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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 11/06/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 06, 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. Captain Planet Project Learning Garden
Schools can apply now to win a Captain Planet Foundation Project Learning Garden through partnerships with grocery retailers around the country. Grand Prize Winners will receive a one year supply of DOLE Fruit Bowls and a Project Learning Garden provided by Captain Planet Foundation, including: 5 garden beds or garden expansion (for schools with an existing garden), mobile garden cooking cart, standards-based Learning Garden lessons and lesson supply kits, and online teacher training. Learn more and apply here.

3. SeedMoney Grants for Garden Projects
SeedMoney is giving away $30,000 in grants to food garden projects during their 4th Annual SeedMoney Challenge which starts on November 15th and ends December 15th. They’re offering challenge grants, crowdfunding opportunities and merit grants (i.e. no crowdfunding required) via one, easy online application. The Challenge is timed for projects to take advantage of #GivingTuesday (Nov 27) and the start of the year-end giving season. Last year, participating groups raised an average of $807 per project (i.e. grant + crowdfunds raised). Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. 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

2. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine & Friends of the Eartch: Scaling Up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food
November 14, 4pm ET
Join Chef Ann Cooper, from Boulder Valley School District, Jen Dalton, from Friends of the Earth and Maggie Neola, from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in a discussion on strategies and policies for scaling up healthy, plant-forward, climate-friendly school food. In this webinar, you will learn what other districts do to successfully increase participation rates and shift the culture towards healthier food. Register here.


Research & Resources
1. Cultivating Opportunity: An Overview of USDA’s Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 Farm to School Grantees’ Growing Achievements
The Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) is excited to release a new report: Cultivating Opportunity: An Overview of USDA’s Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 Farm to School Grantees’ Growing Achievements. Trends and best practices from fiscal year (FY) 2015 and 2016 farm to school grantees are highlighted throughout. OCFS also takes a look at baseline data collected from grantees to assess the impact of the grant program on the growth of the farm to school movement nationwide. Read the full report here.

2. Summary of Findings Report: Superintendent Perspectives on Local School Wellness Policies
This report summarizes findings from focus groups conducted with superintendents at The School Superintendents Association (AASA) meeting; in addition, key informant follow up interviews were conducted following the focus groups. Superintendents shared their perspectives and experiences with implementation and evaluation of local school wellness policies (LWP). Read the full report here.

3. New Resource from NACDD: Healthy School, Healthy Staff, Healthy Students: A Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors has released Healthy School, Healthy Staff, Healthy Students: A Guide to Improving School Employee Wellness, a new resource to assist school districts and schools in establishing or enhancing an employee wellness initiative. Evidence-based school employee wellness programs have the potential to increase employee productivity and performance, improve the health of both staff and students, and support student academic success. Read the full report here.

4. No Kid Hungry Innovation Survey Opportunity
We know you’re doing creative work when it comes to feeding kids. We want to hear all about it. No Kid Hungry is developing a report on innovation and they want to hear from you. We have come a long way, but there is more work to do and innovative ideas are critical. If you or someone you know has applied a unique approach to ensuring that all kids get the food they need, please tell us more by taking this survey. Respondents will be featured in a report on the state of innovation and have the chance to receive an innovation accelerator award to support their work. The survey closes on November 30. Take the survey 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. Operations Manager, Castanea Fellowship (Remote)
Working with the Castanea Fellowship Steering Committee, and under direction of the Executive Director, the Operations Manager oversees the completion of projects and manages the day-to-day operations of the Castanea Fellowship, including scheduling and organizing meeting and events, processing financial reimbursements, providing budget tracking support, and providing project management support. This position also assists in communications and outreach to the Castanea Fellowship community, which includes partners, potential applicants, and advisors. We strongly encourage applicants with personal experience confronting the challenges of our current food system to apply, as well as, people with experience in multi-racial and multi-sector driven organizations. Learn more and apply here

3. Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (Washington, D.C.)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of over 120 grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC is currently seeking candidates for a Policy Specialist position. This position is located at NSAC’s DC office on Capitol Hill and is a full-time exempt position. Each one of five Policy Specialists at NSAC reports to NSAC’s Policy Director. Learn more and apply here.

4. Good Food Purchasing Project Manager, Chicago Food Policy Action Council (Chicago, IL)
The CFPAC Good Food Purchasing Project Manager will support CFPAC’s priorities by working in coordination with CFPAC Board and staff members, local communities, organizations, vendors, suppliers, processors, and producers as well as staff at City of Chicago and Cook County Departments and Agencies, and other state and national level partners. The Good Food Purchasing Project Manager is a new role serving as a resource to participants in the above networks. The position will also closely coordinate with the Center for Good Food Purchasing and other national partners. Learn more and apply here.

5. Farm to School AmeriCorps Member, Rural Health Network of South Central New York (Binghamton, NY)
The Farm to School AmeriCorps program is an exciting new initiative of the Food and Health Network (FaHN), a program of Rural Health Network of South Central New York. The regional Farm to School program works collaboratively with 26 school districts in South Central New York. Farm to School Corps members will work as part of an expanding regional team to develop, implement, grow, and evaluate programs to bring healthy, local food to students. Members will work with staff, students, parents, farms, and community partners to increase capacity for hands-on learning, local procurement, and creating a school-wide culture of health. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
Iowa students learn from local farmers
Iowa Valley RC&D and Field to Family are working with the Iowa City Community School District — which oversees Van Allen Elementary — as well as the Solon, Clear Creek Amana and Cedar Rapids districts to provide nutrition education programs for students. (The Gazette)

New Jersey school goes hydroponic, wins farm-to-school award
For “Take Your Parents to Lunch Day” earlier this month, Hopewell Elementary School students picked basil from the school’s vertical farm that was later featured in a deconstructed caprese salad. It is the latest item to be added to the school’s organic homemade lunch menu, available three times a week, with vertical farm produce infused into two of those three meals. (Community News)

New York students take food from courtyard to cafeteria
Last month, students celebrated eating a breakfast made from their own eggs, and it’s all thanks to Andover Central School’s Environmental Technology class. In 2015, this course was formed after a strong demand by high school students who desired to learn about local and sustainable agriculture. Since the garden’s inception, students in the Environmental Technology course have designed, built, and maintained a high tunnel, a raised bed garden, a composting system, and a mobile chicken coop in their courtyard. (Wellsville Daily)

  
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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