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Farm to school is taking place in all 50 states, D.C. and U.S. Territories! Select a location from the list below to learn more or contact a Core Partner. 

National Farm to School Network

News

This week in farm to school: 3/9/15

NFSN Staff Monday, March 09, 2015

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. 




Funding & Grants
1. First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food System Initiative Receives $2.95 Million, Three-Year Grant 
In the continuing effort to improve the health of Native American children and families and boost the economic health of Native communities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has awarded First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) of Longmont, Colorado, a grant of $2.95 million to extend First Nations’ work in the area of Native agriculture and food systems for three years, 2015 through 2017. Read the full press release here.

2. USDA Community Food Projects Grant Program applications due March 17
There are less than two weeks left to apply for the USDA Community Food Projects Grant Program through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Applications are due Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 5 pm EST. If you are interested in getting assistance with your application, or have questions, visit the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project website for free one-on-one technical assistance and resource

3. Voices for Healthy Kids opportunities for funding
Are you working to improve access to affordable, healthy foods for all children and families? Voices for Healthy Kids can support your work. Voices for Healthy Kids is providing funding to coalitions to advance coordinated issue advocacy campaigns focused on ending childhood obesity. Healthy food procurement is one of their priority areas. Organizations working to ensure that food and beverages sold and served on government property are healthy and meet specific nutrition guidelines may be eligible for funding. Learn more and apply for funding at www.voicesforhealthykids.org.

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN Webinar, March 10, 1 p.m. EST
Making change: How you can support farm to school policy this spring
Although the Child Nutrition Act (known as CNR) isn't set to expire until September 30, the action in D.C. is happening now, and we need your help. Join us to learn how farm to school legislation is progressing as part of CNR and what you can do to help make sure farm to school gets the support it needs from Congress! We will cover actions that anyone can take to join the effort and become an effective advocate for farm to school. The 20-minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Register here

2. 17th Annual National Value Added Agriculture Conference, Austin, Texas May 18-20
You are invited to attend the 17th Annual National Value Added Agriculture Conference in Austin, Texas on May 18-20, 2015, hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The National Value Added Agriculture Conference is held every year in a different state in the United States to address food security, rural development, and value added agriculture. This year, the Conference focuses on working toward the future of the U.S food systems, on the goal of providing enough nutritious, sustainable, and healthy foods for the U.S consumers. More information about the conference can be found here.

3. California Farm to School Network Webinar, March 19, 12 p.m.  CDT
California Food for California Kids®: Innovations from the Cafeteria to the Community, Part 2
School foodservice directors navigate a complex web of challenges when it comes to getting food on the tray - and even more so when they try to bring in more fresh, healthy, and local foods. This two-part series highlights farm to school leaders in California who didn't get discouraged by barriers, but instead used their own creativity and innovative spirit to launch and sustain farm to school efforts in their districts. Register here

4. Life Lab School Garden Workshops, Santa Cruz, CA 
Upcoming Educator Workshops in the Life Lab Garden Classroom include:

Policy & Action
1. State Farm to School Legislative Survey: 2002-2014
The recently released State Farm to School Legislative Survey: 2002-2014 offers a comprehensive review of state-level farm to school policies, analysis of national trends, and advocacy guidance for those working to advance the farm to school movement across the country. The survey is designed to offer farm to school advocates a roadmap, allowing them to learn from the success of other states and copy their efforts. Download the full document on the National Farm to School Network's website or check out this map to see how your state compares.The survey was prepared by researchers at Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems.

2. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

3. Growing Food & Justice for All Initiative Strategic Plan Membership Survey
The responses to the questions in this survey will be used by the Strategic Planning Task Group to prepare the 2015-2020 Growing Food & Justice for All Initiative (GFJI) Strategic Plan. This Strategic Plan document will be presented, discussed at the GFJI Gathering to be held September 25-27 in Chicago. The GFJI Strategic Plan will articulate GFJI's highest aspirations in realizing shared vision and clearly define the actions that GFJI must make in molding its future. Find a link to the survey here

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Good Food & Justice for All Initiative Gathering 2015 Request for Proposals
The Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative is excited to announce the 2015 Gathering Request for Proposals is now available. GFJI is looking for confident and passionate facilitators to lead participatory sessions. Proposals are due March 15. Find more information and proposal details here

Farm to school in the news
Farm to school programs reach over 25.5 million students, report says
The number of farm to school programs in the U.S. increased 430 percent between 2006 and 2012, according to a report released by the National Farm to School Network. (via Agri-Pulse)

Farm-to-School programs prove successful
The overall goal of the Vernon County Farm to School program is to integrate fresh, whole foods into school lunches and classrooms in southwest Wisconsin, while teaching children the lifelong benefits of healthy eating. (via Westby Times)

State Officials Encourage Kids To Play In The Dirt
In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is hosting kindergarten and third grade students from Roberts Elementary School. The students planted potatoes and learned about the garden. (via WFSU)

Local food movement is growing up
One change to the local food movement came through farm-to-school programs. In 2012, more than 4,300 school districts reported spending more than $385 million on local food through farm-to-school programs. In California, there are over 2,600 schools spending more than $51 million on local food. (via Merced Sun-Star





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