This Week in Farm to School: 5/7/19
Webinars & Events
1. NFSN Webinar: Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School and National Agriculture in the Classroom
Tuesday, May 7 // 1 PM ET
Food and agriculture education is a core element of farm to school and vital to developing a comprehensive and impactful farm to school programs. The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its member state programs provide K-12 teachers with educational resources and programs that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. Join this National Farm to School Network (NFSN) webinar to hear from NAITCO about resources, information, and partnerships and learn from Healthy Communities of the Capital City, NFSN Core Partner in Maine, about how Agriculture in the Classroom partnerships have expanded farm to school initiatives in their state. Register here.
2. Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
- State Farm to School Networks Toolkit (updated March 2019)
- State Farm to School Positions Guide (updated February 2019)
- State Farm to School Policy Handbook (updated April 2019)
3. Greening School Food: A Northeast Forum on Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food
Thursday, May 9 // Albany, NY
Leading food service professionals from Northeastern school districts will share successful strategies for promoting climate-friendly, plant-based menus and implementing waste reduction in school cafeterias. National and regional nonprofits will discuss resources and map out strategies and policy reforms to scale up climate-friendly school food. Forum participants will share their experience, gain valuable information and cultivate new relationships in several round-table discussions. Register here.
4. 2019 Starting and Sustaining a School Garden Conference
Friday, May 10 // Novi, MI
School gardens can spring up anywhere – a schoolyard, an empty lot, a rooftop, even a parking lot. They are a powerful tool to connect youth to the natural world and beyond, regardless of setting, demographics or learning style. Be prepared to help make those connections by attending the 2019 Starting and Sustaining a School Garden conference. Seasonal Learning in the Garden will be the theme for the conference to assist educators in coordinating their curriculum with what is going on in the garden. There will be break-out sessions by season and by grade level, and all activities will be connected to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn more here.
5. Wisconsin School Garden Day
Thursday, May 23
The Governor of Wisconsin will be proclaiming Thursday, May 23, 2019 the very first Wisconsin School Garden Day! Wisconsin School Garden Day honors and celebrates the educators, students, families, community leaders, and all people who have made garden-based education a reality and an asset in their schools and communities throughout the state. You can participate in Wisconsin School Garden Day by engaging in some type of garden-based education activity or celebration on May 23, 2019 (or another day that week) in solidarity with youth garden programs across the state. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. The Farm to School Census is Coming!
The Office of Community Food Systems is excited to announce that the third Farm to School Census will launch this September! According to the 2015 Farm to School Census, schools have invested nearly $790 million in local communities. Have we reached a billion yet? Help us find out by ensuring your district participates this fall. For more information about the Census and farm to school in general, contact a USDA Farm to School Regional Lead.
2. SNAP into Gardening Resource from SNAP-Ed
SNAP-Ed agencies across the country are involved in community and school gardening. If garden projects are part of your spring plans, the SNAP-Ed Connection has you covered! Learn more about SNAP-Ed gardening projects and resources in the SNAP-Ed Library. Head to the updated Gardening Resources page to learn more.
3. Sharing the Table: A Roadmap to Reducing and Recovering Surplus Food in Schools, The Center for Green Schools
Starting food reduction and recovery programs can seem daunting at first due to the number of steps to consider before beginning. However, with the right support and guidance, these programs can be successfully developed and implemented in schools with relatively low cost. This Roadmap to Reducing and Recovering Surplus Food in Schools serves as a guide for school stakeholders, using examples from efforts by the school districts in Oakland and San Diego, California to reduce and recover their surplus food from school meals. It focuses on best practices to save surplus food at school, as well as resources for school food waste reduction. Read the full guide here.
1. Garden Educator, CitySprouts (Cambridge, MA)
The CitySprouts Garden Educator position is an opportunity to deepen and expand skills and knowledge in the area of informal education and youth development. The Garden Educator is responsible for delivering the CitySprouts program to three school partners during the school year and to lead one middle school program, in both after school and summer. Learn more here.
2. TerraCorps Community Engagement Coordinator, CitySprouts (Cambridge, MA)
The Community Engagement Coordinator at CitySprouts will lead volunteer efforts for both school families and community members in Cambridge and Boston. Through their service, members will expand CitySprouts’ family engagement plants with partner schools through volunteer and special event opportunities in the school gardens/ They will leverage the service of 300 volunteers throughout our network of 22 partner schools in order to engage in garden education and building projects. Learn more here.
3. Nutrition Education Fruitful Data Systems AmeriCorps VISTA, Farm Fresh Rhode Island (Providence Rhode Island)
Farm Fresh Rhode Island seeks an analytical and thoughtful Nutrition Education Fruitful Data Systems AmeriCorps VISTA with demonstrated initiative and clear organizational communication skills to increase Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s capacity to make data-driven decisions. An integral part of Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s team, our nutrition education department works with community institutions and the public school system to ensure greater access to healthy locally grown food across populations. This position offers a unique opportunity to design a sustainable data management system to catalog efforts and successes, helping us research the changing food landscape by identifying key farm to school stakeholders and advocates in RI. Learn more here.
Junior Iron Chef Competition Highlights Minnesota's Innovative Approach To School Lunch
On Thursday night in Minneapolis, teams of middle schoolers and professional chefs competed in an Iron Chef-style battle. The winning dish will go on the school lunch menu. Yup, fresh, creative food in the cafeteria. Minneapolis Public Schools is teaming students with local chefs. (CBS Minnesota)
Growing season on North Carolina college farm
The Guilford College Farm is home to healthy foods served in the cafeteria, including kale, lettuce and beets. It’s also a place where a wide range of students are able to experience growing and maintaining fruits and veggies for the College. Once the food is harvested, it is washed, weighed and bagged for the cafeteria and for storage. (The Guilfordian)
Washington students help grow fresh produce for their community
There's a growing effort at a high school in Burien to feed the community with fresh produce harvested by students and their neighbors. On Earth Day, students at New Start High School helped prepare the "Shark Garden" for another busy season. New Start Biology Teacher Kelsie Maney helped turn the dusty property into a vibrant community center and neighborhood green space. (King 5 News)