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National Farm to School Network

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This Week in Farm to School: 3/24/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 24, 2020
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. COVID-19 No Kid Hungry Grants Available to Support Coronavirus Response
As coronavirus is closing schools and workplaces nationwide, vulnerable children are losing the school meals they depend on, and low-income families are struggling with lost wages. No Kid Hungry is offering emergency grants to support local school districts and nonprofit organizations in their efforts to ensure kids get the nutritious food they need. Learn more and apply here

2. COVID-19 Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation
The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is activating $1.25 million in emergency funding to support organizations on the frontlines of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response. Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the health or hunger relief space providing essential services to people impacted by COVID-19. Learn more here

3. COVID-19 COVID-19 Related Funding for Nonprofits
Grant Station has compiled a list of current funding opportunities for nonprofits in the area of COVID-19, updated each business day and listed by deadline date. It includes funding available nationally as well as geographic-specific funding opportunities. Note that these funding sources cover a wide range of nonprofit functions, not just health and huger relief. See more here

4. Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Social and Environmental Justice Projects
Pre-Application Deadline: April 15
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-organizing groups working to advance social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems. Pre-applications are due April 15. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Learn more here.

5. USDA AMS: Regional Food System Partnerships
Deadline: May 11
USDA AMS's Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The effort is focused on building and strengthening local or regional food economy viability and resilience by alleviating unnecessary administrative and technical barriers for participating partners. Learn more here.

6. USDA AMS: 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Deadline: May 27
The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” The agency, commission, or department responsible for agriculture within any of the 50 States, DC and the US territories is eligible to apply directly to USDA for grant funds. Organizations or individuals interested in the SCBGP should contact their state department of agriculture for more information. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Postponed: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Given current health concerns and uncertainty around coronavirus, National Farm to School Network has made the decision to postpone the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, originally scheduled for April 21-23 in Albuqerque, to a future date. This decision was made with the utmost concern for the health and wellbeing of our attendees in mind. We are working to announce the new conference dates as quickly as possible. Read more information on our Latest News page.

2. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Tips for Effective Communication with Your Community During COVID-19 School Closures
March 25 // 2pm EST
School Nutrition Association President Gay Anderson and the “Tips for School Meals that Rock” team of Dayle Hayes and Jeanne Reilly are hosting a webinar to share how you can communicate most effectively in this rapidly changing environment. These leaders will discuss how to address the many questions about school meals you are receiving from the community and how to promote the availability of school meals. You will walk away with practical ideas and resources from districts across the country. Register here.

3. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Food Safety in the Time of the Coronavirus: Post-Harvest Handling
March 26 // 12:30pm EST
Chesapeake Harvest and Future Harvest are hosting a lunchtime webinar to explore post-harvest handling and food safety practices that farmers in our region are using to meet wholesale requirements and comply with FSMA regulations. Food safety educators Lindsay Gilmour, Kimberly Raikes, Aleya Fraser and Elizabeth Beggins will provide lessons and examples from farms they visited in PA and MD. There will be ample time for Q&A. Register here.

4. COVID-19 EQUITY WEBINAR: Strengthening Our Food System Together in a Time of Crisis
March 27 // 12pm EST
Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network is hosting a discussion-based webinar centering women's and gender-oppressed voices designed to share relevant information and generate new ideas to address current and future food system crises. Register here.

5. EQUITY Virtual Rural Child Hunger Summit
March 31 // 10:30am - 3:15 pm EDT
No Kid Hungry's Rural Child Hunger Summit is going virtual! They will be hosting this event online on March 31. The Virtual Rural Child Hunger Summit will be a series of webinars hosted on Zoom. You can register for one webinar or for all of them. Sessions of interest to the farm to school/ECE community may be: Racial Equity and Community Resilience in Food Systems, Policy, and Program Delivery (11:15 am – 12:10 pm), The Power of Native Youth in Creating Solutions to Hunger Issues in Indian Country (12:15 – 1:10 pm), and Embracing Community Perspectives and Cultures in Program Design and Delivery (2:15 - 3:10 pm). Register here

6. EQUITY Join the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
March 30-April 19
Sign up for Food Solutions New England's (FSNE) annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge starting on March 30th! In its sixth year, the Challenge is a great way to learn about the history and impacts of racism on our current food system while inspiring participants with resources and tools to build racial equity in their work and lives. People from all over the country participate in the Challenge with the goal of raising awareness, shifting attitudes and changing outcomes. This year a Discussion Guide will be available for groups who want to do the Challenge together. Visit the FSNE Challenge website to learn more and register.


