, the cafeteria and the community.” said Helen Dombalis, Programs Director for the National Farm to School Network. (The Modesto Bee)

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: 3/28/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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. Webinar: 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.

2. 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.

3. Request for Proposals: Southern Obesity Summit
October 1-3 // Atlanta, Georgia
The Southern Obesity Summit Planning Committee invites individual applications for pre-conference sessions, breakout sessions, special sessions and Pillar workgroup sessions during the 11th Annual Southern Obesity Summit. These sessions  will help attendees develop strategies and provide resources and tools to use in their work to reverse the obesity epidemic through working together with other southern states. The deadline for submissions in May 1. Learn more here

4. Request for Proposals: Community Food Systems Conference 
December 5-7 // Boston, Mass. 
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. There are certain cross-cutting issues we believe are fundamental in community food systems and in building a strong, equitable food future. We hope to see these represented across all sessions: Skill Building across cultures and sectors; diversity of presenters; and racial, social and economic equity. Proposals are due April 3. Learn more here


Resources
1. Report: USDA ERS - Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals
To examine progress in the use of locally produced foods in school meals and to help identify school districts for technical assistance, this new report from USDA ERS uses data from the 2013 Farm to School Census to measure the prevalence of school districts that serve local food daily and the characteristics of those districts. Read the full report here.  

2. Recording Available: Farm to Summer: How Regional Offices and State Agencies Support Farm to Summer
Increasingly, Summer Meal sponsors are embracing the Farm to Summer movement by serving fresh, local foods and offering engaging activities, and Regional and State-level staff play a unique role in supporting these efforts. This USDA webinar provides an overview of farm to summer activities, resources, and a snapshot of how Regional offices and State agencies have encouraged sponsors to adopt farm to summer principles. From MAP addendums to partner meetings, discover how your Regional and State colleagues support “bringing the farm” to Summer Meal Programs. Watch the recording here

3. Study: School Lunch Quality and Academic Performance
In a recent paper, economists set out to determine whether healthier school lunches affect student achievement as measured by test scores. The intense policy interest in improving the nutritional content of public-school meals—in addition to vendors’ efforts to market their school meals as good for the body and the mind—sparked the researchers’ curiosity and led to an unexpected discovery: Students at schools that contract with a healthier school-lunch vendor perform somewhat better on state tests—and this option appears highly cost-effective compared to policy interventions that typically are more expensive, like class-size reduction. Read an article about the study here. Read the study here


Action Opportunities
1. 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


Job Opportunities
1. Education and Training Specialist, Institute of Child Nutrition
The University of Mississippi’s Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) seeks an Education and Training Specialist I. This is a professional position in which the incumbent develops, implements, and evaluates ICN educational curricula and training program materials for face-to-face and web-based delivery. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Colorado School District constantly seeking participation from local farmers, ranchers
Natalie Leffler, who heads Greeley-Evans School District 6’s Farm to School program, is always looking for new local farmers and ranchers to get involved in farm to school. More than 80 percent of meals in District 6’s kitchen are now made from scratch, thanks to farm to school. (The Fence Post)

Maple syrup, lobster rolls part of New Hampshire school program
After a morning of tapping maple trees, students in New Hampshire returned to their school cafeteria for a lunch of mini lobster rolls, maple-glazed scallops and clam chowder - all of the seafood sourced locally. The school was a recipient of a USDA Farm to School grant, which will end this year. But, the program will continue on, thanks to Seabrook voters, who have approved a school operating budget with money for continuing the farm to school initiative. (Newbury Port News)

North Dakota kids visit farm
Fourth graders from Thompson Public School (North Dakota) recently visited a local farm to learn about agriculture and their local food systems. "When they go to the grocery store with their parents, I want them to be able to point (to a food product) and say, 'I know a farmer who grows that,'" farmer Bob Drees said. (AgWeek)

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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