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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 10/23/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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 FY 2019 Farm to School Grant RFA
The FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open to applicants. Due to additional funding made available to the Farm to School Grant Program through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $7.5M in FY 2019 funding.  Applications are due Dec. 4, 2018. Learn more and apply here

2. 2019 Youth Garden Grant
Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States or US Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. The selection of winners is based on demonstrated program impact and sustainability. The top 5 programs will be awarded grant packages worth $2,100. Grant packages worth $500 will be awarded to 20 additional programs. Applications are due December 17. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. National Farm to School Month - Share How You're Celebrating, Enter to Win!
How are you celebrating National Farm to School Month? The National Farm to School Network wants to know! Share what actions you're taking for farm to school this October by adding your name to the Take Action Pledge. Everyone who completes the pledge form will be entered to win farm to school prizes for a school of their choice! Eleven (11) winners will be randomly drawn, and prizes include a "Build-Your-Own Blueberry Day" from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, assets from the Captain Planet Foundation Project Learning Garden™ program, organic dairy products from Organic Valley, and seed packets from High Mowing Organic Seeds. Whether you’re hosting a taste test in the cafeteria, harvesting school garden produce or making a new farm to school connection, no action is too small! Take 2 minutes to add your name to the pledge and enter to win by Oct. 31, 2018. Learn more at www.farmtoschool.org/pledge.  

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: NFSN Seed Change in Native Communities Cohort
November 1, 2-3pm ET
In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, our November Trending Topics webinar will feature partners from the National Farm to School Network's Seed Change in Native Communities project. Since 2017, the Seed Change project has helped to create dozens of school gardens in Native communities, put local and indigenous foods on the plates of hundreds of children, and supported the inspiring work of five school communities dedicated to expanding and sustaining farm to school programming for the next generation of Native youth. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School and 21st Century Food Service Programs
November 15, 7-8pm ET
In 2018, National Farm to School Network teamed up with National Education Association as its National Partner of the Year. Growing from this partnership is a movement to challenge schools to build 21st Century food programs. We want to enrich the connection between schools and fresh, healthy, and locally sourced food. Additionally, we will build a new school nutrition workforce that will anchor this lofty project in our school communities. Join this webinar to hear from participants in this new partnership that are already reaping the benefits. Register here

4. Massachusetts Farm to School Farm & Sea to School Conference 
December 6, 2018 // Leominster, MA
On December 6, 2018, Mass. Farm to School will hold its fifth statewide conference, The Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference. This year’s theme is Setting the Table: Communities Creating Change.  The conference seeks to amplify traditionally underrepresented voices in the Massachusetts food system and identify strategies and resources for promoting racial equity and social justice as we grow the farm & sea to school movement. Register here

5. Farm to Cafeteria Canada National Farm to School Conference - Call for Proposals
Farm to Cafeteria Canada's (F2CC) National Farm to School Conference will be held in Victoria, British Columbia, May 15-17, 2019 and we are now accepting proposals. Building on the success of the 2015 Changing the Menu conference, this event is designed to advance activity to bring more healthy, local and sustainable foods into the minds and onto the plates of students in preschools, schools (K-12) and campuses across Canada. We invite you to join your colleagues from across Canada as they INSPIRE, INNOVATE, and organize for IMPACT. Deadline to submit is December 20, 2018. Learn more here.


Research & Resources
1. Native Farm-to-School Resource Guide
First Nations Development Institute has released a Native Farm-to-School Resource Guide, a comprehensive manual for planning and implementing farm-to-school programs in Native American communities. The Native Farm-to-School Resource Guide was developed by identifying existing Native and non-Native farm-to-school programs and analyzing best practices, lessons learned, biggest challenges and case study examples of programs that achieved high-level impact and long-term sustainability. The result is a process guide for planning Native farm-to-school programs as well as a guide for tribal officials to engage their leadership and create buy-in for the farm-to-school process. Learn more here

2.  USDA Seeking Nominations for Beginning and Minority Farmer Advisory Committees
The USDA has reopened nominations for both the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee and the Minority Farmer Advisory Committee. This who applied in the last nomination period (which closed last June) do not need to reapply. Consideration will be given to nominations received on or before November 1, 2018. Applications and nomination packages can be downloaded here.


Job Opportunities
1. Farm to School Planning Consultant, City of Providence (Providence, RI)
The City of Providence has re-opened the Request for Proposals for a Farm to School Planning Consultant. This consultant will lead the City and Providence Public Schools in developing an Action Plan to better integrate local foods, school gardens, and food systems/nutrition education into our school district. Proposals are due by 2:15 pm on October 29th. Learn more here or contact Rachel Newman Greene at Rnewmangreene@providenceri.gov with questions or for more information.

2. Member and Strategic Partnerships Manager, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (Location Flexible)
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable food and agriculture systems. SAFSF seeks a full-time Member and Strategic Partnerships Manager to support, mobilize, and expand SAFSF’s membership and secure new revenue in support of its strategic direction. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
Betti Wiggins recognized in 50 Most Influential People in Health Care
Betti Wiggins, officer of nutrition services for Houston Independent School District and NFSN Advisory Board member, has been named one of Time Magazine's 50 most influential people in health care in 2018. Read Betti's profile here. Congratulations, Betti! 

Michigan teacher runs farm to cafeteria program powered by students with disabilities
They might not know it, but when hundred of Detroit students eat a school lunch, they are consuming vegetables grown just a few miles away by one of the city’s most innovative programs for students with special needs. Last week, for example, schools in the city’s main district received hundreds of pounds of butternut squash that were grown and packaged at Drew Transition Center, a school where students with severe disabilities prepare to enter adult life. (Chalkbeat)

How schools are fighting back against obesity in Mississippi
With salad bars and vegetable gardens, the Tupelo Public School District exposes its pre-K and elementary students to healthy food sources and eating habits. Yet even as the district fights back with education and farming experience, obesity in Mississippi is a public health crisis. Across the state, poor examples set by adults and entrenched advertising campaigns promote cases of childhood obesity that set the youth on a path toward life-threatening chronic diseases. (Daily Journal)

Massachusetts students’ garden bounty reaps awards at Topsfield fair
Tilling and tending the soil not only fosters the pride and confidence that comes from growing food with your own two hands, but this year, it also yielded Page youngsters an additional reward: several top honors at America’s oldest agricultural fair. (The Daily News)

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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