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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 12/10/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA 
Deadline: December 13
The 2020 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. With additional funding made available through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $10 million in FY 2020 funding. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 will be available to schools, nonprofits, State and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan and implement farm to school activities. Applications are due Dec. 13, 2019. Learn more here.

2. USDA Regional Farm to School Institutes RFA
Deadline: December 27
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems is pleased to announce the new Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications (RFA). This new grant for fiscal year 2020 will support the creation and dissemination of information on farm to school program development, and provide practitioner education and training, and ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. The Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding at least two grants with a combined total of $150,000, to eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations working regionally to promote farm to school activities and support practitioners. Learn more here.

3. Food System Vision Prize
Deadline: Jan. 31
With a total of $2 million in prize money and a global network of partners, the Food System Vision Prize is an invitation for organizations, companies, governments, and other entities around the world to develop inspirational, concrete Visions for the food system of the future. The Prize, launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, is driven by a central question: “How might we envision regenerative and nourishing food futures for 2050?” The Prize seeks systems-focused proposals that encourage people worldwide to take action and think collaboratively about the future. Submitted Visions should also reflect the Prize’s core beliefs that include diversity, resilience, equity, and the power of food to connect people. Learn more here.

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN Open Space: Institutionalizing School Garden Programming
December 12, 2 PM ET
Please join us for a special National Farm to School Network (NFSN) Partner Open Space session facilitated by California Supporting Partner John Fisher of Life Lab. This special session will be open to NFSN partners and members and the School Garden Support Organization Network. Join the call to learn and share experiences around district-run school gardening programs. Joining the discussion will be district-run school garden program directors from a small, medium and large school district. Register here

2. Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Conference
February 12-13, 2020 // Silverton, Oregon
This will be a two-day event with workshops, speakers, resources and networking opportunities. Wednesday, February 12 will be focused on farm and garden-based education. Thursday, February 13 will be focused on incorporating local food into school meals. The purpose of the Conference is to support members of Oregon’s farm to school and school garden community in their work to provide farm and garden-based education and incorporate healthy, local food into school meals for students grades PreK-12. The audience is food service directors and staff, farmers/producers, distributors, enrichment instructors, OSU Extension staff and volunteers, classroom teachers, school administrators, government agency staff, non-profit staff, and parents and community volunteers and others working to support Oregon’s farm to school and school garden programs. Register here

3. 2020 National Good Food Network Conference
March 10-13, 2020 // New Orleans, Louisiana
This event will reflect on the gains and missteps of past decades of food systems work, examine models and practices that are working now, and co-create new strategies for food systems change. This is a conference for people working to create healthier, greener, and more accessible food systems and will amplify the voices of frontline communities. To gain a deeper understanding of the nuts and bolts of food systems development, tangible skills to strengthen your impact, and new connections for solidarity and support, register here

4. NFSN EVENT Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 21-23, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Are you passionate about supporting local agriculture and fostering a culture of food literacy in your community? This event is for you. Visit to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque! Registration opens in January 2020. 

Research & Resources
1. Connecting Classrooms, Cafeterias, Communities: A Guide to Building Integrated Farm to School Programs
The newly published Vermont FEED Guide is intended to support school communities in developing robust, long lasting, and integrated farm to school programs, addressing whole school change. It reflects 20 years of practice, evaluative research, and innovation in the field.  The guide is organized around farm to school action planning, a step-by-step process to help you assemble a team, identify shared goals, and plan and conduct strategic activities. In addition, it provides valuable content on classroom curriculum, school meal programs, and community building. The guide is filled with useful templates, curricular design strategies, and creative ways to communicate and celebrate farm to school success. Available for free download and to purchase as a hard copy here.

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to Institution and Wisconsin Foods Program Specialist - Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (Madison, WI)
This position is responsible for farm to institution initiatives including collaborating with multiple stakeholders to increase the sales of Wisconsin food into markets such as K-12 schools, hospitals, colleges, cafeterias or government agencies. To accomplish this goal, the position will actively engage with a broad network of stakeholders, facilitate partnerships and advise other agencies on promotion and market development programs for farm to school/institution. The application deadline is Sunday, January 5 at 11:59 PM. Apply here

Farm to School in the News
Seed2Tray program brings free meals to Vermont school
Hunger Free Vermont estimates nearly 18,000 children in the state live in food-insecure households. That means, about 15 percent of kids don't have regular access to nutritious food. That can put them at risk for poor health, developmental delays, worse academic performance, and behavioral issues. In Townshend, Scott Fleishman shows us how a chef is on a mission to change that. (WCAX)

Idaho preschoolers learn healthy eating habits through grant-funded project
Preschoolers in several schools in Blaine County are learning about locally farmed fruits and vegetables in an effort to create long-term, healthier eating habits. The program, called Farm to Early Care and Education, or Farm to ECE, is funded by a state grant and has shown success since the program was launched in September. (Idaho Mountain Express)

New Jersey school introduces vertical gardening
Having a salad for lunch might not be a hassle when half the ingredients are already being grown in the classroom. Southampton School #2 became one of the first in the area to introduce a tower garden in a classroom this week, where students will take care of the plants. (Courier Post)

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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