This Week in Farm to School: 1/30/18
Grants & Funding
1. Get Schools Cooking
Chef Ann Foundation has opened applications for Get Schools Cooking, a comprehensive three-year program that includes on-site assessment, strategic planning, and continued technical support for school districts transitioning to scratch-cooked operations. Learn more and apply today.
2. Center for Disease Control Grant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement initiatives to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity, and the management of chronic conditions in schools. This grant is available to state education agencies (SEAs). Deadline: March 5, 2018. Learn more here.
1. Selecting, Installing, and Managing School Garden Bed Systems
January 30 // 4-5 PM ET
The National School Garden Network is presenting this webinar focused on choosing the best garden bed system for your school garden program. When you are working with multiple school garden sites, the number of variables to consider increases and using standardized bed systems with all of your schools can provide both benefits and challenges. In this webinar, we will hear from SGSOs who have developed standard garden bed packages and find out what has worked for them and how they source their materials. Register here.
2. Anybody can be an advocate: Measuring your council's readiness to work on policy
January 31 // 1:30 - 2:45 pm EST
The Food Policy Networks project is offering a webinar on the Get it Toolgether: Assessing Your Food Council's Ability to Do Policy Work toolkit. Adapted from the Alliance for Justice’s Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT), the toolkit is designed to help food policy councils (or similar coalitions of diverse stakeholders) assess their capacity to do policy work. It provides them with appropriate resources to increase their knowledge of the policy process and improve their advocacy skills. Join us for a conversation with the toolkit developers to learn about how the toolkit can be used to advance your council’s policy efforts. Register here.
3. Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger Nutrition Education Policies
January 31 // 3-4 PM ET
The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior is presenting this webinar. With such a pressing need today for great nutrition education, alongside accessible and affordable healthy food, how are federal, state, and local governments responding? To answer this, the Tisch Food Center just launched a series of “Empowered Eaters” reports. This webinar details the landscape of public policy and investment in nutrition education, using New York as a case study. The reports provide a road map to strengthen the complex public systems that currently support nutrition education. SNEB Members attend webinars free as a benefit of membership. Non-member cost is $25. Register here.
4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste
February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here.
5. NFSN WEBINAR Advancing Equity Through Farm to School
February 13 // 3-4pm ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) recognizes racial and social equity as a central tenet of farm to school and has just released an organizational equity statement to publicly convey NFSN's commitment to advancing equity through farm to school and to share our equity journey. Join NFSN partners and staff on February 13 at 3pm ET to review the organization's equity statement and to hear from farm to school practitioners about their successes and challenges with advancing equity through farm to school. Register here.
6. Beef to School Webinar
February 13 // 4:00pm EST
Join USDA's Office of Community Food Systems, Montana Beef to School Project, Montana State University, and school food service directors to learn about successful strategies for serving local beef in schools. The webinar will explore the Montana Beef to School Project’s findings and resources - including two new beef to school solicitation templates designed to help school districts purchase local beef! Participants will also hear from two school food service directors who will share their strategies and lessons learned for purchasing and serving local beef in schools. Register here.
1. Registration Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Early Bird registration is now open for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Get the best rates on all ticket options by registering before March 9. Scholarship applications to cover the cost of registration fees and/or selected short courses continue to be accepted until Feb. 12 at 8pm ET. Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org.
2. 41st Annual National Food Policy Conference
March 28-29 // Washington, DC
Coordinated by the Consumer Federation of America, the National Food Policy Conference is a unique collaboration among consumer advocates, the food industry and government, and a key national gathering for anyone interested in agriculture, food and nutrition policy. Learn more here.
3. 2018-19 Northeast Farm to School Institute
June 26-28, 2018 // Shelburne, VT
The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for twelve school teams from New England and New York. Whether you're a long-time Farm to School advocate or looking to begin integrating food, farm, and nutrition programs into your school community, you're invited to form a team and apply. Learn more and apply.
1. Equity in Farm to School
As a network of farm to school stakeholders and partners in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories, the National Farm to School Network has the unique opportunity to work alongside communities to address inequities in the food system. We also hold significant collective potential to advance racial and social equity as a central tenet to organizational programming, partnerships and policies, which enables the accomplishment of our vision and strengthening of the farm to school movement. We invite you to learn about our commitment and join us in making farm to school a reality for every community across our country.
2. FNS Releases First Mobile App with Food Buying Guide
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has announced its first ever mobile application, putting critical information at the fingertips of food service professionals and making it easier for them to serve wholesome, nutritious, and tasty meals through FNS’s child nutrition programs. “The Food Buying Guide" Mobile App mobile app is available to the public and can be an immediate resource to over 280,000 program operators responsible for USDA’s National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program as well as the countless food industry representatives working with these programs.
3. Happy Multicultural Children's Book Day!
January 27 was Multicultural Children's Book Day. To celebration, the Food Trust's Ready Set Grow program shared this outstanding multicultural collection of farm to ECE books. A great collection for reading any time of year!
1. House Forms Bipartisan Nutrition Group
The Food is Medicine Working Group was formally launched in the House of Representatives last week, and is focused on emphasizing the link between nutrition programs and health outcomes. The group is part of the House Hunger Caucus and is led by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).
2. Update on H.R. 3738, “The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act”
H.R. 3738, or “The Healthy Breakfast Help Kids Learn Act of 2017,” was introduced on September 12, 2017 and now has 31 legislators signed on as cosponsors of the bill.
Farm to School in the News
Massachusetts schools encourage healthy eating
District Wellness Director Ryan Sherman said the McGovern School - which serves the town’s preschool through first-grade students - will have a new garden this year. In addition to tying in to the school’s science curriculum, the plan for the garden is to encourage students and teachers to eat more fresh produce, he said. “If students are involved in the production of healthy foods, they’re more likely to try them,” he said, noting the importance of establishing healthy habits at an early age. (Milford Daily News)
Oregon students going ‘green’
The grossest job is probably, “digging through the compost and peeling the stickers off banana skins,” said student Jayden Dewitt.“’Tis not for the fainthearted,” chimed in classmate Quinn Kelley. Eighteen middle school students in teacher Garron Lamoreau’s leadership class are working to achieve “zero waste” lunches and other environmental goals at Butte Creek to make it the only certified Oregon Green School in the Silver Falls School District. (Statesman Journal)
Arizona school harvests and sells crop of winter veggies
“We teach the business end of agriculture and agribusiness as well as the things the students need to know to grow a garden,” said CGMS teacher Michael Cruz. (PinalCenteral)