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National Farm to School Network

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This Week in Farm to School: 10/22/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA Now Open
Deadline: December 13, 2019
The 2020 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. With additional funding made available through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $10 million in FY 2020 funding. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 will be available to schools, nonprofits, State and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan and implement farm to school activities. Applications are due Dec. 13, 2019. Learn more and apply here

National Farm to School Network advocated for the establishment of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program and is committed to ensuring this funding reaches the communities that need it most. NFSN is available on a consultation basis to provide assistance during the application process (thought partnership, preparing the grant application, evaluation) and during grant implementation (needs assessment, evaluation, action plan, virtual coaching). Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. EQUITY Webinar: Uprooting Racism in the Food System: Seeding Sovereignty for Black and Brown Farmers
October 23 // 3:30 PM ET
This webinar, “Uprooting Racism in the Food System: Seeding Sovereignty for Black and Brown Farmers,” seeks to expand perspectives and provide information on institutional and grassroots approaches to engaging socially disadvantaged groups in farming and food systems. This webinar is part of the NAFSN Good Food Talk webinar series, hosted by North American Food Systems Network. Learn more here

2. Webinar: Strategies to Help Implement a Successful Farm to School Program
October 31 // 3 PM ET
More than two-thirds of school districts that engaged in Farm to School activities reported positive impacts, including increased support from parents and community members. Schools also reported that Farm to School helped lower school meal program costs. This webinar (hosted by the Institute of Child Nutrition) explores strategies and best practices on how to implement a local Farm to School program. It will highlight success stories from individuals on ways to start and sustain a lasting Farm to School program in your community. A continuing education certificate will be available after completion of the webinar. Register here

3. 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.

4. NFSN EVENT Scholarships Open - 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Deadline: November 1
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. The scholarship application is open through Nov. 1. Learn more at farmtoschool.org/conference.

5. 2020 Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Conference
February 12-13, 2020 // Silverton, OR
The Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Conference will be held February 12-13, 2020 at The Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. This will be a two day event with workshops, speakers, resources and networking opportunities. Wednesday, February 12 will be focused on farm and garden based education. Thursday, February 13 will be focused on incorporating local food into school meals. Conference organizers are now accepting proposals for workshops. Proposals are due Nov. 1. Learn more here.


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY Articles: Indigenous Food Sovereignty in North America
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
JAFSCD has two new "Voices from the Grassroots" articles on the topic of Indigenous Food Sovereignty in North America. In Reviving and Reclaiming Our Native Food System: Leadership Experiences of a Research Project's Community Advisory Board, members of a community advisory board on the Wind River Reservation reflect on their struggle to serve a strong role in reclaiming sovereignty over the community's traditional foods and local food system. In Northwest Tribal Food Sovereignty Coalition: An Intertribal Collaboration, the Northwest Tribal Food Sovereignty Coalition shares how it's building a strong network of tribal nations, tribal organizations, and allied partners to work effectively toward true tribal food sovereignty. Read more here

2. Call for Submission: 2020 Harkin on Wellness Report
Deadline: Nov. 1
The goal of the Harkin Institute is to facilitate collaborative, high-quality, nonpartisan, multi-disciplinary public policy research and analysis in the area of wellness and nutrition. As part of this goal, the Institute is in the process of creating its annual Harkin on Wellness Report that highlights various wellness and nutrition initiatives and programs throughout the country. Programs and organizations are encouraged to submit their work focused on promoting better health through food and nutrition, improving sustainable agriculture practices, increasing economic vitality, creating health equity, and/or supporting sustainable development. Applications will be selected through a competitive internal and external review process. All designees will be invited to attend and present at the Harkin On Wellness Symposium in Spring 2020. The Harkin Institute will cover travel costs to Des Moines, IA and give each designee at $500 honorarium and plaque recognizing your organization. Learn more here


Policy Opportunities
1. USDA Reopens Public Comment Period for Categorical Eligibility in SNAP
In recent months, the United States Department of Agriculture has proposed a change in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also formerly known as “food stamps”). This rule would amend the categorical eligibility provision that allow families whose income would typically be too high to receive SNAP benefits to qualify based on their participation in other federal benefits programs. For example, a family that qualifies for TANF would automatically qualify for SNAP (if the state chooses to use categorical eligibility). Supporters of the rule change call this a “loophole” that takes resources from needy families. National Farm to School Network views the rule change as ultimately harmful to families in need of these benefits. The rule change would take vital food assistance away from nearly 3 million people. Given that many children’s free and reduced-priced meal eligibility is tied to their SNAP eligibility, this also puts children at risk of losing access to school meals. USDA recently released a report showing that nearly 1 million children could lose access to school meals as a result of this rule change. NFSN strongly opposes the rule change because farm to school can’t happen when families can’t eat.

How you can advocate: USDA has reopened the comment period to allow people to utilize this new data to make a decision. Submit a comment opposing the rule before the new deadline of November 1. The Food Research and Action Center has great resources on how to prepare and submit comments that you can access here


National Farm to School Month Highlights
October is National Farm to School Month!
Schools, ECE sites, farms and communities across the country are celebrating the connections between students and local food this month. See highlights of how states are celebrating below. National Farm to School Network has free resources, a calendar of events, planning materials and activity ideas for ways you can get involved in October. Visit farmtoschool.org/month to find more and join us!

Alabama Crunch Day is Oct. 24.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared October Arkansas Farm to School Month on Oct. 15.
California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross visited Julien Elementary School, Turlock High School, the Child Nutrition Education Center and the Turlock Unified School District’s farm as part of Farm to School Month.
Louisiana is celebrating Farm to School Month with a Great Louisiana Satsuma Peel.
The Mountain Plains Crunch Off (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) is Oct. 24.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed October as Farm to School Month. The North Carolina Crunch is Oct. 23.
South Carolina is celebrating "Make Your Place SC Grown" week, Oct. 21-25.
Tennessee Crunch Day is Oct. 23.
Canada celebrates National Farm to School Month in October, too! Read more on the National Farm to School Network's blog

Send your Farm to School Month highlights to anna@farmtoschool.org to be included in our next edition of This Week in Farm to School!


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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