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. Webinar: Elections 2020: What's Food & Agriculture Got to Do With It? a Teach-in on Electoral Strategy to Reshape Our Food & Farm Systems
September 29 // 2pm ET
Join HEAL Food Alliance in what’s sure to be an energizing session where we’ll learn about how elections shape our food and farm systems - and how people who care about food and farm systems can shape the election. Participants will learn to build their individual or organizational voter mobilization strategy. Organizations will also receive a brief explainer on the limits and possibilities around electoral organizing as a 501c(3). Register here.
2. Webinar: Farm to Food Bank Projects in California & Arizona: The Impact on Farmers and Hunger Relief
September 29 // 3pm ET
Since the start of the pandemic, many social entrepreneurs have focused on linking surplus food from farmers with hunger relief efforts. New programs have begun, and existing ones have been expanded. In the second part of this webinar series, ECO Farm will host a panel to examine the practicalities and politics of these farm to food bank programs. Explore whether these are good markets for farmers, and ultimately whether they make for good nutrition assistance as well. Learn more and register.
3. Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Massachusetts' Virtual Seafood Throwdown
September 29 // 7pm ET
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.
September 30 // 9pm ET
Are you a farmer, rancher, or urban farm in Illinois selling products to the local food market? Do you have concerns about crop insurance or ideas on how it should be reformed to meet your unique needs? Join USDA's Risk Management Agency's final listening session will focus on how existing crop insurance programs can be improved, as well as exploring the possibility of a new crop insurance program. The feedback received will help identify potential changes and/or additions to insurance options for producers supplying local markets. Learn more and access the Zoom link.
6. Webinar: Financing and Land Access Inequities
October 1 // 12pm ET
Join Penn State Extension for the third part of four-part webinar series: Exploring Racial Equity and Access in Our Food System. The series will cover the many ways that racism and injustice impact farming and food systems in the United States. In this webinar we will examine the history of agricultural land ownership disparities and historical lockouts of financing with private institutions and the USDA. Panelists will speak on their own experiences with operating a farm project, funding, and financing a farm startup. Register here.
7. Webinar Training: Make Yourself Obsolete: Shifting Power from Non-Profit Leadership to Community Leadership
Oct. 1 & 8 // 3-4:30pm ET
Wondering what the right role for your community based nonprofit is? Or what it might look like to transfer power and ownership to the community you’re serving? Join the Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership Network and Kitchen Table Consulting, LLC for a two-part, interactive training on strategies that non-profit leaders can use to transfer decision making power and sovereignty to the communities in which they work. Register here.
8. Webinar: Get Out the Vote: Opportunities to Mobilize People
October 6 // 3pm ET
Join Coalition on Human Needs, Food Research & Action Center, National Low Income Housing Coalition, and NETWORK for a webinar focused on elevating ideas on how and why 501(c)(3) organizations can support -- in nonpartisan ways that are mission-aligned -- voter registration, voter mobilization, and voting. Identify strategies, tools, and resources that social justice organizations can use to support this vital work, especially in the time of COVID-19 when people and organizations are particularly stretched from responding to unprecedented needs. Register here.
9. Virtual 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium
Every Wednesday in October
In response to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium: Nourishing Cities in a Changing Climate, hosted by the Kansas State University and K-State Research and Extension, has been modified to an online format scheduled for each Wednesday in October from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT. Live keynote speakers will be featured each Wednesday accompanied by breakout discussions and poster sessions. Cost for access to all live and recorded presentations is $100 for professionals and $50 for students (includes AmeriCorps and FoodCorps members), with a price increase after September 18. Recorded sessions will become available next week. 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.
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 email@example.com.
To better understand and capture capital needs of current operators in the agricultural value chain during the pandemic, Croatan Institute conducted original research focused on the regenerative livestock and grain sectors. The latest Croatan Institute White Paper, Regenerative Agriculture and COVID-19 Capital Needs, presents an analysis of the survey results, combined with findings from in-depth interviews with individuals representing farming to processing to distributions interests. It highlights the greatest needs in the regenerative meat and grain sectors to direct the capital flows required to support the growth of these emerging sectors. Learn more.
