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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 5/12/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 12, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network has launched a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

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 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.

2. 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

3. 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. "One Planet. One Health" Initiative  
Deadline: June 22
Danone Institute North America – a non-profit innovation center established by Danone North America – is soliciting proposals for its second annual “One Planet. One Health” Initiative, which offers academic-based teams the opportunity to design, implement and evaluate actionable community-based projects that drive the sustainability of local food systems. The grant will provide seed funding for projects such as pilot studies, feasibility testing, needs assessments and planning grants. The four teams selected will each receive grants of $20,000 to implement their projects and amplify their messages to a broader audience – plus a $10,000 incremental award for the team with the strongest communications plan. Learn more and apply here.

5. USDA's Notice of Funding Opportunity: Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program 
Deadline: July 6
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on May 6 the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. There is approximately $1 million available for Planning Projects and $2 million for Implementation Projects. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight July 6, 2020. Learn more and apply here.

6. USDA: Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. NIFA requests applications for the AgVets to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The close date is June 26. Learn more and apply here. An informational webinar will be held on May 14 at 2pm ET. 


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 gathering is on May 12. Learn more and watch recordings here

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Produce in a Pandemic: Providing Children with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables During COVID-19 School Closures
May 13 // 2pm EST
Across the country school, nutrition professionals are doing incredible work to ensure children in their communities have access to meals during COVID-19 school closures. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced meal and a required meal pattern component. This SNA webinar, made possible in partnership with School Nutrition Association and United Fresh Produce Association, will highlight how several school nutrition programs are sourcing and serving fresh produce, and share how produce companies are working with school nutrition customers and supply chain partners during this unprecedented time. Register here.

4. Webinar: Menu Planning for Non-Congregate Meals
May 19 // 2:00PM EST
Cold meals or re-heatable meals? Individually portioned items or bulk components? Planning menus for non-congregate meal service can be a challenge, especially as the weather turns warmer. Tune into this webinar to learn about planning and procuring healthy, nutritious meals for kids in your community - and about keeping those meals safe on hotter days. You'll hear from Jen McNeil from LunchAssist, Aleshia Hall-Campbell from the Institute on Child Nutrition, and Miguel Villareal from San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Register here.

5. Webinar Series: Resiliency through Agriculture
May 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, & 26 
A webinar series, Resiliency through Agriculture, developed by team members at the Intertribal Ag Council (IAC) is exploring topics under the IAC mission areas of Legal and Policy, Professional Development, Conservation and Production Innovation, Food Systems, Communications and Economics.  Resiliency through Agriculture is an initiative to help educate producers, provide them resources and offers toolkits that will help them make informed decisions. Webinars will occur throughout the month of May and will be archived. Learn more and 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 NFSN Infographic: How to Create a Mutual Aid Pod in Your Community
Farm to school, at its core, is about relationships: relationships that benefit children and families while strengthening local community food systems. In times of crisis, these community-based relationships are even more vital in supporting continued healthy food access, community well being, and producer viability. Models like mutual aid bring people in communities together so no one goes hungry. Learn about starting a Mutual Aid Pod in your neighborhood with this new infographic

4. COVID-19 ABC Adventure Video Series featuring Chef Asata
Small Bites Adventure Club has created the ABC Adventure series to help children discover, love, and eat fruits and vegetables at home while schools are closed. This series introduces a new food and an *EASY* tasting activity. The series also touches on counting, colors, shapes and critical thinking skills! New videos will be uploaded every week! View the video series here.

5. COVID-19 USDA Approves $1.2B in Contracts for Farmers to Families Food Box Program 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved $1.2 billion in contracts to support American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. A full list of approved suppliers can be found here. Additional information on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including webinars and an FAQs, is available here.  

6. COVID-19 Research: The COVID-19 Crisis Has Already Left Too Many Children Hungry in America
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has increased in the United States. This is particularly true for households with young children. Two recent nationally surveys - The COVID Impact Survey and The Hamilton Project/Future of the Middle Class Initiative Survey of Mothers with Young Children - have found that rates of food insecurity observed in April 2020 are meaningfully higher than at any point for which there is comparable data. The Survey of Mothers with Young Children found that 40.9 percent of mothers with children ages 12 and under reported household food insecurity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 17.4 percent reported that since the pandemic started, “the children in my household were not eating enough because we just couldn’t afford enough food.” Read more here.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Local Policy Ask Template in Response to COVID-19

National Farm to School Network has compiled local policy asks to create a COVID-19 Local Response Template for advocates. The asks in this template have been pulled together with the support of over 20 local organizations, and reflect policy concerns beyond just farm to school, as we understand that food justice is tied to the larger justice conversation. Advocates are encouraged to pull ideas from this template, making changes and additions as needed, to address the needs of your community. See 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.

5. COVID-19 Washington State Legislators Introduce “Farmers Feeding Families Act” to Support Local Farmers Washington State Congresswomen Kim Schrier, M.D. and Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced the Farmers Feeding Families Coronavirus Response Act which would provide funding for state agencies and partnering food-banks to replenish their food stocks to meet increased demand spiked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

6. COVID-19 National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Child Nutrition & School Meals
Congress has provided $8.8 billion in additional funding for child nutrition programs and temporarily removed some existing program requirements in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided administrative flexibilities. 
Click here to learn more about federal options to provide meals during COVID-19.

7. COVID-19 CACFP Relief Bill Introduced in Congress to Provide Emergency Funding
Maryland Representative David Trone has introduced a bill to Congress that would provide emergency funding to CACFP operators. If passed, child care providers, centers, and sponsors would receive emergency funding equal to 55% of reimbursements from the same month of the previous year minus any current reimbursements. Read more and see the bill text here.  


Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 STEM Academy in Ohio Sponsors Virtual Farm Tour
Global Impact STEM Academy (GISA) in Springfield, Ohio gave its students a chance to venture onto a sheep farm through their computers from home Wednesday. The STEM Academy has participated in several virtual farm tours over the years, but this was their first time sponsoring one, according to school officials. (Springfield News-Sun)

COVID-19 Kids, Adults Learn to Grow Vegetables at Home With Free Online OSU Courses
How’s this for convenient learning: Oregon State University Extension Service has free, online gardening courses that adults and interested older kids can access anytime. The introductory course to the Oregon Master Gardener program, which trains volunteers to teach others about the science and art of gardening, is always free and a vegetable growing course has been extremely popular since its $45 fee was waived until May 27. (The Oregonian)

COVID-19 Schools Struggle to Afford Meals for Low-Income Kids
Many public schools that are closed by the coronavirus pandemic are still providing lunches to low-income students who would otherwise go hungry. Some are serving entire families and other community members, acting more like soup kitchens than school cafeterias. But what happens when the school year ends? (AXIOS)

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.

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