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This Week in Farm to School: 6/9/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 09, 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 NEA Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Deadline: June 11
The purpose of the NEA Foundation’s Rapid Response Funding is to support educator-led initiatives to adapt to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer months of 2020. Among other initiatives, this may include meeting the nutritional needs of students who rely on school meals and school-based summer feeding programs. These grants will be awarded for a six-month grant period and for amounts of $1,500 to $5,000. Applicants must be teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel and must be current NEA members. Learn more here.

2. COVID-19 United Philanthropy Forum's Momentum Fund
Deadline: June 18
The Momentum Fund will provide grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that are managing an active COVID-19 fund. The grants will help these organizations build their capacity so that they can effectively grow, promote, manage and sustain their funds (whether they need to add new staff, access consulting expertise, acquire new software, etc.). Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $100,000 and a total of $8.5 million will be awarded. Learn more and apply.

3. 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.

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

6. 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. 


WEBINARS & EVENTS
1. EQUITY Webinar: Farming for Justice: From Gun Violence to Homesteading
June 10 // 12pm ET
Farmer Chantel Johnson will speak about her journey, from surviving the impacts of gun violence to creating and operating Off Grid in Color, a farming business that uses sustainability as a tool for healing and building intentional community. As a farmer, a doula and a counselor with a Masters degree in social work, Chantel embraces holistic practices including agriculture, restorative living and the power of healing. This webinar is hosted by Groundswell. Register here. 

2. Webinar: Maintaining Mental Wellness During Difficult Times (In Spanish)
June 10 // 5-7pm ET
Action for Healthy Kids is partnering with Alma Consulting Services to host a virtual Spanish-language workshop on June 10. Parents and families will learn how to handle stressful situations, prevent conflict, manage emotions and practice self-care techniques to maintain family harmony during these times. 

Manteniendo el Bienestar Mental en Nuestro Hogar Durante Tiempos Difíciles
Taller virtual para padres y familiares
10 de junio // 5-7 pm Este
Organizado por Action for Healthy Kids y presentado en español por Chely Romero de Alma Consulting Services. Vea los detalles y regístrese.

3. COVID-19 Webinar: A Shared Narrative in COVID-19 and Beyond
June 11 // 2pm ET
This webinar, hosted by Blue Sky Funders Forum will feature opportunities for organizations to message the importance of their work during COVID-19 and beyond through the Rethink Outside shared narrative. Learn more and register.

4. COVID-19 Webinar: Meeting Students’ Nutritional Needs Next School Year
June 11 // 3pm ET
Many states and school districts are beginning to plan for how to safely reopen schools in the fall. Ensuring access to school meals is a large part of this conversation. Due to the impact of COVID-19, it will be more important than ever to collaborate with district and community stakeholders to implement best practices to ensure students have continued access to the nutrition they need to thrive. Join this webinar, hosted by FRAC, to learn what’s included in the CDC's Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools, in regards to school meals, and best practices your school district can implement to meet the needs of students, including operating innovative service models and community eligibility. Register here

5. Webinar: The Essentials of Accessibility: School and Community Gardens June 16 // 1pm EST
This presentation from the University of Maine and Maine AgrAbility Program will discuss planning for school and community gardens for all users including those of all ages and abilities. The presentation includes concepts on making the garden an enjoyable destination and how assistive technology in the form of adaptive garden tools can help. Learn more and register.

6. COVID-19 Webinar: Green Schoolyards In a Post COVID-19 Era
June 18 // 2pm ET
Green schoolyards are an exceptional use of public space, creating equitable access to green space, providing places to play and learn during school time, and offering community access out-of-school time. Cities Connecting Children to Nature brings together experts from the Children & Nature Network, Landscape Architecture Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and the Austin Green School Parks program to understand what is happening with schoolyards in the face of COVID-19, and what we should aim for post-COVID-19. Register here.  

7. Webinar: Planning for the Reopening of Schools: The Importance of School Nutrition & District Leadership Relationships
June 11 // 2PM EST
As districts think through what the reopening of schools will look like, school meals must remain a service kids and families can count on. Whatever phase of back-to-school planning your district is in, it is vital to include all key stakeholders, including school nutrition leadership, to create a comprehensive and compatible plan that will best equip schools for reopening. In this interview-style webinar, you'll hear directly from a school nutrition director, superintendent and school board president about how they have worked together in the past and how they are working together now to maintain a robust child nutrition program. Learn more and register.

8. Webinar: Food Procurement for a More Just Food System
June 18 // 11am PDT
How can we use food procurement policy to drive health equity?
Join ChangeLab Solutions on discussing how institutional food purchasing can be used to build a more just food system and promote economic and health equity. Learn more and register.

9. Prescott College's Food Systems Friday Webinars
June 19 // 12pm 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.


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Producers should apply through the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center.

2. Farm to Table: A Play on Farm to School at Home
View Action for Healthy Kids' resource for adapting farm to school to farm to school at home!

3. COVID-19 Join Heal Food Alliance's Call to Actions for Worker Safety
Nearly 25,000 food workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Workers nationwide are calling for an emergency OSHA standard that gives them workplace protections. Learn more here.

4. The Movement for Black Lives' Week of Action
Racial justice is food justice. Stay in the know with M4BL's week of action and other advocacy efforts. Learn more.