3. COVID-19 Considerations for Outdoor Learning Gardens and Community Gardens
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges across the United States. Access to healthy food options and nutrition are an important part of health and well-being. Outdoor learning and community gardens help fill nutritional gaps in places where access to healthy food may be limited, provide recreation and stress reduction opportunities, and provide a safe outdoor learning environment, external icon especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden managers should consider the recommendations to help ensure a safe learning environment and access to healthy food, while helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
4. Documentary: Kiss the Ground
Recently released on Netflix, Kiss the Ground is an optimistic climate documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that argues for the healing power of soil, which could offer a solution to the climate crisis. Read a review from The New York Times and view the trailer. You can view this recently released film on Netflix.
Across the globe, the shift has begun. Crops forgotten over the past half-century are being reawakened. Farmers are learning that many of these undervalued crops have the power to combat hunger, respond to climate change, promote biodiversity, provide women with livelihoods, and support healthier and more secure food systems. To share this story, the Lexicon formed the REAWAKENED FOOD INITIATIVE (RFI) with support from dozens of companies, government agencies and NGOs including Crop Trust, Crops for the Future, Food Forever, Bioversity International, GFAR, and Slow Food.
6. 2021 Northeast Farm to Institution Summit Call for Proposals Now Open
Deadline: November 23
The biennial Farm to Institution Summit gathers hundreds of stakeholders working across the food chain to transform our regional food system. The Summit is a place to share innovative ideas, strengthen relationships, create collective action, brainstorm solutions, and nourish the network. Submit a proposal idea that brings the Northeast together to build a just and sustainable food system with the power of our institutions. All kinds of sessions are welcome: traditional workshops, roundtable conversations, lightning talks, stories, cooking demos, tours, recreational and healing activities (games, yoga, meditation!). Learn more.
7. Application open for 2020 REGENERATE Conference HERD Fellowship Program!
Deadline: September 30
The Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and American Grassfed Association are pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2020 REGENERATE HERD Fellowship, which provides scholarships for beginning agrarians, land stewards, and students in related fields to attend the virtual 2020 REGENERATE Conference from October 26-November 20! Learn more and apply.
8. The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Launches New Online Climate Change and Food System Innovation Hub
On this website, you’ll find information about how CEFS initiatives and research programs are working to address climate change, specific strategies to increase the resiliency of farms and food systems, and a list of other organizations working on climate change in the food system. Learn more.
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.
In June 2020, U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which will break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices. Stakeholders around the nation have come together to draft a sign on letter and factsheet to address some of the limitations of the Act and how it could wind up being more harmful than helpful.
3. COVID-19 House of Representatives Takes Important Steps to Address Childhood Hunger in Continuing Resolution
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT), which provides families an EBT card to purchase food to replace the school meals their children are missing while learning remotely, has been extended through Fiscal Year 2021. The Continuing Resolution makes a number of improvements to P-EBT including: providing benefits to children who have a reduction in the number of days or hours they are physically in school or child care; allowing Puerto Rico and other territories to implement P-EBT; and providing funding to cover states’ administrative costs. Read more.
4. 10 Cents a Meal: Michigan Legislature Passes Statewide Expansion
The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday passed the 2021 state budget and included expansion of 10 Cents a Meal so that it is available for grant applicants statewide! It included $2 million in funding for the program and also made it available to early child care centers for the first time. The bill is waiting for the Governor's signature. Learn 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.
6. Local Foods Specialist, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) (Butte, Montana)
NCAT is seeking a Local Foods Specialist to work on local food projects with partners around Montana. NCAT works to foster and promote sustainable technologies and systems, especially for the benefit of economically disadvantaged individuals and communities. NCAT’s work includes nationally recognized projects in food, agriculture, and energy. The Local Foods Specialist will be a regular, full-time position based at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana. The position will be working to grow Montana’s farm-to-institution movement by collaborating with a statewide network of foodservice professionals, farmers and ranchers, and leaders in the local food movement. Apply here.
In the News
In her latest book, ‘Let’s Ask Marion,’ Nestle answers all your burning food policy questions—and makes a case for a singular national food policy agency. (Civil Eats)
Neftalí Durán is Using Indigenous Wisdom to Educate Eaters and Address Inequity
The food activist and co-founder of the I-Collective sees the work of his elders as the foundation for promoting economic, racial, and environmental justice. (Civil Eats)
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.