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This Week in Farm to School: 7/28/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 28, 2020
SIGN UP: National Farm to School Network has 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 Emergency Funding to Support Meal Programs 
Deadline: July 31   
The National Recreation and Park Association provides emergency grants for federal nutrition plans that are at risk of reduced or disrupted operations due to the pandemic. Funding amounts are unspecified and may be used to support operating expenses such as personal protection equipment and cleaning supplies. Eligible applicants include local park and recreation agencies operating open sites, including in-person, grab and go, or pick up models, that serve meals to any and all children in their community under the age of 18 through one of the following three federal nutrition programs: Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the National School Lunch. Learn more and apply.

2. COVID-19 Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund 
Deadline: August 20
Are you a BIPOC farmer or fisherperson that has been impacted by COVID-19? The Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund is now accepting applications from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color) producers with priority for those who use sustainable, regenerative or environmentally sound practices and who contribute to their community in some way. Funded by Farm Aid, this fund will provide $500 relief payments for up to 200 applicants. Learn more and apply.

3. USDA RFA: Innovating Formal and Non-Formal Educational Experiences in Food and Agricultural Sciences During the Time of Social Distancing
Deadline: August 20 
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Education and Workforce Development RFA now includes a new program area priority to address the need to develop and deploy rapid, reliable, and readily-adoptable strategies in workforce preparation through formal K-14 education, as well as in youth development through non-formal education to cultivate interest and competencies in STEM and agriculture during this challenging time. This program area accepts new applications only. Learn more and apply. Interested applicants are invited to register for an informational webinar on July 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time.

4. USDA's Office of Partnership and Public Engagement RFA: Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program
 Deadline to apply: August 26
Via section 2501 funding, these grants support community-based and non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and Tribal entities to conduct programming to assist producers. The deadline to apply is August 26th (please note, the announcement in the Federal Register incorrectly states the deadline as September 11!) OPPE will host a call for potential applicants on July 28, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST (Telephone Number: (877) 692-8955, Passcode: 6433267). No registration needed. Learn more and apply.

5. Cigna Foundation's Healthier Kids For Our Future Grant Program
Deadline: September 30 
Cigna Foundation is looking to partner with school systems and surrounding communities — including clinicians, local and national nonprofits — to supplement existing mental health programming and help close gaps both within and outside the school environment to address loneliness, anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention. To that end, it will fund programs that foster collaboration between various stakeholders, including school administrators and teachers, clinicians, and local and national nonprofits. The grants are up to $65,000 grants per year for two years. Learn more and apply.

6. USDA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational and Applied Science Program RFA
Deadlines: Vary based on program, view RFA for details
The AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program supports grants in six AFRI priority areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Research-only, extension-only, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects are solicited in this Request for Applications (RFA). See Foundational and Applied Science RFA for specific details.


Webinars & Events
1. Horizon Summer Camp - Farm Education Video Series
July 2020
Horizon Organic is opening up the barn doors for Summer Camp! Kids and families are invited to tune-in to this summer camp video series to get a behind-the-scenes look at farm life. Throughout July, Horizon will be sharing fun and education activities - like creative ways to upcycle milk cartons, how to milk a cow, and a farm tour - on their YouTube page. Check-in weekly to see what's new at camp! Watch the summer camp video series here: www.youtube.com/HorizonDairy
2. COVID-19 USDA Adapting SNAP-Ed to COVID-19 Webinar Series
The SNAP-Ed Connection and the SNAP-Ed Toolkit invite you to join us for a 3-part webinar series where you’ll hear from state and local SNAP-Ed programs who are creating, innovating, and delivering SNAP-Ed remotely in the COVID-19 era. Register here.  The next webinar is, July 28, 1-2:30 PM EST Adapting SNAP-Ed Programming to Remote Delivery

3. One Day Workshop: Speciality Crops Challenges: Crop Insurance, Citrus Greening, Labor and Water
July 29 // 10:30AM to 6:30PM EST (7:30-3:30 PT)
The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to promote this free, one-day workshop. This program is a pre-conference online workshop ahead of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s annual meeting Aug. 10-11. There’s no fee, but admission is limited to the first 100 registrants, and organizers ask that only those who can commit to the full, day-long workshop sign up. Learn more and register.

4. Webinar: Protecting Pollinators: Nurturing Sustainable Communities with Pollinator Gardens
July 30 // 1PM EST
Join ioby and Island Press for a conversation about turning areas historically dominated by invasive species into vibrant pollinator habitats. See why these pollinators are so important not just to our natural world, but to our local neighborhoods as well. And, get perspectives from project leaders that successfully created thriving pollinator gardens in their local communities. Register here.

