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National Farm to School Network

News

This week in farm to school: 8/11/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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. "It's All About the Fruits and Veggies" Garden Grant

Join Jamba Juice and KidsGardening.org as they celebrate five years of garden grants. The Fall 2015 Jamba Juice "It's All About the Fruits and Veggies" Garden Grant is an award designed to support schools, community organizations, and nonprofits in charitable and educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life in their communities. The grant program is open to schools, community organizations, and non-profit programs in the United States gardening with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. Applications are due by October 2, 2015. Learn more about the grant program and apply here

2. Multiple grants available to educators, The NEA Foundation
The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation supports new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. Their goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures. Over the last 10 years, the NEA Foundation has awarded more than $7.1 million to fund nearly 4,500 grants to public school educators to enhance teaching and learning. There are multiple grant opportunities available to all eligible educational professionals. Visit the NEA Foundation website to learn more

3. Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards
Recognizing the need to raise the status of child care teachers and the need for quality child care, the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation created the Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards. Award recipients receive $1,000 - $500 for the teacher's personal use and $500 to implement a project. Learn more about the award and application process here.   
 
Webinars & Events
1. Nutrition Policy for Food Banks and Food Pantries: Free Online Course
The Nutrition Policy Institute is offering “Developing a food bank nutrition policy: A guide to procure healthful foods” as a free, online course. It will include guides, tips, example policy language, learning activities and videos to support your work and help food banks become model food provider organizations by distributing healthful foods to low-income populations in their communities. The course starts on September 14, 2015 and runs for 6 weeks. Sign up for the course here.

2. Webinar: National Collaborative for Health Equity, August 26, 2pm ET
The Place Matters Approach to Promoting Racial Equity 
This webinar will highlight the recently published report “Blueprints to Action:  Community Strategies to End Racism and Promote Racial Healing”,  a collaborative effort of the PLACE MATTERS national learning community.  PLACE MATTERS is a national initiative of the National Collaborative for Health Equity designed to build the capacity of leaders and communities around the country to identify and address the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape health and life opportunities. Learn more about the webinar and register here

3. Earn Continuing Education Units for USDA webinars
Did you know that USDA Foods webinars are eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the new Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals? Visit the Professional Standards site to download the Training Tracking Tool or view the lists of Learning Topics and Learning Objectives. Archived USDA Foods webinars are available in the Food Distribution playlist on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service YouTube channel

Research & Resources
1. "Food for Thought, Food for Life" documentary available
Food for Thought, Food for Life, a new documentary directed by Susan Rockefeller, is an informative call-to-action film created to help us think differently about what we eat, and to make changes that will positively impact our health, environment and communities. This 20 minute film is available for free to farmers, nonprofits, educators, businesses and individuals. Visit the film’s website to learn about hosting a screening in your community.

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

2. Stakeholder Input Sought for Promise Zones Third Round Application Process
Public comments are now being accepted on the proposed selection process, criteria, guides and submissions for the third and final round of the federal Promise Zone Initiative led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the USDA. This is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback and suggestions on how federal agencies can better work in partnership with local leaders in high-poverty communities to leverage private investments that create jobs, increase economic activity, improve affordable housing, increase educational opportunities, and reduce violent crime. Comments may be emailed to PromiseZones@hud.gov with ‘‘Third Round Promise Zones selection’’ in the subject line. The deadline for comments is September 28, 2015. 

Farm to school in the news
Healthy Eaters, Strong Minds: What School Gardens Teach Kids
School is still out for the summer, but at Eastern Senior High School in Washington, D.C., students are hard at work — outdoors. Read what lessons students are learning and taking home with them through summer school gardening programs. (via NPR: The Salt)

Reversing the food desert, with local produce
Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School in Illinois will become the nation's first food hub selling locally-grown food to distributors and providing the school with both free and low-cost produce for school lunches. (via The Daily Journal)

Students seeing the 'fruits' of their labor in farm program
Students at Floyd County High School in Virginia have spent their summer building infrastructure - from a shade house for apple trees they had grafted. to installing an irrigation system - for their school’s farm program. FCHS Principal Dr. Scott Watson referred to the program as a “prime example of what solid education is.” (via SWVA Today)

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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