This Week in Farm to School: 9/8/20
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.
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 Panel: Resilience vs. Efficiency
Today! September 8 // 1pm ET
Covid-19 has shown the tension in the food system between big and rigid and small but less efficient. This panel moderated by Food Tank and hosted by Niman Ranch, will examine how we can achieve a more balanced, resilient system that is better for our health, communities, animals and food and agriculture sector workers. Learn more and register.
2. NFSN Facebook Live: How Do We End Food Apartheid In Our Communities?
Today! September 8 // 3pm ET - On Facebook
National Farm to School Network is hosting a series of Facebook Live videos this Fall to dig deeper into topics of farm to school and food justice with experts and practitioners from across the country. Join us on Sept. 8 at 3pm ET for a conversation with Qiana Mickie of Just Food about ending food apartheid in our communities. Watch live or check back later for the recording on our Facebook page.
3. EQUITY Food, Agriculture, Land and Racial Justice Story Share Series
September 8, October 13, & November 17 // 3pm-5pm ET
Join International Organic Inspectors Association, Ceres Trust, and the National Organic Coalition during September-November 2020, in their upcoming Story/Skillshares series around the broad and intersectional themes of Food, Agriculture, Land, and Racial Justice. The first story share will be on Indigenous Resistance, Resilience, and Just Transition in the Food System. RSVP here.
4. Webinar: Bringing Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness Education to Your Work
September 9 // 2pm-3:15pm ET
Join School Garden Support Organization Network and Sheri S. Dollin, M.Ed., Educational Consultant and Mindfulness Facilitator, and Sunny Wight, Co-Founder of Mindfulness First, for an overview of mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the distance learning setting. Together, participants will look at how an understanding of trauma, mindfulness and SEL can help us to manage stress while nurturing the scientifically proven “protective factors” that help prevent and manage trauma and mental health issues both for ourselves and our students. Learn more and register.
5. COVID-19 Webinar: Back-to-School Meal Service: Feeding Kids During the 2020-2021 School Year – Part 3
September 9 // 3:30 - 4:45pm ET
Join No Kid Hungry for the next webinar in their back-to-school meal service series! Participants will hear from two districts—Brandon Valley School District (South Dakota) and Vaughn Next Century Learning Center (California)— about their plans for feeding kids during the 2020-2021 school year. Learn more and register.
6. COVID-19 Webinar: Serving Meals this Fall: USDA Waiver Update
September 10 // 3pm ET
On August 31 USDA announced the extension of key waivers which will allow the continued operation of the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option through December 31, 2020. Join Food Research & Action Center and representatives from USDA for this webinar to hear the latest updates on the waivers and how they will impact meal service this fall. Register here.
7. EQUITY Black Farming: Beyond "40 Acres and a Mule"
People of African descent have a long agricultural tradition. In spite of their forced farm labor under chattel slavery in the Americas, in emancipation most African Americans returned to this tradition as independent farmers or sharecroppers. Co-sponsored with Antioch College and The National Afro American Museum and Cultural Center, this conference will be discussing the influential history of black farmers in Ohio with an emphasis on the strength of community, preparing the next generation of underrepresented farmers for the future, and cultivating the cooperative business model to promote healthy farming and sustainable businesses. There will be keynote addresses, breakout sessions, networking, a resource fair, and more! Learn more and register.
9. Webinar: Cultivating Talent — Agriculture and Applied Economics at the Nation’s 1890 Universities
September 14 // 11am ET
The 19 institutions established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890 comprise a group of historically black universities (HBCU’s) seeded with federal dollars in order to strengthen research, extension and education in food and agricultural sciences. Applied economics is an important discipline across both courses of study. The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics will bring together representatives of 1890 schools and national and regional agricultural and applied economics associations for a webinar to discuss this nexus in 1890 universities’ curriculum, as well as the greater importance of 1890 universities’ graduates in the nation’s food and commodities’ policy work. Register here.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
2. EQUITY The Center for Environmental Farming Systems' Farm to ECE Learning Bursts on Race and Equity
Check out these Learning Bursts for teachers and providers to support having conversations on racial equity, race, and justice through the pedagogy of farm to early childhood education. View the resource here.
3. NFSN Nurture Young Children's Health and Curiosity During COVID-19
Farm to early care and education offers healthy and safe outdoor activities for children and ECE staff, and connects ECEs to local food producers. This new resource from The University of Tennessee’s Maternal & Child Health Nutrition Leadership Trainee program, Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, and National Farm to School Network offers reasons why farm to ECE can be helpful during the challenges and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides tips for putting farm to ECE into action. This resource is intended for use by ECE providers. For complementary resources for ECE technical assistance providers and public health practitioners, see our The Significance of Farm to Early Care and Education in the Context of COVID-19 fact sheet. Explore the resources.
