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National Farm to School Network

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This Week in Farm to School: 6/16/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 16, 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 Nourishing Neighbors Program to Support Summer Meals
Deadline: June 22 
Nourishing Neighbors (formerly known as Hunger Is), an initiative of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, has established a fund to help local families impacted by the current crisis. This new opportunity is specifically aimed at increasing participation in, and access to, the Summer Meals Programs this summer. Intermediary organizations, sponsors, and schools can apply for funding. Learn more and apply. Contact Christy.Duncan-Anderson@albertsons.com with additional questions. 

2. USDA Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
USDA NIFA's 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.

3. COVID-19  NFSN COVID-19 Relief Fund
Deadline: July 6
Round two of the National Farm to School Network's COVID-19 Relief Fund application is now open. Organizations that seek financial support of their efforts to connect kids and their families to just food through the support of local farmers and food systems are welcome to apply. In our commitment to standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Native communities, where the coronavirus has had devastating impacts, organizations that directly serve and are led by Black people and Indigenous people will be prioritized in application review. Learn more and apply.

4. USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: July 6
USDA has announced 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. The close date is July 6. Learn more and apply here.

5. COVID-19 Reinvestment Fund's 2020 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program
Deadline: July 10
The 2020 HFFI round has $3 million in grant funds available (grants from $20,000-$200,000) for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill. A webinar will be held on June 2 at 2 p.m. EST to confirm details about the application process and answer questions. No registration is required to join and a recording of the webinar will be accessible using the same link. Learn more and apply here


WEBINARS & EVENTS
1. EQUITY Interview with Ervin Watson on Implicit Bias and Inclusion
June 17 // 7 PM ET
Join Dalia Kinsey, RD, LD, SNS in an interview with Ervin Watson about implicit bias and inclusion. This will be a safe space for asking questions about bias and working toward change. 
Watch the interview live and interact in the chat either on Youtube or Facebook

2. Prescott College's Food Systems Friday Webinar Series
June 19 // 12 PM PDT
Join Dr. Robin Currey, Director of the MS in Sustainable Food Systems program at Prescott College, as the "Food Systems Fridays" series moderator for Episode 11 of Food Systems Friday. Learn more and register. Recordings of past webinars in the series are also available here

3. EQUITY White Fragility Conversation Group
June 24 // 4pm ET
What is white fragility? And how does it show up at your farm? Watch this video from Dr. Robin Diangelo, author of White Fragility, then join this discussion space with the Farm-Based Education Network. Register here

4. EQUITY Justice in Farm-Based Education: Roundtable Discussion
June 25 // 4pm ET
How can the Farm-Based Education Network support you as you identify and dismantle oppressive systems in your farm community? Join the Roundtable Discussion, facilitated by the Farm-Based Education Network, to share your thoughts. Register here. 

5. Webinar: Resources for Cultivating Conservation
June 18 // 1PM CT
Join the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service for a unique session with women conservationists as they discuss how to make a conservation plan for your land, find resources, and access funding to protect your land for future generations. Learn more and register.

6.  EQUITY Webinar: HEAL Food Alliance: BIPOC Producers - Sowing the Seeds of Liberation
June 18 // 1 PM ET
Join HEAL Food Alliance in a discussion based on the second plank of HEAL’s Platform for Real Food, Opportunity for all Producers. The webinar will address:  
-How the legacy of colonization and enslavement has shaped the US food and farm system today;
-Challenges and opportunities faced by farmers and fishers who are Black, Indigenous and People of color (BIPOC); and
-Ways to support BIPOC transforming our food and farm system
Register.

7. EQUITY Community Dialogue and Story Session with Lillie Pearl Allen and Delma Jackson III
June 19 // 3PM ET
Join the Center for Whole Communities for a dialogue and story session about liberation: dreamed and realized, internal and structural, for black lives and beyond. Learn more and register.

8. COVID-19 Webinar: Planning for the Worst: What Municipal Food Policy Leaders Are Learning From the COVID-19 Pandemic
June 22 // 2PM ET
Join the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks for a panel discussion with food policy leaders from four cities who will talk about their experiences managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The presenters all hold positions within government and are members of the United States Conference of Mayors food policy working group. Learn more and register.

9. COVID-19 EQUITY Live Broadcast Series: The Hunger for Justice
A Growing Culture is hosting weekly live broadcasts with activists at the frontlines of the food movement and COVID-19 - a series called The Hunger for Justice. Watch past episodes and learn about upcoming ones here

10. COVID-19 EQUITY Virtual Intertribal Food Summit
June 20, 2020
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) has announced its Inaugural Virtual Intertribal Food Summit to be held Saturday, June 20 in the wake of challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants can attend this no-cost, virtual event across multiple platforms, including the live roundtable discussions via Zoom and Facebook Live. Presentation recordings will be available on YouTube, as well as on IAC’s new, “Resiliency through Agriculture E-Learning Platform." Register here


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 EQUITY Backgrounder: How Food Sovereignty Activists See The Crisis as a Pivotal Moment for Change
This new special edition Backgrounder from FoodFirst covers the experiences and insights of farmers and farmworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is all shining a light on the fact our food system has to be changed. What exists is good for a market-based economy, but it’s not good for people." Read more

2. COVID-19 NFSN Local Food in COVID-19 Response and Recovery
This fact sheet outlines some of the promising practices that school nutrition providers, early care and education centers, community partners, and state agencies have seen during COVID-19 while supporting local farmers and producers in accessing markets, while supporting families in accessing healthy food. View the resource.