5. COVID-19 CDC and Department of Labor Release COVID-19 Related Guidance for Agriculture Workers, Employers
This guidance provides a template of action to protect agriculture workers from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Agricultural employers can adopt these recommendations to protect workers at their particular work sites or in specific work or in specific work operations. View the resource.

6. COVID-19 New USDA Resource for Nonprofits Seeking Food Assistance Support
Nonprofit organizations seeking to receive food through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program can learn more about the program overview and Frequently Asked Questions available at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website. 

7. Article: Implementation of a Multi-Component School Lunch Environmental Change Intervention to Improve Child Fruit and Vegetable Intake: A Mixed-Methods Study
Nudge interventions are widely used to promote health in schools, yet implementation metrics are seldom used to understand intervention outcomes. A multi-component intervention consisting of cafeteria decorations, creative names, social norming taste tests, and flavor station components was implemented in three rural elementary school cafeterias by school nutrition services (SNS) and extension staff. Read more.

8. Vidigrow Home Gardening Videos for Parents and Kids
View Vidigrow's simple gardening activities to the school curriculum and big issues in food and farming. The videos are targeted at ages 6-12 and can be found on the Vidigrow YouTube channel. Each session is designed to work at home or in school, and *no garden is required*.

9. EQUITY COVID-19 BIPOC-Led How To Videos, Gardening Projects and Online Learning Resources
Soul Fire Farm has compiled a comprehensive list of how to videos and other online resources learning developed by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on a variety of food, farming and gardening projects. These are great resources to reference for distance agriculture education. View the list here

10. EQUITY A List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens
The United Black Library has compiled a list of black-owned farms and food gardens across the country. Nationally, Black-owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms. See the list here.

11. COVID-19 Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s Farm Finance Support Videos (Spanish)
MSU Extension has created videos on labor challenges, the Families First Act, Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Spanish speaking farmers financially affected by Covid-19. View the video series.

12. COVID-19 USDA's Seamless Summer Option: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Under nationwide non-congregate feeding and meal time waivers, state agencies may allow school food authorities to provide more than one day’s worth of meals to eligible children via a single meal pick-up or delivery. View USDA's comprehensive resource on considerations, tips, best practices, and sample menus for the National School Lunch Program: Seamless Summer Option operators who wish to distribute multiple meals at one time. Access the resource.


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 Take Action to Support CACFP in The HEROES Act
Send a letter to the Senate and the White House to support provisions that would provide financial relief for the CACFP Community including child care providers, centers, afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations. Take action here.

3. COVID-19 Policy Brief: Food and Farm Worker Protections Critical to COVID-19 Pandemic Response
A new policy statement from Johns Hopkins University experts is calling for urgent action to protect food and agriculture workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

4. COVID-19 School Nutrition Group to USDA: Provide Free Meals for All Students in 2020-21
Two more waivers allowing schools’ grab-and-go meal sites to operate are set to expire at the end of this month unless the U.S. Department of Agriculture extends them. Meanwhile, the School Nutrition Association is asking the USDA to extend 11 school meal waivers through the 2020-21 school year and provide all students with free meals. Read more.

5. COVID-19 'Not Moving Fast Enough': Millions of Children Still Without Food Aid
Millions of low-income school children are still waiting to receive federal help to buy food, even as the number of families having trouble affording groceries skyrockets. Read more.


In The News
COVID-19 Opinion: Purchasing Farm-To-Table Foods During the Pandemic Is Important
The pandemic has the power to change our relationship with food. (LA Times)

This New Site Shows Parents How to Cook Healthy, Quick, Affordable Meals
It's not easy to make healthy, quick, and affordable meals day after day, which is why so many people turn to fast food when the kids are hungry and time and the budget are both tight. Instead of wishing that kids would eat healthy mostly plant-based meals, Arielle Kestenbaum, a Registered Dietitian and certified nutritionist, launched Fare Meals by Arielle, a resource designed to help parents of young kids feed their families nutrient-dense meals on a budget. (The Beet)

COVID-19 School Lunch Programs Are Losing Millions Feeding Hungry Kids; They Could Be Broke by Fall
Still in emergency mode, school nutrition directors like Shenae Rowe, whose program has lost $500,000 since March, say they’re too overwhelmed to even begin thinking about what they’ll do when schools reopen in the fall. “Honestly, we haven’t been able to get past looking at today, day by day and week by week,” Rowe said. “We just keep going.” (USA Today)

COVID-19 Kids Could Go Hungry This Summer With School Lunch Programs in Peril
Anti-hunger advocates are warning that children won’t have access to the food they need during the summer months unless the Trump administration loosens rules for school meal programs. (Washington Post)

Local Tennessee Food Network Launches Farm to Pre-School Program
Nourishing Connection programming includes training teachers to access and implement Farm to Preschool curricula, educational outreach to parents and educators, and planting different crops three times per year. All materials and programming are provided at no cost to the programs involved thanks to multiple funders. (NWTOWN Today

COVID-19 Opinion: Why Covid-19 Threatens Military Readiness — and How School Lunch Can Help
The pandemic has exposed flaws in the federal school and summer lunch program, but we can fix them. (Politico)


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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