4. 10 Cents A Meal: Results, Reflections & Recommendations
A new program framework and a 2018-19 school year evaluation report from Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems describe how the 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farmers works, its impacts, and how to keep making the program stronger. Schools, policy makers, and advocates can use these documents to understand and communicate about the value and impact of the 10 Cents a Meal pilot program and similar school-based incentive programs for locally grown foods.
10 Cents a Meal Framework
10 Cents a Meal 2018-2019 Evaluation Report
5. National Center for Appropriate Technology's (NCAT) Farm to Healthcare Tips Playlist
NCAT recently uploaded a farm to healthcare playlist on food service tips featuring Seth Bostick during his time as Executive Chef at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Farm to Hospital programs are gaining ground nationwide as fresh, local food plays an increasingly vital role in hospitals’ missions to improve the health of their patients. Seth shares food service tips relevant to all institutions interested in starting or growing their local food purchases. For more information and resources, check out the Montana Farm to Cafeteria Manual.
6. COVID-19 USDA Launches A Resource Hub on Local Food System Response to COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in partnership with 16 partner organizations, including National Farm to School Network, has launched the Local Food System Response to COVID Resource Hub designed to assist local and regional food producers as USDA and its partners develop, share and assess resources on local and regional food system responses to COVID-19. This searchable database contains insights and educational material to help local and regional food producers and businesses adapt their market strategies in the current environment. Learn more.
7. Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition's Student Research and Writing Awards
Deadline: September 18
The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition has 3 awards for undergraduates and graduate students (MA/MS, PhD) who have researched and written about food security, food justice, the right to food in international and domestic contexts, and/or a variety of related issues. These awards are for completed research and for new and ongoing projects. Learn more and apply here.
8. EQUITY Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) Call for Volunteer Equity Advisors
JAFSCD is looking for two volunteers to develop and conduct an annual equity and engagement evaluation to oversee the implementation of JAFSCD’s Equity Agenda. Developed by the JAFSCD Shareholder Consortium, the Equity Agenda includes a specific set of strategies, policies, and goals to increase our engagement (via authoring, reviewing, reading, advising) with diverse people, focusing on communities of color. The Equity Advisor(s) will establish a SMART metrics tracking system and measure our progress toward these goals on an annual basis. The ongoing work will include helping JAFSCD leadership make midcourse corrections in strategy that maximize diversity and real engagement with food systems practitioners, activists, scholars, and students who are underrepresented in scholarly research. To apply, send an email expressing your interest and availability, and attach a résumé or CV to Duncan Hilchey at email@example.com.
1. COVID-19 USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through December 31, 2020
On August 31, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend several flexibilities through as late as December 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months. Additional waivers available through the end of 2020, or until available funding runs out includes:
- Allowing SFSP and SSO meals to be served in all areas and at no cost;
- Permitting meals to be served outside of the typically-required group settings and meal times;
- Waiving meal pattern requirements as necessary; and
- Allowing parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children.
2. 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.
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.
1. 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. While Groundwork Center is located in northwest Michigan, consideration will be given to candidates who need to reside elsewhere in Michigan. Learn more about the position, salary range, and how to apply here.
2. CDC Food Insecurity - Nutrition and Obesity Fellowship (Atlanta, GA)
Deadline: September 25, 3pm ET
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 here.
In the News
Making Reopening Schools Easier With Farm to School Program
"The need for more outdoor learning is bringing new schools and classrooms into the world of Farm to School (FTS), which has already established curriculums, lessons, and activities that are ready to be implemented. Forest schools and long-standing FTS programs have experience bringing students outside in different weather conditions and know how to adapt spaces cheaply to create weather-protected outdoor classrooms." (Brattleboro Reformer)
“Meet Your Farmer” Videos Connect Kids with Farms During COVID
The videos are lively and colorful and really make you feel like you’re at the farm. They’re also a jumping off point to take this experiential knowledge to the next level. Below each video, there are links to Growing Minds lesson plans for various ages that go into more depth on the topics that are covered in the video. For example, Anna Littman’s video is paired with lesson plans about soil exploration and starting seeds. (ASAP Connections)
On the Site Where a Looted Liquor Store Once Stood, Teens Now Run Austin Harvest, an Open-Air Market Stocked With Produce, Flowers and Hope
In looking for ways to help push the growing fallout of George Floyd in a positive direction, a Chicago Bears linebacker approached an afterschool program director, who suggested they use healing circles to get young people talking. Through these discussions, the kids had an idea to use a recently looted liquor store, and in its place, they built an open-air market that sells fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks and drinks, and locally sourced flowers. (Chicago Tribune)
Opinion: Coronavirus Comes for the Farmers’ Market
Across the U.S., small farmers who built businesses marketing locally grown produce are struggling to stay afloat. They aren’t the largest source of America’s food supply. But they’re undeniably important, both to the economy and to the development of healthy and robust food systems. So far, though, the federal government has largely overlooked them in favor of larger farms and agribusinesses. As Congress mulls new ways to assist employers, specialty farms should be included in small-business support programs. (Bloomberg)
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.