This Week in Farm to School: 4/28/20
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.
Deadline: May 10
National Farm to School Network has created a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support organizations in continuing their important farm to school and farm to ECE work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Any organization working to support farm to school / farm to ECE efforts is eligible to apply, with priority being given to current NFSN Core and Supporting Partners, as well as organizations serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian populations within urban, rural and tribal jurisdictions (including schools, farmers/producers and community-based organizations and Tribal entities). The application deadline is May 10, 2020. Learn more here. Donations to support NFSN's COVID-19 Relief Fund can be made here.
2. COVID-19 GENYOUth Emergency School Nutrition Funding
GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more here.
3. COVID-19 EQUITY NDN Collective's COVID-19 Response Project
The NDN Collective’s COVID-19 Response Project is designed to provide immediate relief to some of the most underserved communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to frontline organizations, Tribes, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities within the next 15-45 days to provide gap resources during this health crisis. Grants are available to support medical supplies, food delivery, youth and/or Elder care, educational access, economic relief and more. Grant review and funding notifications will occur on a weekly basis through the end of May 2020. Learn more here. Donations to support NDN's Collective's COVID-19 Response Project can be made here.
4. EQUITY Native American Agriculture Fund 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more here.
4. Voices for Healthy Kids: Policy Campaign Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids' Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income. The Letter for Intend deadline is April 29, 2020. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. EQUITY Webinar Series from the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
April - August 2020
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust is hosting a webinar series to dive deep into some of the strategies they're employing, such as Reparations, Cultural Respect Easements, Cooperative Land Tenure, and building a new economy that centers BIPOC experiences and knowledges. Featuring land and food sovereignty activists such as David Ragland, Stephanie Morningstar, Ramona Peters, Carmen Mouzon, Karen Washington, Christine Hutchinson, and Leah Penniman, you will have an opportunity to meet the food and land sovereignty change makers who work every day to make land, food, and community wealth accessible to Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Register for webinars here.
2. COVID-19 Weekly Virtual Gatherings: School Garden Support Organization Network
The School Garden Support Organization Network is hosting weekly gatherings on topics related to supporting school gardens during closures and social distancing. The next two gatherings are April 29 and May 6. Learn more and watch recordings here.
3. COVID-19 Webinar: Finding Balance in Disorienting Times
April 29 // 2pm ET
To balance something means to put it in a steady position to prevent it from falling. During uncertain times, you may find yourself not feeling very steady – and that’s ok! Join Kaiser Permanente, Sanford Harmony and Healthier Generation as we help you gain practical tips to steady yourself in disorienting times, including setting boundaries, understanding why and how to use gratitude and learning how to complain effectively. Register here.
Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here.
2. COVID-19 NFSN New Weekly COVID-19 & Farm to School Resource E-Newsletter
National Farm to School Network is launching a free weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of new COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.
3. COVID-19 "Food Systems Disruptions: Turning a Threat into an Opportunity for Local Food Systems"
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed consumer buying and eating habits and strained agricultural supply chains? What does this mean for local food networks? A new JAFSCD commentary explores opportunities for the expansion of sustainable, resilient food systems as a result of this pandemic. Read more here.
4. COVID-19 New Surveys Provide Insight on COVID-19 Impacts on Early Care and Education
Two new surveys - NAEYC's ECE Provider Survey and the Bipartisan Policy Center's Child Care in the Time of Coronavirus - provide important insight on the COVID-19's impacts on early care and education in the US. Highlights from these surveys include:
- Half of providers have completely closed their facilities while 17% have closed to everyone except the children of essential personnel
- Of the facilities remaining open, 85% reported operating with less than 50% of their enrollment capacity; and the majority of those—65%—were operating at less than 25% of capacity
- 37% of respondents have had to lay off or furlough workers, or they have been laid off or furloughed, and another 41% anticipate furloughs or layoffs
- 53% of center-based providers and 25% home-based care providers applied for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.
1. COVID-19 NFSN USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and Local Food
On Friday, April 17, USDA announced the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. This may be an opportunity for local product to make its way to emergency feeding programs, addressing a vital need for market opportunities for local producers and food access needs in communities. The program aims to support producers and consumers with two approaches: (1) direct support for farmers and ranchers, and (2) through the purchase and distribution of up to $3 billion of agricultural products to those in need. Read more here.
2. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As the federal government continues to develop legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, National Farm to School Network urges policymakers to respond to this emergency in ways that will advance a more just food system. Read our COVID-19 federal policy platform here.
3. COVID-19 NFSN Policy FAQ: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19
National Farm to School Network is compiling policy-related questions and answers for how COVID-19 is impacting farm to school and farm to ECE efforts. In this document, find a summary of information about how the federal government has done so far to allow farm to school and ECE programs to adapt; what resources are available to farmers who are suffering losses as a result of school and program closures; and more. See more here.
4. COVID-19 EQUITY Intertribal Agriculture Council Loan Relief Call to Action
The Intertribal Agriculture Council is seeking your support for a common-sense solution that will provide meaningful, timely assistance to nearly all of the 80,000 Indian Producers, countless other farmers and ranchers across the country. This solution would reduce loan payments for all borrowers for 2020 and 2021 and allow for planning in this time of uncertainty. View the call to action and sign-on here.
1. Congressional Hunger Center, Director, Emerson National Hunger Fellowship (Washington, D.C.)
The Hunger Center seeks a Director of the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship who will lead the design of programmatic goals and strategy; fellow recruitment, selection, and advising; host organization recruitment and selection; program budget, administration and reporting; and strategic partnerships. Learn more and apply here.
Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 COVID-19 has forced large-scale farms that supply institutions to dump produce they can’t sell. Why?
To get a clearer understanding of where institutional food comes from, why kinks at the center of the supply chain make rerouting a challenge, and what’s being done to change that, The Counter interview a number of agriculture experts, including Lacy Stephens (NFSN Senior Program Manager), Laura Edwards-Orr (NFSN Advisory Board), and others. (The Counter)
COVID-19 ‘The Need Is Great’: Nonprofits in Iowa Work to Meet Families’ Need for Fresh Food During Pandemic
Living in a food desert — a place where there is limited access to healthy and affordable food — is not a new issue in eastern Iowa. But COVID-19 has increased the need for fresh food and has changed how nonprofits in the state can deliver that food to people who need it most. (Little Village)
COVID-19 Oregon State University Offers Farm-To-School and Nutrition Education Activities for Youth
Can’t leave home but still want to connect with local food and farmers? OSU Extension nutrition educators have adapted materials for elementary-age youth and their families for delivery online. All activities are free, some require registration as supplies are limited. (Herald and News)
COVID-19 Vermont's Burlington School Food Project adds frozen meals to the menu
The Burlington School Food Project is expanding its emergency meals options to include frozen meals. Each meal will come bagged with instructions on how to properly heat up the food, made from locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. "Kids do tend to eat meals at school, whether they need to financially or not, so I think now when families are really struggling, it's super important that we make sure that the nutrition that they need is being offered to them," said Doug Davis. (WCAX3)
COVID-19 NFSN Share Your Story: Farm to School and ECE During COVID-19
Communities across the country are demonstrating innovation and resilience as they continue to connect children and families to local foods and education opportunities and support local producers. National Farm to School Network wants to hear from you about what food systems resilience looks like in your community. If you have a farm to school, farm to ECE or community food systems story to share, please share it with us using this brief form.
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.