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National Farm to School Network

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This Week in Farm to School: 8/27/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 27, 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. 

Grants & Funding
1. 2019 CHS Foundation Classroom Grant
Deadline: September 15, 2019
CHS Foundation provides $500 grants each year to Pre-K-12 teachers who have classroom projects that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. Eligible projects include classroom and schoolyard gardens, embryology projects, aquaculture projects and agricultural literacy reading programs to name a few. Teachers have until June 30 the following year to complete the project and submit a final report. Only state-certified classroom teachers who are employed by a school district are eligible to apply. In addition, Private school teachers are also eligible to apply. Learn more here. 

2. Green Thumb Challenge Grant
Deadline: September 30, 2019
It's that time of year again! GEF and Gardener’s Supply Company have teamed up on an exciting funding opportunity for established youth garden projects nationwide! The organizations are calling on schools and youth groups to submit chronicles of their garden projects in a race to win a $500 prize. The award is designed to support the continued sustainability of an exceptional youth garden program that has demonstrated success, and has impacted the lives of kids and their community. Learn more here.

3. Head Start Gro More Good Garden Grants
Deadline: October 11, 2019
In collaboration with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening, The National Head Start Association is honored to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens to more children and families in the Head Start community. Schools, community action programs, non-profits, hospitals, community centers and inter-generational groups that hosts Head Start programs are eligible to apply. The grants awarded are in the amount of $5,000, plus a garden kit and materials and gardening educational resources. Learn more here.

4. Get Schools Cooking Grants
Deadline: October 28, 2019
A program of Chef Ann Foundation, Get Schools Cooking (previously known as the School Food Support Initiative) provides school districts with the operational foundation necessary to transition their Food & Nutrition Service Departments from a heat & serve or processed model to one that is rooted in scratch cooking using real ingredients. Through Get Schools Cooking, food service teams are guided through an intensive, three-year program. Applications for the 2019 Cohort are now open. An information webinar is scheduled for Sept. 12. Learn more here. 


Webinar & Events
1. Webinar: SGSO Network Crowdfunding Webinar
Wednesday, August 28 // 3-4 PM EST
Time and time again, the ability to raise adequate financial support tops the list of challenges of school garden programs both at individual school and SGSO levels. In this webinar we will explore the concept of crowdfunding which is a term broadly used to describe fundraising efforts focused on raising smaller amounts of money from large numbers of people frequently through online and social media efforts. This webinar is a part of the School Garden Support Organization (SGSO) Network. Register here. 

2. EQUITY Webinar: Food Sovereignty and the Role of Extension: Partnerships that Work
Monday, September 16 // 3 PM EST
Sponsored by Racial Equity in the Food System workgroup, this webinar will provide an introduction to food sovereignty, looking at how and why this principle is used in different First Nations communities. Following this introduction, two partners (one from the community and one from Extension) will describe how they have worked together on food sovereignty projects. They will describe how the partnership developed and key elements of a partnership that promotes food sovereignty. There will be time in the webinar for questions, comments, and suggestions of related resources. Register here. 

3. NFSN WEBINAR Bring Farm to School to Life with Highbush Blueberries
Thursday, October 3 // 1-2 PM ET
October is National Farm to School Month, the perfect time to host a farm to school event to celebrate healthy, local food in the cafeteria, classroom and beyond! Resources like the Highbush Blueberry Farm to School Playbook can be a great tool for helping schools of any size find small and big ways to get kids excited about where their food comes from. On this webinar, three schools will share how they’ve used the Farm to School Playbook to put together successful nutrition celebrations with blueberries. Nutrition Consultant Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, will lead a panel discussion with three rockstar school nutrition professionals, who will share easy and practical inspiration for schools looking to kickstart their farm to school programs, tips for a successful promotion and increases in school breakfast/lunch participation, and inspiration for events your students will love. This webinar is hosted by the National Farm to School Network and sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Register here. 

4. NFSN EVENT Call for Proposals: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 20-24, 2020 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, NM, April 21-23, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene nearly 1,000 diverse stakeholders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Do you have expertise to share? Conference organizers are seeking workshop and poster proposals from individuals and organizations working to improve our food system, strengthen community health, empower youth, advance equity and increase opportunities for farmers and food producers. The Request for Proposals (RFP) is open now through Oct. 4, 2019. Learn more at farmtoschool.org/conference. 

5. 2019 Western Youth Food Sovereignty Summit - Application Now Open
October 18-20, 2019 // Camp Verde, AZ
The 2019 Western Region Native Youth Food Sovereignty Summit is organized by Intertribal Agriculture Council and hosted by the Yavapai Apache Nation. At this summit, Native American youth will explore different areas of agriculture ranging from traditional foods to land stewardship techniques. This year's event is open to high school and college aged youth from the ages 13-22 living in Arizona and Utah. Participants must be enrolled in a federally or state recognized tribe or be a tribal descendant. Apply here.


Resources & Research 
1. New Research: Regional Trends in New England Farm to Institution Procurement Policy
This new report from Farm to Institution New England (FINE) and the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School analyzes state laws in the New England region intended to incentivize institutional local food procurement. The research looks at institutions broadly, though farm to school makes up a significant portion of local purchase efforts and is featured prominently throughout the regional report and accompanying state policy snapshots. Learn more here. 


Farm to School in the News
California students get hands-on gardening experience through Agriculture Academy
An elementary school is a place where a lot of growing takes place — young minds learn something new each day, students develop and mature mentally and sometimes even plants, fruits and vegetables are harvested after a strong season. Tucked behind McKinley Elementary School's classrooms is a fully functioning garden where students learn everything from loosening soil to making a delicious meal from the fruits and vegetables grown. There are even five egg laying chickens clucking around their coop. (The Bakersfield Californian)

Illinois students turn vacant lot into urban garden offering free produce to neighbors
A group of students from the Montessori School of Englewood have turned a vacant lot into something pretty spectacular. "I never had a garden. So when I heard we could come outside and plant things, that just made me happy," student Elantra House said. Through a grant from 'The Trotter Project' and master gardeners from University of Illinois, that empty lot is now an urban farm overflowing with colorful flowers and fresh vegetables. For many of the kids, it was the first time they tried a vegetable straight from the soil. (WGN9)

Montana farm to school brings 'Bozeone Ozone Bus' to Story Mill Park
"The BOB bus is our mobile greenhouse that we use for garden and nutrition education," said Madi Mathiasen, who works for Gallatin Valley Farm to School. "In the spring and fall we drive it around to elementary schools and sometimes middle schools and we do all kinds of different lessons with them." Campers harvest vegetables and herbs from the BOB bus to make healthy afternoon snacks. (KBZK)


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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