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National Farm to School Network

News

This week in farm to school: 8/18/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 18, 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. Native Agriculture & Food Systems Scholarship Program
First Nations Development Institute believes that reclaiming control over local food systems is an important step toward ensuring the long-lasting health and economic well-being of Native people and communities. The Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program encourages more Native American college students to enter agriculture-related fields by awarding five $1,000 scholarships annually to students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields. The deadline to apply is September 30. Visit First Nation’s website for more information. 

Webinars & Events
1. Webinars: The Lunch Box, Chef Ann Foundation
Recipes and Menus 
Thursday, August 27, 2-3pm EST
The Lunch Box presents recipes and menu cycles with Amy Glodde, RD, MPH, menu planner and training supervisor with Oakland Unified School District and RD consultant.  Amy will join us and discuss recipe writing in the scratch-cooking environment; creating menu cycles that feature your favorite farm to school ingredients; navigating The Lunch Box recipe database and more. Register here

Kids Eat Real Food – Marketing and Lunchroom Education 
Thursday, September 24, 2-3pm EST
Join Curry Rosato, Farm to School and Events Coordinator and Chef Ann Cooper, Director of Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO to learn the techniques that have brought Boulder’s kids back to the lunch program and raised participation every year since 2009.  Learn marketing best practices and turn your students into “real food” aficionados. Register here

2. Urban Food Systems Symposium, June 22-25, 2016, Olathe, KS
Kansas State University is holding an Urban Food Systems Symposium on June 22-25, 2016 to bring together a national and international audience of academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and the role they play in global food security. This symposium includes knowledge on: urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, and food access and justice. Learn more here

3. NESAWG 2015 Conference, November 13-14, Saratoga Springs, NY
It Takes a Region Conference: Putting MOVE in the Movement
Civil rights, labor, women’s rights—the movements that transformed our world can give us insight on ways to accelerate food systems change.  What can we learn from leaders past and present? At this year’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conference (Nov 13-14), learn and strategize with hundreds of attendees—from farmers to researchers to policymakers—as we work to build a movement and realize the change we want to see. Shirley Sherrod, a longtime civil rights activist and advocate for family farms and food justice, will deliver the keynote speech. Register before October 3 and get the Early Bird discount. Visit the conference website for more information. 

Research & Resources
1. Poll: Nine out of 10 Americans want to keep school meals healthy
new national survey commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation shows that people in the United States overwhelmingly support current efforts to keep school meals healthy. Among the key findings: 86 percent support today’s school nutrition standards, which are helping more than 31 million kids get their daily nutrition through healthy school meals and 88 percent support government-funded farm to school programs. See the results of the 2015 Food Poll here

2. New USDA local procurement guide available Just in time for the new school year, our revised guide, Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs, is now available and can help you decide how to buy local for your program. The guide covers procurement basics, defining local, where to find local products, and the variety of ways schools can purchase locally in accordance with regulations. This revision incorporates information about micro-purchases, buying local foods for child care and summer meal programs and more real-world examples. Check out the new guide for sample solicitation language, detailed geographic preference examples and helpful resources. 

3. Study: School fresh fruit, vegetable program cuts childhood obesity rates
In a state with some of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation, a new study shows that a program bringing fresh fruits and vegetables into Arkansas schools not only lowers obesity rates, it can also save hundreds of dollars per child each year to prevent obesity. Read more about the study here

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

Jobs & Opportunities 
1. Senior Food & Environment Outreach Coordinator, Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists uses the power of knowledge to demonstrate the true costs of the current food and agriculture system and show how to achieve a healthier, more sustainable and science-based system. The Senior Outreach Coordinator’s critical focus is to conceive, plan, and implement outreach activities aimed at transforming our agricultural system into a more sustainable and equitable enterprise. On behalf of an 11-person team and under the supervision of the Campaign Manager, the Senior Outreach Coordinator carries out online activism, builds relationships with key constituencies, leads visibility efforts at professional society meetings, and coordinates with allied organizations. Learn more about the position here.

2. Food Systems Volunteer Field Specialist, South Dakota State University Extension  
South Dakota State University Extension is seeking a Food Systems Volunteer Field Specialist. They are looking for an individual to join them in growing their Healthy Food, Healthy Families, and Healthy Communities initiative by cultivating a more formal process for volunteer management to increase the capacity of our organization’s food systems efforts. This position will be located in Sioux Falls, SD, but will coordinate state-wide volunteer outreach activities. Learn more about the position here

Farm to school in the news
More Americans support farm-to-school programs, report says
Nearly nine out of 10 people want to see an increase in farm-to-school food programming in the U.S., according to national survey results released Tuesday. The poll — commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation — asked 1,200 adults across the country for their opinions on school nutrition standards and healthy food educational programs. (via USA Today)

Accessible garden a hit with special needs students
For students with special needs, planting, tending and harvesting in the garden can be difficult. But at Haverhill High School (Mass.), handicap-accessible garden beds & dedicated teachers are helping students earn their green thumbs and enjoy the fruits of their labor. (via The Haverhill Gazette)

Building A Successful Farm To School Movement: One Person, One Plot, One Policy At A Time
Chaffee County, Colorado is building a successful farm to school programs with supportive school district administration, a strong school wellness policy, a food service director passionate about incorporating locally grown foods into school meals, and buy-in from local residents, businesses, and nonprofits. (via Health Affairs Blog)

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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