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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 9/15/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 15, 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. Food 4 Families Initiative: Youth Funding Opportunity
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) in partnership with Farm-Aid, Indian Land Tenure Foundation, and First Nations Development Institute is proud to announce the “Food 4 Families” initiative. While funds last, IAC is awarding coupons to cover processing fees of eligible show animals. Are you a Tribal youth that is an active 4H/FFA member in Indian Country? Did you have a recent COVID-19 related cancellation of your local live auction prevent you from marketing your 2020 4H/FFA Livestock Animal? If you answered YES to both questions, you qualify to apply! Learn more and apply.

2. 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.

3.  Voices for Healthy Kids' Policy Campaign Grant
Short Form Application Deadline: September 30
The Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income. To learn more about the Voices for Healthy Kids policy areas - please review the descriptions in the policy lever agenda. Applications can be submitted for $50,000 - $200,000 for a duration of up to 18 months and can support non-lobbying and lobbying activities. Learn more and apply.

4. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Call for Proposals: Community Solutions for Health Equity
LOI deadline: October 7
With Community Solutions for Health Equity, RWJF seeks to make local health care systems more responsive to the needs of the community by elevating the voices, stories, priorities, and knowledge of people of color, and others who are left out of policy decisions. The Foundation's funding will provide community organizations with grant support to help increase their ability to organize members, build partnerships with other constituencies, and develop effective communication-all of which are critical to shared decisionmaking. Nine organizations will be given $300,000 each over the course of three years as part of the program. The Foundation is interested in engaging diverse groups and organizations, including those that have limited experience receiving grants of this size. Learn more and apply.

Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 Washington Post Facebook Live: Fighting Food Insecurity
September 15 // 12:45pm ET
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in the United States. General economic hardship, school closures and overwhelmed food banks have left the most vulnerable increasingly at risk. Join Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers who will explore unexpected aspects of food insecurity – from hidden hunger on college campuses to the impact on over 20 million American schoolchildren who rely on free or reduced price school meals. Learn more and register.

2. EQUITY Exploring Racial Equity and Access in Our Food System: History, Land Access, and Race
September 15 // 12pm ET
This webinar will examine the impact of the long history of structural and systemic racism within the food and agricultural systems on black and brown farmers in the United States. Panelists will share their lived experiences with racism in farming and food system work, as well as barriers faced in accessing resources needed to grow and succeed. This webinar is the first of a four-part series on Exploring Racial Equity and Access in our Food System. Learn more and register.

3. COVID-19 Virtual Gathering: In-Person Outdoor Instruction During Covid
September 16 // 2pm ET
This Virtual Gathering will start with an overview of resources shared via School Garden Support Organization Network's channels, then transition to quick overview of what a handful of organizations are doing already. If you'd like to share during this time, please indicate so in the registration. Lastly, there will be Breakout Rooms to brainstorm strategies together, and then share back to the whole group Register and learn more here!

4. Eat Local Massachusetts Presents: A Virtual Facility Tour of City Fresh Foods
September 17 // 12pm ET
The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts is organizing a virtual tour of the City Fresh Foods facility in Boston as part of the statewide Eat Local MA Campaign. City Fresh Foods works to deliver fresh, wholesome meals to childcare centers, schools, and rehabilitation programs across Eastern Massachusetts. Additionally, they work to educate communities about the benefits of making healthier and more nutritional choices in their daily diets. Learn more and register

5. COVID-19 EQUITY Webinar: Dismantling and Rebuilding the Food System after COVID-19: The 5Ds of Redistribution
September 18 // 1pm ET
Some groups feel the brunt of harms in the food system caused by shocks like COVID-19 more than others. Food systems also concentrate power and resources. How might redistribution of risks and benefits play a role in building resilient food systems? Join experts Dr. Charlotte Coté, University of Washington, Dr. Ernesto Méndez, The University of Vermont, Dr. Sieglinde Snapp, Michigan State University, Dr. Mary Hendrickson, University of Missouri, and Dr. Neva Hassanein, University of Montana in discussing redistributive policy tools towards the “5D of Redistribution”: Decolonization, Decarbonization, Diversification, Democratization, and Decommodification. Learn more and register.

6. EQUITY NESAWG Sankofa Webinar Series: Youth and Food Justice Education
September 22 // 4-5:30pm ET
NESAWG is launching the first webinar from their new Sankofa Series on Tuesday, September 22, from 4-5:30pm. In this Back to School webinar, learn how education is the key as we take a look at food sovereignty from the youth of VietLead and their work at Resilient Roots Farm. Hear from Tobias Fox, founder of the Newark Science and Sustainability organization. He will share the importance of education in his work, teaching sustainable living practices and how we can create self-sustaining communities. Register here

7. COVID-19 Stepping Up To Contract Seed Production: A Forum for Midwest Growers
September 24 // 4:30pm ET
The COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for seeds in 2020 to an unprecedented degree. As seed companies assess their needs for replenishing seed stocks, farmers at all scales are considering producing seed for their own use or for sale to seed companies. This forum is designed to provide beginning or intermediate seed growers with a foundation in how to pursue, negotiate and deliver on seed contracts. The conversation is targeted toward growers in the Midwest region, but will be useful to growers in other regions as well. Learn more and register.

