As the movement builds to bring local ingredients to schools across the country, this newsletter highlights pivotal policies, news, publications, and events with this month’s focus on the West Regional Lead Agency. Please contact us if you have any comments or suggestions.
VICTORY AGAINST HUNGER AWARDS
Congressional Hunger Center and Victory Wholesale Group
Twenty-five $1,000 grants will be available to organizations building innovative “farm to school” programs including anti-hunger and community food security groups, food banks, schools and other active organizations. Learn more and apply!
Illustrating the interconnection between the cafeteria, garden, and classroom, these two publications showcase farm to school as a whole systems approach.
Going Local: Paths to Success for Farm to School Programs National
Farm to School Program, Center for Food & Justice, Occidental College
and the Community Food Security Coalition.
for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden California
School Garden Network.
April 10 Online Opportunity
for Kids National Food Service Management Institute: *Topic
for April: Spring Salads*
April 11-12 NYC, NY
April 13 Portland, OR
Been and Where We’re Going: A Conversation
with Ecotrust and the Portland Culinary Alliance about farm-to-School
in Oregon: www.ecotrust.org/foodfarms
The USDA Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) needs your input! FNS is developing a report to Congress on the “best practices” and barriers involved in farm to school work, and they are looking for information from the field. Fill out the questionnaire ASAP!
Any questions? Contact Marion Kalb.
With 85 farm to school programs in action in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, California, Alaska, and Hawaii out of almost 2,000 nationwide, Ecotrust has its plate full as the Regional Lead Agency for the West. Fortunately, Ecotrust has the experience and energy to lead the farm to school efforts.
In 2001, Ecotrust launched its Food & Farms Program to stimulate a robust regional food economy by connecting farmers, ranchers, and fishermen with restaurant chefs, grocery retail buyers, institutions, schools, and distributors. Food & Farms program members envision a food system in which sustainability is the underlying value of the mainstream food system — the norm rather than the exception—one which is locally-owned, resilient, thriving, and celebrated. Read More.
Raising the Bar: Celebrating 10 Years of Healthy Eating
Interview with Dona Richwine by debra eschmeyer
One of the first farm to school programs in the country sprung forth in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) through an innovative relationship with a farmers’ market and a school cafeteria. Starting at one elementary school, the Farmers’ Market Salad Bar is now available at all schools in the district.
Ten years after the first pilot school, the Farm to School program at
SMMUSD is going strong and demonstrates a great working model of providing
local food to school children. Dona Richwine, a Nutrition Specialist
for the district, shares her reasons for celebrating.
Notable state level policy action is underfoot in California, Oregon, and Washington, including the passage of HB 3601A making Oregon the first state to have farm to school coordinators in both state departments of education and agriculture.
For more than a century, California has been a leader in the school garden movement. In 2006, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1535, the California School Instructional Garden Act, which provides $15 million for new and ongoing garden efforts. To learn more about this landmark legislation, how it has been implemented, and what the early outcomes are, please read the Assembly Bill Policy Brief.
During the 2007 Legislative Session, Ecotrust facilitated a diverse coalition of stakeholders that advocated for a trio of farm to school and school garden bills to the Oregon State Legislature, which did not pass:
The coalition building efforts also resulted in a series of statewide stakeholder meetings, out of which the Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network was created. The Network is a broad based coalition of nearly 65 governmental, private, and community-based organizations that together championed for a complementary farm-to-school position within the Oregon Department of Education during the 2008 special session:
VICTORY!!! HB 3601A: Creates a Farm to School and School Garden program in the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs. Starting as early as July 1st, 2008 the Oregon Department of Education will hire a new coordinator to:
To encourage robust public-private partnerships, the bill also includes enabling language that permits Oregon Department of Education to accept private sources of funding to support the farm-to-school and school garden program. To read the full text of HB 3601A, click here.
The Washington State legislature passed the Local Farms – Healthy Kids bill earlier this month. A key benefit of this legislation will make it easier for schools to buy locally grown food – providing markets for local farmers and nutritious, fresh local food for our children. As a package, this bill will become the most comprehensive local foods program in the nation. Learn more!
Farm-to-schools legislation? It's a win for everyone
BY Michael Shepard, Sarah Jenkins and Bill Lee. Yakima Herald-Republic.
Local schools will soon be able to buy more locally grown meat and produce for their lunch programs, thanks to a measure that finished its legislative journey and now heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it. Read the entire article.
by Mike Buzalka. Food Management.
When Tim Cirpiano took the job as foodservice director at Bloomfield (CT) Public Schools a year and a half ago, he was determined to maximize his department's use of locally sourced ingredients. Read the entire article.
Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel. New West Living.
As the wasted pounds add up, many school employees, parents and students are questioning more than what’s for lunch. They are questioning the very safety of our current food system. For Robin Vogler, the Somers Middle School Food-Service Director, the recall is, “more reason than ever to pursue local food. Read the entire article.
by Senator Ginny Lyons. The Times Argus.
Congress must resist the USDA's undermining of the farm-to-school program. This local food initiative helps children develop eating habits that defend against diet-related disease. It supports all farmers, not just those who grow fruits and vegetables. Read the entire article.
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