Last October at our virtual Movement Meeting, Helen Dombalis (our Executive Director) shared big news about the next chapter in National Farm to School Network’s story. For the next five years, we’re orienting all of our work towards a bold, new Call to Action: By 2025, 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system. 

Since our founding in 2007, National Farm to School Network has collaborated with thousands of partner organizations and tens of thousands of people across the country to grow the farm to school and early care and education movement to include more than 65% of K-12 schools and thousands of early care and education sites. And yet, racial disparities continue to grow within the areas of our society that farm to school touches, impacting every community's ability to thrive. So 13 years into our story, we knew it was essential to reexamine our approaches and to be bold in our path forward. Setting our intentions towards shifting power for a racially just food system through all of our farm to school work is what we know is needed most in this moment. (Read more about our journey to this Call to Action here.)

The launch of our Call to Action set in motion changes big and small for us at National Farm to School Network. A few of of these have included: 

  • Relaunching our structure of Partner organizations in order to diversify and strengthen our network, prioritizing building a multiracial and multicultural movement that defers to the voices of those in the most impacted communities. Learn more about becoming a Partner organization here. Any organization that aligns with our community values is welcome!
  • Honing in on six shared community values – economic and environmental justice, health, racial equity, workers’ rights, and animal welfare – to guide our policy advocacy priorities for the upcoming Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization and other important federal policies. These values are also guiding our programmatic work, like our new State Values-Aligned Working Groups
  • Creating space for conversations about racial equity in farm to school and the wider food system through our monthly Coffee Chat conversation series on Facebook Live. You can watch recordings of these conversations here
  • We hosted a virtual Community Gathering in June to focus on shifting power to cultivate justice in our food system. Over 1,000 people registered to join us across four sessions, including a workshop on shifting power within food systems organizations and panel discussions on building community power through farm to school strategies. Watch recordings of the sessions here
  • And this month, we had our second annual Movement Meeting, focusing on how young leaders of color are intersecting the food justice movement with other justice-centered movements, and how those of us working in food systems can best champion, defer to, and center their leadership. You can watch a recording here

We cannot achieve the Call to Action on our own, and we are proud to have countless partners, members, supporters, and stakeholders across the wider food systems movement who share with us this vision for a racially just food system and a commitment to achieving the change we each seek. This includes support from partners like the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation, which we’re proud to share is investing in National Farm to School Network’s work towards this Call to Action over the next year. National Farm to School Network is grateful to Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation for their partnership and support in our collective work towards a racially just food system. Thank you!

Be sure you’re signed up for our e-newlsetters to stay in the loop on the next steps forward towards our Call to Action and ways you can get involved in the coming months.