8. Dig In! Conference 2020
September 26 // 8:30am-1pm ET
The Poe Center is excited to continue the tradition of the Dig In! conference, previously hosted by Advocates for Health in Action. Dig In! is an educational event focused on school, community, and childcare gardening, as well as urban agriculture. As a leader in nutrition education, the Poe Center’s work in our unique GrowWELL teaching garden and themed-educational theaters make us a great organization to host this inspiring online event. Learn more and purchase a ticket.

9. Louisiana Farm to School Conference: Virtually Everywhere
September 30, October 1, 7, & 8 // 11am ET
The fifth annual Louisiana Farm to School Conference will be held entirely online, free of cost. The theme for the 2020 conference is “Virtually Everywhere,” and will occur in 2-hour sessions from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7 and 8. The event will emphasize the three main components of farm to school — education, school gardens and local food procurement. Hear from speakers, Helen Dombalis with the National Farm to School Network and Sunny Baker with the Mississippi Farm to School Network. Learn more and register

10. NFSN Food Justice is Racial Justice: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting
October 14, 1-3pm ET (Virtual)
How can we shift power in our communities to create a more just food system? What community capital and resources can help us create systemic change in the ways we grow, prepare and eat food? Join National Farm to School Network for a virtual Movement Meeting on Wednesday, Oct.14 from 1-3pm ET, featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist, for deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system. You’ll connect with fellow farm to school and food justice advocates from across the country, dig into conversations about what it means to shift power, and help shape the next steps of progress towards our vision of a just food system for all. This free, virtual Movement Meeting is open to everyone - no prior knowledge of farm to school needed. Register here.

11. 5th Semi-Annual (Virtual!) Alaska Food Festival & Conference
November 6-7, 2020
The Alaska Food Policy Council and Alaska Village Initiatives, Fresh, and Alaska Pacific University are partnering for the 5th Semi-Annual Alaska Food Festival & Conference. The goals of the conference and festival are to increase awareness of Alaska food issues among the general population; provide resources to increase involvement in local food issues by community members and decision makers; and increase connections and build community between the public, Alaska food businesses, NGOs, governmental entities, Tribal entities, and others to support local economic development and innovative solutions. Learn more and register here.

12. Prescott College's Food Systems Friday Webinar: Removing Politics from the Children's Menu
Webinar Recording
Join Dr. Robin Currey, Director of the MS in Sustainable Food Systems program at Prescott College, as the "Food Systems Fridays" series moderator for Episode 14 of Food Systems Friday. View the recording.

Research & Resources 
1. COVID-19 NFSN National Farm to School Network - 2020 Back to School: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19 Resource List
National Farm to School Network is compiling back-to-school resources that will be relevant to farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. See the resource list. Have resources to suggest? Please email us at

2. NFSN Vision and Key Strategies to Advance Farm to Early Care and Education
Farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) is a set of strategies and activities that include increased access to fresh, local foods through local food procurement, gardening opportunities, and food and agriculture education activities. The new resource from National Farm to School Network’s Farm to Early Care and Education Working Group share the vision for long-term impacts of farm to ECE, offer a comprehensive list of key strategies to advance towards that vision, and to elevate examples and resources that demonstrate these key strategies in action. Download the resource

3. COVID-19 EQUITY Advancing Equity in an Era of Crisis: A Guide to Equity in Remote Learning
The California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators has created a “Advancing Equity in an Era of Crisis” virtual guide that can help school administrators examine how to equitably meet the needs of all students in the 2020-21 school year. This guide pays particular attention to the digital divide, and provides strategies for ensuring equitable access to remote learning. Parents, teachers, paraprofessionals and school administrators are encouraged to use this resource as a tool to help support  all students. Read the guide here

4. COVID-19 The Common Market's COVID-19 Impact Report
The Common Market fully recognizes the role high-quality, local food can play in nutrition and overall good health. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, The Common Market has leaned on its mission to serve, and is proud to be a part of the solution. The impact illustrated reflects a collective effort, the result of mutually beneficial partnerships between local growers, community organizations and regional food hubs. Learn more here.

5. EQUITY Delivering More than Food: Understanding and Operationalizing Racial Equity in Food Hubs
How do food hubs understand racial equity and embed it in their work? Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems found that organizational history and culture, leadership, financial structure, inter-organizational dynamics, and meaningful engagement with BIPOC impacted how food hubs operationalize racial equity. Read the full report here.

6. KidsGardening's Lessons to Grow By
KidsGardening is launching Lessons to Grow By, a FREE four-month program of weekly garden-themed lessons and activities is for caregivers teaching at home, or for educators instructing via distance learning. These fun, engaging adventures are grouped around a monthly theme, featuring three hands-on activities for kids each week with supplemental suggested reading, videos, and more. Lessons to Grow By is only available by subscription. You can catch up on past week's lessons at any time, but you must subscribe to have access.