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Resources for Farm to School and ECE
National Farm to School Network is compiling resources related to COVID-19 that will be relevant to the farm to school and farm to early care and education community. View the list here. This page will be updated on an ongoing basis.

2. COVID-19 Coronavirus Food Systems Media Articles and Other Resources
Vanessa Garcia Polanco, a graduate student at Michigan State University's Department of Community Sustainability, is compiling a real-time list of media articles and resources about how the virus is affecting the food system. See the list here.

3. COVID-19 EQUITY Food & Land Sovereignty Resource List for COVID-19
Soul Fire Farm, Black Farmer Fund, and Northeast Farmers of Color have created a resource hub for needs and offers for specific mutual aid related to community food sovereignty and farmers. View the document here.

4. COVID-19 EQUITY Coronavirus and Food Access: Four Questions Every Community Needs to Answer
For the nearly 40 million Americans struggling with food insecurity, the relatively modest inconveniences many Americans will confront due to disruptions in the food system could have catastrophic consequences. To ensure equity in our response to the coronavirus, The Rockefeller Foundation is sharing four questions that government officials, employers, businesses and community leaders across the country should be asking themselves right now. Read more here

5. COVID-19 Map of Feeding Efforts from World Central Kitchen
World Central Kitchen is mapping out all of the school districts, restaurants offering meals to those in need, and organizations working to keep people fed. School districts and community partners leading efforts at the local level are encouraged to add their activities to this map. See more here


Policy News
1. COVID-19 Urgent Policy Actions for COVID-19 Aid Package
Congress is making decisions right now about aid for people and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some policy calls to actions shared by our partner organizations:  
Farmers and Food Systems - National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Young Farmers and Ranchers - National Young Farmers Coalition
Front Line Food Workers - Food Chain Workers Alliance
Farmers Markets - Farmers Market Coalition
Child and Adult Care Food Program - National CACFP Sponsors Association
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Food Research & Action Center
Child Care Industry - First Five Years Fund

2. COVID-19 The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Summary of Key Provisions
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law, marking the second major legislative initiative to address COVID-19 (the first was signed on March 6 and provided emergency funding relief for domestic and global efforts). This resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes the key provisions of the Families First Act which address the domestic outbreak, including nutrition assistance for kids and families as well as paid sick leave, insurance coverage of coronavirus testing, and unemployment benefits. See more here


Job Opportunities
1. Farm to School Coordinator, University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (Molokai, Hawai’i)
University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR) is hiring a Farm to School Coordinator on the island of Molokai to provide educational support for farm-to-school activities in Molokai schools. This individual will serve as an extension agent and will be housed at the Molokai Cooperative Extension Service Office in Ho’olehua. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 Schools Race To Feed Students Amid Coronavirus Closures
Nearly 30 million children in the U.S. count on schools for free or low-cost breakfast, lunch, snacks and sometimes dinner — but most of those children are now at home. At least 114,000 public and private schools have been closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, affecting the vast majority of the nation's K-12 students, according to an ongoing tally by Education Week. And while classes may be cancelled, school leaders are working hard to make sure kids have food to eat. (NPR)

COVID-19 Op-Ed: Helping Your Kids Start a Garden Will Manage Coronavirus Impact
How do we give kids meaningful educational work to do at home when schools are closed, and help solve a potential food shortage? Have them plant a garden. (Salisbury Post)

COVID-19 Small Farms and Independent Restaurants Rally for Economic Relief
A new analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on farms that sell into local markets - including farm to school sales, food hubs that aggregate food from small farm to sell to restaurants and other institutions, and shuttered farmers' markets - predicts a $689 million decline in sales from March to May 2020, leading to a payroll decline of up to $103 million and a total loss to the economy of up to $1.3 billion. (Civil Eats)

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