This Week in Farm to School: 10/1/19
1. Get Schools Cooking Grants
Deadline: October 28, 2019
A program of Chef Ann Foundation, Get Schools Cooking (previously known as the School Food Support Initiative) provides school districts with the operational foundation necessary to transition their Food & Nutrition Service Departments from a heat & serve or processed model to one that is rooted in scratch cooking using real ingredients. Through Get Schools Cooking, food service teams are guided through an intensive, three-year program. Applications for the 2019 Cohort are now open. An information webinar is scheduled for Sept. 12. Learn more here.
1. NFSN WEBINAR Bring Farm to School to Life with Highbush Blueberries
October 3 // 1 PM ET
October is National Farm to School Month, the perfect time to host a farm to school event to celebrate healthy, local food in the cafeteria, classroom and beyond! Resources like the Highbush Blueberry Farm to School Playbook can be a great tool for helping schools of any size find small and big ways to get kids excited about where their food comes from. On this webinar, three schools will share how they’ve used the Farm to School Playbook to put together successful nutrition celebrations with blueberries. Nutrition Consultant Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, will lead a panel discussion with three rockstar school nutrition professionals, who will share easy and practical inspiration for schools looking to kickstart their farm to school programs, tips for a successful promotion and increases in school breakfast/lunch participation, and inspiration for events your students will love. This webinar is hosted by the National Farm to School Network and sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Register here.
2. NFSN WEBINAR Kids Win and Farms Win: What Do We Know About the Impacts of Farm to School
November 7 // 1 PM ET
Advocates claim that 'kids win, farmers win, and communities win' from policies, programming and initiatives that promote farm to school. However, what do we know about the extent to which this is true? Recent research funded by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides interesting insights into the kids win and farms win impacts of farm to school efforts. This webinar, featuring researchers from Colorado State University and University of Illinois, will highlight recent and ongoing research and important areas for future farm to school work. Register here.
1. October is National Farm to School Month!
National Farm to School month is here! The National Farm to School Network has free resources, planning materials and activity ideas for ways you can get involved in October. Check out the National Farm to School Month Events Calendar to see how your state is celebrating! Share your Farm to School Month highlights on social media with #F2SMonth and #farmtoschool. Visit farmtoschool.org/month to find more and join us in celebrating!
2. NFSN EVENT 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference - RFP Closing Soon & Scholarships Now Open
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, NM, April 21-23, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene nearly 1,000 diverse stakeholders who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Do you have expertise to share? The workshop and poster Request for Proposals is open through Oct. 4. The scholarship application is open through Nov. 1. Learn more at farmtoschool.org/conference.
3. Local Foods Procurement Training
October 3, 2019 // Hinckley, ME
Join USDA Team Lead and Procurement Specialist Martine Cherry and Abbie Nelson, Farm to School Program Director from VT Food Education Every Day (VT FEED) and NOFA-VT for a fun, interactive afternoon of digging into local food procurement rules and guidelines so that you can get the local foods you want! Held at Kennebec Valley Community College, Alfond Campus in Hinckley, ME, this free 3-hour training, sponsored by the Maine Farm to School Network and supported by a USDA Farm to School Training Grant, will explore topics like micro purchasing, informal bid process, Buy American provision, purchasing thresholds, values-based buying, and the importance of relationship building with food producers. Needs based, first come first served scholarships are available to support attendance costs. Contact Renee Page at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attendance cost assistance.
4. 9th Annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners (BUGS) National Conference
October 25-27, 2019 // New York, NY
Homecoming: Remembering and Reclaiming our Futures through Soil and Soul is the theme of this year’s conference. Through engaging and participatory workshops, panel discussions and social events, attendees will explore the roots of Black Agriculture and its connections and influence on today’s movements for Black food sovereignty, urban agriculture, food systems, reclaiming Black cultural foodways and rebuilding thriving Black communities. The conference will also provide hands-on, skill-building workshops on sustainable agriculture education including soil health, hydroponics, hoop tunnels and other related topics. Learn more here.
1. Senior National Advisor for Food Systems (Washington Metropolitan Area)
The Senior National Advisor for Food Systems (Sr. Advisor) leads Healthier Generation’s (HG) cross-sector strategy to support communities and companies to ensure healthy food access for children and families. S/he works with colleagues and partners to develop, expand, improve and implement systemic and community-based approaches across settings that ensure all children, particularly those facing hunger and food insecurity, have the opportunity to eat healthfully every day. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
Pennsylvania girl scouts transform middle school 'jungle' to garden
It took a team effort to turn Boyce Middle School’s courtyard, which the principal described as a “jungle,” into a garden complete with raised beds for vegetables and fruits, flowers and butterfly bushes. The transformation occurred over the summer, thanks to the efforts of four girls from Girl Scout Troop 53680, school nurse Holly Fisher, and student and parent volunteers. (Post-Gazette)
Tennessee elementary school celebrates opening of learning garden
“Because our school is more of an urban school, many of our students don’t have the opportunity to garden and be outdoors in a beautiful space like this and so it’s so important that we provide that for them here,” Cross said. “To see the excitement and wonder on their faces as they were cutting those leaves and discovering that there’s red leaf lettuce as well as green leaf lettuce and those kinds of things I mean, again, it’s just a wonderful learning opportunity.” (WATE)
Georgia schools install hydroponic gardens for students to grow produce indoors
Many Bibb County Schools have agriculture programs that use outdoor gardens, but at SOAR Academy, there isn't really enough space for one, so school leaders decided to install the district's first hydroponic gardens for students to farm inside. (WMAZ)