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National Farm to School Network

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This Week in Farm to School: 7/16/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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. 

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: State Local Purchasing Incentive Bills 
Thursday, August 1 // 1-2 PM ET
Providing an increased meal reimbursement to schools and early care and education sites purchasing and serving local foods not only increases the amount of fresh, local foods in meal program, but can provide increased revenue streams for local producers. Many states are exploring or pursuing local food incentive bills and a few states have passed and implemented successful legislation, providing important models for future legislation. In this webinar, presented by the National Farm to School Network, we’ll hear from key stakeholders about the passage and enactment of the MI Ten Cents a Meal Program and the New Mexico Grown Local Produce Grant. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

2. Call for Proposals: 2020 Green Schools Conference and Expo
March 2-4, 2019 // Portland, Oregon
The 2020 Green Schools Conference & Expo is coming to Portland! Mark your calendars for March 2-4. What’s more, you have the chance right now to be part of the conference program. Session proposals are being accepted until July 22nd that focus on what it means to be a green school: efforts to reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness, increase sustainability literacy, and address whole-school sustainability. This year, bonus points will be given to sessions that address the conference’s four priority topics for 2020: student leadership, career & technical education, climate change education, and equity and inclusion. Read more information and submit your session here.

3. First Nations Food Sovereignty Summit
September 23-26, 2019 // Green Bay, Wisconsin
First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin (Oneida) again are co-hosting the national Food Sovereignty Summit. It will be held September 23-26, 2019, at the Radisson Hotel in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The conference workshops are divided into three tracks: Sustaining Food Systems, Strengthening Tribal Sovereignty, and Caring for Our Lands. Full information and a registration link can be found here.

4. NFSN EVENT Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 20-24, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 20-24, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Do you have expertise to share? We’ll be seeking proposals for conference content (workshops, posters, etc.) from stakeholders interested in sharing their models and strategies for making farm to cafeteria initiatives a reality in their communities. The Request for Proposals will open in August. Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque!


Resources & Research
1. Call for Resources: Farm to School/ECE Procurement and Child Nutrition Program Resources  
In partnership with National Center for Appropriate Technology, National Farm to School Network was recently awarded a cooperative agreement with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) to develop a Farm to School Producer Training Program. Our first step is aggregating farm to school/ECE training resources that have content focused on USDA Child Nutrition Programs and local procurement. We are especially interested in content targeted at farmers and producers. Please send any and all relevant resources (name of resource and link) to Jenileigh Harris, NFSN Program Intern, at programs@farmtoschool.org.

2. EQUITY Article: It’s Great That We Talk About ‘Food Deserts’ — But It Might Be Time To Stop
The common belief is that providing low-income neighborhoods with supermarkets will solve food deserts, but studies show this can have little effect. What actually causes food inequality goes beyond location, and extends to bigger structural inequalities around income, education, nutritional knowledge and, importantly, race. Read more here

3. NFSN RESOURCE Farm to ECE Procurement Blog Series 
Early care and education (ECE) sites are leading the way with innovative approaches to connect children and their families to local food and local food producers. National Farm to School Network's Farm to ECE Procurement Blog Series highlights successes and key learnings from farm to ECE programs and partners across the country. Explore the blog series here.


Policy News
1. Take Action for Farm to School in the next CNR
National Farm to School Network is taking steps now to ensure that the next Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR) strengthens farm to school opportunities across the country! Farm to school activities – including procurement of local food for school meals, school gardens, and food and agriculture education – have been proven to help students build healthy eating habits and support family farmers by expanding market opportunities. You can help! Endorse the Farm to School Act of 2019 (S. 2026, H.R. 3562) and Kids Eat Local Act (S.1817, H.R. 3230) to encourage members of Congress to provide the federal dollars needed by community-grown initiatives. Have another five minutes? Make a quick call to your members of Congress to ask them to co-sponsor these bills! Learn more about farm to school opportunities in the next CNR here


Farm to School in the News
Florida farm to school 'revolutionary"
Twenty-nine school gardens, a new 5-acre farm and relationships with local farmers bring fresh produce to Sarasota students. “We have great relationships with their local farmers and they love working with us and providing for the children. It’s really fulfilling for them to know that their products are going right into the schools,” said Carrie McDonald, Sarasota’s farm to school coordinator. (Herald-Tribune)

Georgia elementary school to pilot new agriculture curriculum 
Musical rain catchers, hydroponic vegetable rigs and sensory gardens are among projects planned for new agriculture classes offered at a Bibb County elementary school this fall. Heard Elementary is among 20 elementary schools statewide chosen to pilot a new agriculture curriculum. Carol Dunn, the school’s new agriculture teacher, said she wants her students to understand where their food comes from. (The Telegraph)

In a New York City garden, students grow their community roots and critical consciousness
Iris, a high school student in New York City, took a course aimed at preparing public school students for college. As part of the course, she visited the Park Slope Food Co-op, among the oldest member-owned businesses in the United States. Members work monthly shifts in return for access to affordable, ethically sourced food and goods. Students enrolled in the course—called Community Roots—investigated the larger social, political and historical issues of food and place while gardening and learning about food-related activities. (Science X Daily)

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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