This Week in Farm to School: 11/05/19
1. Get Counted! USDA Farm to School Census Still Open
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems' third Farm to School Census is currently open and wrapping up at the end of November. Be sure your school district is counted! The Farm to School Census is the only national survey that examines school districts’ farm to school activities. It's imperative that all School Food Authorities (SFAs) - whether or not they currently participate in farm to school activities - complete the Census in order to have the most accurate picture of the scope, reach and impact of farm to school nationwide. The Census has been sent directly to SFAs. Please check with your SFAs to ask if they've submitted the Census, and make sure your efforts are counted! Learn more about the Census here.
Grants & Funding
1. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA Now Open
Deadline: December 13
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 here.
2. NFSN Consultation Services to Support USDA Farm to School Grant Applicants
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.
3. USDA Regional Farm to School Institutes RFA
Deadline: December 27
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems is pleased to announce the new Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications (RFA). This new grant for fiscal year 2020 will support the creation and dissemination of information on farm to school program development, and provide practitioner education and training, and ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. The Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding at least two grants with a combined total of $150,000, to eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations working regionally to promote farm to school activities and support practitioners. Learn more here.
4. Food System Vision Prize
Early Deadline: Dec. 5 / Final Deadline: Jan. 31
With a total of $2 million in prize money and a global network of partners, the Food System Vision Prize is an invitation for organizations, companies, governments, and other entities around the world to develop inspirational, concrete Visions for the food system of the future. The Prize, launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, is driven by a central question: “How might we envision regenerative and nourishing food futures for 2050?” The Prize seeks systems-focused proposals that encourage people worldwide to take action and think collaboratively about the future. Submitted Visions should also reflect the Prize’s core beliefs that include diversity, resilience, equity, and the power of food to connect people. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Kids Win and Farms Win: What Do We Know About the Impacts of Farm to School
This Week! 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.
2. Webinar: Product Spotlight - Increasing Regionally Sourced Grains in Institutions
November 19 // 2 PM EST
Join FINE and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) for a one-hour webinar to learn more about regional grain production and how it can be a cost effective choice for your institution. Across the state of Maine, allies are working to transform the grain economy by increasing production and reducing procurement bottlenecks while serving and educating customers. Register here.
3. Farm to School 101: Free Farm to School Trainings
Nov. 6 & Nov. 21 // Massachusetts
Join ChicopeeFRESH for Farm to School 101, a training opportunity for K-12 food service operators and community partners who are looking to take the leap into farm to school. Each training will take place in a different region of Massachusetts, and will feature a field trip to a local farm. Farm to School 101 will cover the basics of launching a successful farm to school program, including building relationships with farmers and producers, planning affordable seasonal menus, and branding and marketing your program. The first two trainings will take place in November. Learn more here.
4. Food Solutions Forum
November 5 // Durham, NH
On November 5th, the Food Solutions Forum will bring together presidential candidates, farmers, fishermen, small business owners, workers, advocates, scientists, and the general public, to celebrate the future that is possible with food at the center of our national conversations. The Food Solutions New England network is one of more than a dozen partners helping to organize and promote this free event. The forum will be livestreamed. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. Article: Farm to School Education Grants Encourage Children to Learn About Fruits and Vegetables
Journal of Translational Behavioral Medicine
Oregon established its Farm to School Education Grant Program to increase knowledge of and preference for fruits and vegetables among children in low-income school districts. This evaluation found that the program reached the targeted low-income students, encouraged districts to implement educational activities, and allowed low-income children to learn about produce. Read more here.
2. EQUITY Updated Racial Equity Tool Glossary
Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large. An updated set of key terms for racial equity is now available. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
Florida students are seeing which plants are edible in space
Last year, a student participating in a Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden program that is testing which edible plants can grow in space had an idea. What would happen if you grew short and tall plants together in one planter, utilizing limited space on the International Space Station and giving astronauts a variety of plant-based foods to eat? (Miami Herald)
Massachusetts students grow greens, learn life skills with indoor garden
Growing season is over around New England, but for a group of Milton High School students, it’s only just beginning. Special education students are getting the chance to grow their own garden right in the classroom. (CBS Boston)
New Jersey school officials cut ribbon on farm-to-table learning concept
Students across all grade levels in the Wildwood School District will get a farm-to-table learning experience as the district unveiled a new outdoor classroom this week. (The Press of Atlantic City)
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.