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News

This week in farm to school: 4/21/15

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 21, 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. 



Webinars & Events 
1. Every Kid Healthy Week, April 19-25
Join us in celebrating Every Kid Healthy™ Week from April 19-25! Launched by Action for Healthy Kids in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance when schools, students, parents, and community members come together to recognize their school’s wellness achievements through fun and interactive health-promoting events. Over 1,000 schools are participating in 2015! For more information on how to get involved and additional resources to help you plan an event go to EveryKidHealthyWeek.org.
2. Webinar: USDA Food and Nutrition Service,  April 28, 12:30 p.m. EST
Bringing Summer Meals to Farmers Markets
USDA Food and Nutrition Service is hosting a webinar on April 28 from 12:30PM-1:30PM EST about bringing summer meal sites to farmers markets. Summer meal sites at farmers markets can help increase food traffic and offer farmers another way to enhance the visibility of fresh foods or donate their products. This webinar will inform farmers market managers, sponsors, and the public about how to start and maintain summer meal sites at farmers markets and will share best practices from farmers markets that currently administer the program. Register here.
3. April is National Garden Month
Secretary Vilsack has declared April 2015 as National Garden Month.  The official proclamation celebrates the great American tradition of gardening at home, at school and in the community. Whether you are in Washington and can visit the majestic 446-acre National Arboretum, or can take a quick stop in a community, home or school garden near you, celebrate that winter is behind us. It’s time to tend the garden! 

Policy & Action

1. New County and Congressional District Data on Food Insecurity

Feeding America released its annual Map the Meal Gap report with state, county, and congressional district data on overall and child food insecurity rates. The report also includes data on food cost variation by county and congressional district and the percent of food insecure populations likely eligible for federal nutrition programs. There are also several resources available online: executive summary; interactive map with printable fact sheets by state, county or congressional district; and, printable data charts with overall child food insecurity rates by county and congressional district.

2. Second Bi-Annual Farm to School Census 

The USDA Farm to School Census is a crucial tool for gathering information about the state of the farm to school movement. The first census was conducted in 2013, and USDA is now seeking updated information through the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. The Census questionnaire was distributed to school districts through state agencies the week of March 16. School district submissions must be received by May 29, 2015. Questions about the Census? Please contact matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.

3. 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.

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Senior Associate, Development, The Food Trust
The Food Trust is a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. The Senior Associate for Development will have diverse nonprofit fundraising experience, including a strong track record in developing grant proposals, building corporate partnerships, managing annual giving campaigns and overseeing fundraising events. The ideal candidate will have excellent interpersonal skills, and a passion for developing and executing creative fundraising strategies. This senior staff position will report to the Development Director, and will work closely with the Development Associate, program staff, and external partners. Find the full job description and application instructions here.
2. Kid Chefs: Join the Fourth Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge!
Calling all budding chefs! Do you like to cook and make healthy food for your friends and family? If so, you might be able to show off your skills and creativity to the First Lady of the United States and your peers from across the country. Learn more about how you can represent your state at the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House this summer.Visit pbs.org/lunchtimechallenge to learn more about the Heathy Lunchtime Challenge and submit your recipe by April 30.
3. Farm Aid hiring Farm Advocate and Program Manager positions
Farm Aid is a national nonprofit organization working to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. They are hiring for two full-time positions in their office in Cambridge, Mass. The Farm Advocate will serve as Farm Aid’s primary direct service provider, working one-on-one with farmers across the country to address their unique resource needs through quality referrals and emotional support. The Program Manager works to strengthen family farm and rural service organizations nationally and the resources and opportunities available for family farmers through strategic management, implementation, promotion and evaluation of Farm Aid’s grant program and the Farm Aid Resource Network website. Applications are due by May 3. See links for full job details. 

Farm to school in the news

WhyHunger’s Food Justice Voices Series

WhyHunger’s Food Justice Voices series continues with “Social Justice for Lunch: Delta Fresh Foods Initiative at the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference.” This piece explores the work of the Delta Fresh Foods Initiative (DFFI) to transform the food system in the Mississippi Delta region into one that is more equitable and just for all.
Plymouth lunches feature student-raised pork
The Plymouth School District took the concept of local food one step closer to home this school year by featuring meat in several recent school lunches from two pigs raised by students. (via Sheboygan Press)

Seeds of Change: The Value of School Gardens in Education and Community Health
Gardening at school and at home can provide young people with learning opportunities, lasting skills, and positive, memorable experiences. But perhaps most importantly, it can help foster healthy lifestyles and encourage healthy eating with more nutritious foods. (via KCET)

Youth in Jacksonville's 'food deserts' learning about nutrition, helping teach parents
This farm-to-school program is geared toward school-age students and parents who live in so-called food desert communities, with little or no access to affordable, fresh food and produce. It works to introduce them to basic elements of health and nutrition, gardening and farming, and food preparation. (via The Florida Times-Union)
 

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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