5. COVID-19 EQUITY Webinar: Ending the Triple Pandemic: Advancing Racial Equity by Promoting Health, Economic Opportunity and Criminal Justice Reform
July 30 // 2-3:30pm ET
Join Trust for America’s Health, American Public Health Association, NAACP, and the National Collaborative for Health Equity for a congressional briefing that will discuss the disproportionate health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Black community and other communities of color, and how structural racism drives systemic inequities in health, the economy, and criminal justice. The session will also highlight policy recommendations to move the nation toward equitable opportunity and racial justice. With remarks by the Honorable Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) and the Honorable Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). Register here.

6. National Farmers Market Week
August 2-8
National Farmers Market Week (NFMW) is an annual celebration that highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation’s food system. This year, amidst a global pandemic and nationwide unrest, it is more important than ever for markets to do their part in bringing people together safely. Learn more and participate.

7. USDA Produce Safety University Summer Series
August 4 // 2PM CST
As a supplement to the 2020 Produce Safety University (PSU) program, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Office of Food Safety (OFS) and its training partners – the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Chef Cyndie Story, PhD, RDN, CC, of Culinary Solutions, LLC. – have developed a four-part webinar series for school nutrition professionals addressing the most popular topics presented at Produce Safety University. Each webinar is an individual learning opportunity, and you can participate in one or more as you choose. There is a separate registration page for each, and all webinars begin at 2 pm CST every Tuesday in August.
August 4 - How to Use AMS Market News Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Information in School Meal Programs

8. EQUITY Webinar: From 21 to 365: The FSNE 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge - Where are we now and how are we moving from here?
August 6 // 1PM EST
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) invited those of you who took part in the FSNE 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge to join us for a participatory** online session to revisit our shared learnings from the Challenge, consider them in light of what has been happening in the weeks since, and hear from one another in small groups about how we are applying our knowledge and commitments to take action now and in the year ahead. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Please come prepared to listen, learn, be inspired and to share your thoughts if you are moved to do so.

9. Virtual Event: Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium 2020 Annual Meeting
August -September 2020
The Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium 2020 Annual Meeting (CCEEPRC 2020) will be featured as virtual events starting in July and continuing through September. This meeting is the collective effort of the Consortium – a rich network of stakeholders working in a variety of professional spaces who are committed to strengthening the bridges between child care and early education research and policies. The CCEEPRC 2020 virtual events build on continuing discussions, while also trying to foster new connections and inquiries. To this end, sessions bring together researchers, policymakers, and practitioners engaged in policy-related Child Care and Head Start research to share findings/innovations, discuss challenges and solutions, and generally make connections across projects to maximize what we can learn from OPRE-funded research. Click here for session and agenda information. 


Research & Resources
1. NFSN COVID-19 National Farm to School Network  (NFSN) COVID Support Survey
More than 100 days into the COVID-19 pandemic, NFSN remains committed to supporting you, the farm to school & ECE community, through this crisis. As a new school year approaches, we're pausing to ask - what kinds of support can National Farm to School Network provide to help you do your work in the coming months? Please take our short, 8 question survey to share your feedback!

2. No Kid Hungry Back to School Resources
These resources are designed to help schools and child nutrition program operators navigate the unprecedented challenges of School Year 2020-2021 and ensure that children continue to receive the nutrition they need. No Kid Hungry will continue adding new resources and updating this page. View the repository here.

3.  COVID-19 North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE): Environmental Education Guidance for Reopening Schools
Reopening schools will require new or modified procedures for everything from classroom configuration and educational plans to arrival and departure schedules, transportation, and health screenings. Community-based environmental and outdoor education programs can help to address these dire needs and discrepancies through innovative partnerships and educational investments and policies. This guide, developed by NAAEE and members of its Affiliate Network, presents information and strategies for how community-based environmental and outdoor education programs can help schools to equitably reopen during and after the COVID-19 crisis.  Read more.

4. COVID-19 Call for Papers: Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development  (JAFSCD) Call for Papers on COVID-19 and the Food System
Deadline: September 30
JAFSCD is calling for four types of submissions related to COVID-19 and the Food System. Three options for immediate publication are COVID-19 Policy and Practice Briefs, COVID-19 Voices from the Grassroots essays, and COVID-19 Commentaries. The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching community safety nets to the breaking point and even snapping them. Even the mainstream food supply is threatened, as farmers who have been dealing with distortions in the global food system due to trade wars and climate change are scrambling to find and protect laborers who are the backbone of the food supply. JAFSCD would like to share how the good food movement is responding to these issues. Learn more.

