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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 10/30/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, October 30, 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. National Head Start Association Garden Grants
The National Head Start Association and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation have launched a new multi-year Garden Grants initiative, which seeks to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens to more Head Start children and families, increasing healthy food access and fostering a lifelong love of gardening. Grant recipients will receive $5,000, plus a garden kit, to create or expand a garden in their community. Schools, community action programs, non-profits, hospitals, community centers and inter-generational groups that hosts Head Start programs are eligible to apply.  Application deadline for the 2018/2019 program year is November 15, 2018. Learn more here

2. 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


Webinars & Events
1. National Farm to School Month - Last Chance to Share How You're Celebrating!
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. EQUITY Equity & Access in the School Garden Movement Webinar
Today! October 30, 1-2pm PT
School gardens can be a powerful tool for promoting racial and social equity, but equally important are the ways school garden organizations and school garden educators approach equity and access. Please join Suzannah Holsenbeck of Common Ground, Ida Sobotik of Community Groundworks, and Sam Ullery of the DC Office of State Superintendent of Education as they discuss what equity in school gardens means to their organizations. They will share case studies and offer suggestions for how your organization can tackle issues around equity and access in your work. Register here.


Research & Resources
1. New Report: Cultivating Opportunity: An Overview of USDA's Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 Farm to School Grantees’ Growing Achievements
The USDA Farm to School Grant Program is one way schools, State agencies, Indian Tribal Organizations, producers, and nonprofit organizations are working together to incorporate local and regional foods into the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). This report explores the history and benefits of farm to school programs across the country and dives deeper into the strategies and outcomes of USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program. Read the report here. 

2. Benefits of Farm to School: Evidence from Canada
The Benefits of Farm to School: Evidence from Canada demonstrates the impacts of farm to school activities, which include public health, education and learning, the environment, community connectedness and the economic benefits. It is complemented by the United States’ National Farm to School Network’s fact sheet, which provides an extensive list of benefits and sources backed by research from the US. The positive impacts of farm to school programs in Canada are becoming clear, but more evaluation is needed to better understand – and grow – the movement to put more healthy, local food on the minds and plates of Canadian students. The development of this fact sheet is an important first step. Read the report here

3. JAFSCD and JAIE Call for Papers and Commentaries
The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development and the Journal of American Indian Education jointly seek manuscripts and commentaries on practice-relevant and pedagogical research related to Indigenous food sovereignty issues, especially tribal and government policy, grassroots community organizing, culturally defined foods and practices, and the transfer of Indigenous knowledge.The deadline for manuscript submissions is January 15, 2019. Read the full description here.

4. New Report: Army fell short of its recruiting goal, in part due to obesity
Mission: Readiness, an organization of retired admirals and generals, recently released a new national report, ‘Unhealthy and Unprepared,’ on the recruiting challenges currently confronting our armed forces. This year, the Army fell short of its recruiting goal for the first time since 2005, due in part to the 31 percent of 17-24 year-old recruits who are disqualified from serving in the military due to obesity. Overall, 71 percent of young people between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service. This new report details how parents, educators, and policymakers can improve children’s health, prevent obesity, and grow the pool of eligible recruits by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity from a young age. Read the report here


Job Opportunities
1. Policy Specialist, National Farm to School Network (Washington, DC)
The National Farm to School Network seeks a Policy Specialist to lead implementation of the organization's policy priorities, including influencing federal administrative, rulemaking, and legislative actions, and supporting the development of its biennial report of state level policies supportive of farm to school. The Policy Specialist will cultivate relationships with policymakers and their staff, partner organizations and advocacy coalitions, manage and facilitate NFSN's Policy Group, and educate and mobilize NFSN stakeholders around key issues. This position is based in Washington, DC. Deadline to apply is Nov. 16, 2018. Learn more and apply here

2. Community Programs Coordinator Americorps VISTA, Youth Garden Project (Moab, UT)
The Community Programs Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA member will work directly with Youth Garden Project’s many community-based programs and events. Ideal candidate will be flexible, collaborative, able to work independently, exhibit strong leadership, and enthusiastic about YGP’s mission of cultivating healthy children, families, and community through the process of connecting people with food from seed to table. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
Rep. Panetta visits school garden program in California
Rep. Jimmy Panetta visited an elementary school in Watsonville to observe the impact of a school garden program designed to provide young children in resource challenged communities with fresh healthy food and knowledge about where it comes from. (Santa Cruz Sentinel

Composting enriches Farm-to-Table Program at Florida School
Visitors at Sugar Mill Elementary might be surprised to spot strawberries, papayas, peppers, pineapples, bean, avocados, lettuce and melons around the campus. Students from each grade take turns tending to their fruits and vegetables, which they've grown over several weeks. Eventually, they harvest what they've grown and make a meal. (Port Orange Observer)

Ohio school employees experience farming up close and personal
Serving food to children is the core focus of about 50 Ashtabula Area City Schools nutrition service workers who got the opportunity to see the details of the farming process at area farms. (Star Beacon)
  
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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