7. EQUITY W.K. Kellog Foundation's One Journey
WKKF has released a new racial equity, diversity and inclusion resource: One Journey. One Journey shares lessons from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation‘s experience with organizational leaders, human resource professionals and any individual or organization looking to advance racial equity in nonprofits, business or community groups. This guide is intended for foundations, nonprofit organizations, human resource professionals and any individual or organization looking to advance racial equity. View the resource here.

8. From Paddock to Plate Program: Feeding the Minds of Young Australians
From Paddock to Plate (FP2P) is an online resources library for primary and high school teachers and students to learn about food and agriculture in Australia, comprising more than 350 unique, thought-provoking and engaging virtual video excursions designed for the classroom. Learn more about the impacts of the program and resource here.

Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
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. A Call for Universal School Meals
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has compiled resources to advocate for universal school meals. View the resource here for data, a social media toolkit and more. 

3. NFSN A Fresh Take on Dietary Guidelines Points to Need for Farm to School
In August, National Farm to School Network submitted comments on the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee, which reviews new scientific evidence about diet's impact on health. We’re excited by these new areas of focus, and in our comments have highlighted for the Secretaries that farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) activities can help achieve these recommendations. Read more.  

Jobs & Opportunities
1. NFSN Program Manager, National Farm to School Network (Remote) 
The Program Manager will manage a portfolio of farm to school projects and ensure the project goals align with National Farm to School Network's mission and strategic priorities. The current portfolio program areas include Native Communities and agricultural producers. This is a full-time (40 hours per week), exempt position that includes benefits. Open until filled. Learn more and apply here.

2. NFSN Program Associate, National Farm to School Network (Remote, Part-Time)
The Program Associate will implement National Farm to School Network's Seed Change in Native Communities project to scale up and institutionalize culturally significant farm to school programs throughout the entire school environment and ultimately improve the nutritional health and wellness of Native youth. The Program Associate will work at the local level to expand farm to school activities: Procurement of local and traditional foods, school gardens, and agriculture and nutrition education. This is nonexempt, part-time (20 hours/week) position with a limited term ending 3/31/22. Learn more and apply here.

3. CDC Food Insecurity - Nutrition and Obesity Fellowship (Atlanta, GA)
A fellowship opportunity is currently available with the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, Georgia. This fellow will receive training and gain experience in DNPAO’s policy, systems, and environmental approach to promoting healthy food access and reducing food and nutrition insecurity. The application deadline is Sept. 25 at 3pm ET. Learn more and apply here

4. Policy Specialist, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (Michigan) 
Deadline: September 30
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities in Michigan is seeking a Policy Specialist to carry out its 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms outreach and advocacy initiative. The ideal candidate will be passionate and knowledgeable about the value of getting locally grown food to children in school and early childcare settings; experienced in public policy advocacy, networking, and facilitation; and wake up every day thinking about how to embed 10 Cents a Meal and the value of investing in healthy, locally grown food for children in school and early child care into Michigan’s identity. Learn more and apply here.

5. Advisors for Institutional Investment Accelerator Program, Wallace Center
Deadline: Oct. 12, 6pm ET
The Wallace Center is launching a new initiative aimed at catalyzing and increasing institutional investment to accelerate the development of more equitable food systems. At the core of this initiative is a cohort of six teams doing this work in their communities. As part of this program, Wallace Center is seeking advisors to support the development of the program and work with cohort team. Advisors should have deep experience working with teams and knowledge of one or more of the following areas: Institutional procurement, value chain coordination, financing food businesses and infrastructure, and developing cross-sector partnerships. The advisors would bring an anti-racist lens to their work, with a demonstrated track record of working with leaders of color and centering racial equity. Engagement for this project is November 2020 - July 2022. Applications are open through Oct. 12. Learn more here

In the News
The Silent Suffering of Cafeteria Workers
As schools navigate reopening for the fall, most coverage has focused on the safety of students and teachers. But another group on campus is also at risk. (The Atlantic)

When Boston’s Public Schools Closed in March, Their Gardens Went Untended. Then a Volunteer Effort Grew.
When Boston Public Schools closed in mid-March because of COVID-19, schoolyard gardens sat untended. On a Zoom session later that month, a group of teachers proposed to restore the neglected gardens and begin growing food for their communities. About two months later, the volunteer group was 70 members strong, and cleanup and planting at 14 schools commenced. By early August, greens and other vegetables were ready for picking. (The Boston Globe)

Edible Education Goes Online in the COVID Era
As the school year starts in the most of uncertain of times, these food and garden classes enter new virtual territory. (Civil Eats)

Opinion: USDA Makes Right Move to Mitigate Food Insecurity With Lunch Program Extension
Eliminating food insecurity in the U.S. will improve the health of millions of Americans but will only be possible if we support all the links in the food supply chain, from our farms to our children’s lunch bags. (Education Drive)

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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