5.  COVID-19 Green Schoolyard Americas COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Resources and Guidance
Schools across the United States are facing an uphill battle as they figure out how to navigate COVID-19 physical distancing requirements that will allow students to return to campus. Repurposing outdoor spaces is a cost-effective way to reduce the burden on indoor classrooms while providing fresh air, hands-on learning opportunities, and the health benefits associated with increased access to nature. This webpage shares information for the new National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative. Learn more.

6. Help Michigan State University Extension Learn More About Farm to Institution Produce Safety
Deadline: August 31
Do you purchase fresh produce for an institution or know someone that does? Participate in a national survey about institutional food safety programs to inform educational initiatives for fresh produce buyers. The aim of this survey is to gather data on accepted food safety verification programs for fresh produce, awareness of the program’s requirements for farms, and confidence in these verification programs. Please consider taking and/or sharing a survey by the Michigan State University Extension about food safety requirements for suppliers. All of the questions are in multiple choice format and the survey will take an estimated time of 7 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous and participation is completely voluntary. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the survey, feel free to contact Mariel Borgman from MSU Extension at mborgm@msu.edu. Learn more.

7. EQUITY Indigenous Futures Survey Research Project
Deadline: August 1
IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance, and Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth are partnering with acclaimed researchers Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) of the University of Michigan and Dr. Arianne Eason of the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct the Indigenous Futures Survey -- a groundbreaking research project for Native peoples by Native peoples. The 15-20 minute survey launched Tuesday, June 23, 2020 and will close on August 1, 2020. IFS researchers are looking to reach as many Native relatives as possible, and are seeking to partner with organizations and tribal leaders to help disseminate the survey to at least 2,000 participants 18 years of age and older. IFS disseminating organizations and tribes can request access to data collected from the survey to be helpful to their future work. To participate in the IFP survey dissemination, or have questions regarding the survey, please email indigenousfuture@aspeninstitute.org or call (202) 736-2905. Learn more and take the survey.  

8. Resource: Tips for Caring for a Garden with Young Children
Need a break from the virtual world? Georgia Organics and Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education have developed some simple tips for gardening with toddlers to fiver-year olds. Check out the video here.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. National Farm to School Network's 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. Call for Nominations: USDA's National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board (NAREEEAB) Vacancies 
Deadline: July 31 
NAREEEAB provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on top priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension, and economics. The NAREEEAB's main objective is to contribute to effective federal agricultural research, education and economics programs through broad stakeholder feedback and sound science in its ongoing role as advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture. The Advisory Board also, by law, provides reports and recommendations to the appropriate agricultural committees of the U.S. Congress. Membership categories include representatives from: National Farm or Producer Organizations, Academic or Research Societies, Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education, and Industry, Consumer, or Rural Interests. Many members have diversified expertise and occupations and are well-respected leaders in their respective areas. There are currently fourteen vacancies on the NAREEE Advisory Board. View the Federal Register.

3. National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs; National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021)
The annual payments and rates adjustments for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs reflect changes in the Food Away From Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The annual rate adjustment for the Special Milk Program reflects changes in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products. The payments and rates are prescribed on an annual basis each July. Overall, reimbursement rates this year for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs either remained the same or increased compared to last year while the rate for the Special Milk Program went down slightly. Learn more.

4. Minnesota Department of Agriculture Offers Grant to Support Farm to School Connections
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has released a grant for both schools and food vendors. The Department of Ag hopes this grant will help communities grow and strengthen farm to school connections across Minnesota. Read more.

5. United Nation's Policy Brief on Food Insecurity
There is more than enough food in the world to feed the world’s population of 7.8 billion people. But, today, more than 690 million people are hungry, the food systems are failing, and the Covid-19 pandemic is making things worse. It is increasingly clear that we must act now to address the impending global food emergency and avoid the worst impacts of the pandemic, the Secretary-General stresses in his latest Policy Brief on Food Security. Read more.


In The News
The Last Mile
National Farm to School Network's Policy Team have written an op-ed on how the last mile– between food distribution sites and their front doors – can be the hardest for students and families as well as food distributors. "During and after this public health crisis, public investments should increase the capacity of local and regional food systems to bridge that last mile." Read more.

Stories from the Front Lines: Betti Wiggins
Betti Wiggins, current director of food & nutrition services for the Houston Independent School District and former National Farm to School Network Advisor, talks about her career and her challenges as a Black woman taking her up through the industry from segregated hospital kitchens in the early 1970s through receding but still real discrimination in the following decades. (Food Management)

Millions of Kids May Lose Out on Free Meals as They Return to School
During the spring and summer, as the coronavirus health crisis exploded, the government allowed most families to pick up free meals from whichever school was closest or most convenient without proving they were low-income. But that effort is on the verge of expiring as states prepare for children to return to school, and as school systems are pushing the federal government to continue the free meals program through the fall. (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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