3. COVID-19 NFSN The Significance of Farm to Early Care and Education in the Context of COVID-19
As always, farm to ECE is a tool to meet the goals, vision, and values of an ECE. Included in this factsheet are reasons farm to ECE is even more relevant during a pandemic and a post-pandemic world in supporting providers in meeting the needs of children and families. This information can provide talking points and help you connect to interested providers, families, communities, and stakeholders to help build or rebuild farm to ECE initiatives and activities.
View the resource.

4. COVID-19 New Resources: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time for Children During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
The United States Department of Agriculture is working with state child nutrition agencies to provide safe and flexible meal service to children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These tip sheets provide information about using bulk foods and distributing multiple meals at a time.
1) For the Child and Adult Care Food Program
2) For the Summer Food Service Program
3) For the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program

5. Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) Resiliency through Agriculture: E-Learning Platform  
This resource is an ongoing learning-in-motion platform for everyone interested in broadening their agricultural horizons with pragmatic, applicable ideas that can be brought home to improve the lives of Tribal members across the country. The E-Learning Platform is accessible through a web browser or mobile app by either downloading and installing the Mighty Networks app from your mobile device’s app store. Learn more.

6. Film: Fertile Ground
Fertile Ground takes a look at the extensive impact that industrial food systems currently have on Americans. The film follows advocates in Jackson, Mississippi who are using localized efforts to address food insecurity in under-served communities, shining a light on the potential for a healthier future through efforts to convert to communal, localized food systems. View the trailer. View the film. Learn more.

7. Call for Proposal: Transforming School Food Politics Around the World
Deadline: July 15
Sarah Robert and Jennifer Gaddis seek contributions for a second volume, tentatively titled Transforming School Food Politics Around the World. This edited volume will contain a curated collection of case studies that can help scholars, activists, policymakers, and students envision and create school food programs that are fair, culturally relevant, healthy, and sustainable.  View the full call for proposals. 

8. Podcast: Food Sleuth Radio 
Thursdays // 5PM CT
On June 18, hear from Judy Juanita, MFA, former Black Panther member as she describes the Panthers' free breakfast program for poor children, the historical struggles of Black people in the U.S., and food's role in promoting social justice in the Berkeley Food Institute keynote: "Black Liberation and the Food Movement." View archives here

9. Article: Online Grocery Shopping by NYC Public Housing Residents Using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits: A Service Ecosystems Perspective
This paper examines adoption of online grocery shopping, and potential cost and time savings compared to brick and mortar food retailers, by New York City public housing residents using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Read more.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are grounded in a central goal of continuing to advance towards strong, just local and regional food systems. There is a need for immediate relief to the people most impacted by this crisis, while building towards longer-term policies that strengthen a resilient, just food system. As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. Our federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice by endorsing our federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate for key food systems priorities on Capitol Hill. Sign on here

2. COVID-19 USDA Extends Additional Flexibility for Feeding Children
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced a nationwide extension of another key flexibility for USDA’s child nutrition programs. This waiver allows local partners the ability to continue serving free meals to all children – regardless of where they live – through August 31. Read more here


In The News
How Food Hubs and Co-Ops Are Overcoming the USDA Farm Box Program’s Flaws
Despite a botched launch and execution, some small distributors are making big strides in supporting small farms and feeding hungry people. (Civil Eats)

UC Davis Professor Says Food Should Be Integral Part of School Curriculum
“Food for thought” shouldn’t just be a thought; it should be an integral part of any school curriculum,” says UC Davis agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen, an associate professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. In a newly published article on “The School of Food” in Futurum, Nansen advocates that all school curricula be “rooted in a single dominator: food.” (Daily Democrat)

Colorado State Joins National Team Studying Pandemic’s Effects on Local Food Systems
Colorado State University food systems researchers are sharing in a $1 million cooperative research agreement to conduct a national study on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on local food systems. Some of the major partners include the Farmers Market Coalition; the National Farm to School Network; the National Grocers Association and the James Beard Foundation. (Colorado State University)

Uncertainty Persists Around Fall School Meal Distribution
With deadlines approaching on U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers that eased food distribution program rules for school districts while buildings were closed during the 2019-20 school year, uncertainty remains as to how meal programs should plan for the fall amid the threat of a second wave of coronavirus. (Education Dive)

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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