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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 12/3/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 03, 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. 

Action Opportunities
1. You Count! USDA Farm to School Census Closes Dec. 6
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems' third Farm to School Census closes this Friday, Dec. 6. Be sure your school district is counted! The Farm to School Census is the only national survey that examines school districts’ farm to school activities. It's imperative that all School Food Authorities (SFAs) - whether or not they currently participate in farm to school activities - complete the Census in order to have the most accurate picture of the scope, reach and impact of farm to school nationwide. The Census has been sent directly to SFAs. Please check with your SFAs to ask if they've submitted the Census, and make sure your efforts are counted! Learn more about the Census here.

Grants & Funding
1. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA Now Open
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. NFSN Consultation Services to Support USDA Farm to School Grant Applicants
National Farm to School Network advocated for the establishment of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program and is committed to ensuring this funding reaches the communities that need it most. NFSN is available on a consultation basis to provide assistance during the application process (thought partnership, preparing the grant application, evaluation) and during grant implementation (needs assessment, evaluation, action plan, virtual coaching). Learn more here.  

3. 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.

4. Food System Vision Prize
Early Deadline: Dec. 5 / Final 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. EQUITY Webinar: Building Partnerships to Support Food Sovereignty in African American Communities
Dec. 3 // 3PM EST
This webinar is an opportunity to explore how and why African American communities are working together to enhance their food sovereignty. Following this introduction to the concept of food sovereignty and its role in African American communities, Malik Yakini with the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and Lilly Fink Shapiro with the University of Michigan’s Sustainable Food Systems Initiative will discuss their partnership designing and co-leading the Food Literacy for All course. They will describe how the partnership was developed and its impact both in the community and on campus. The webinar also will introduce Kimberly Carr, a post-doctoral research associate in food sovereignty and racial equity at the Center for Regional Food Systems and Center for Interdisciplinarity at Michigan State University. The webinar is hosted by the Racial Equity in the Food System workgroup, coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Register here.

2. Seeking Workshop Proposals: 2020 National Family Child Care Conference
July 15-18, 2020 / Norfolk, VA
The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)is currently seeking workshop proposals for the 30th National Family Child Care Conference, taking place in Norfolk, Virginia July 15-18, 2020. Attendees are looking for sessions that focus on practical solutions to increase their knowledge and effectiveness; to engage and challenge their thinking; and to nurture their purpose, creativity, and professional excellence. This is a great opportunity to share farm to early care and education experiences and expertise. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please reach out to Lacy Stephens (Program Manager, National Farm to School Network) who can help make introductions to potential proposal partners. Learn more about the conference and workshop proposal application here.   

3. 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!

Research & Resources
1. Opinion Editorial: How to Fight Back Against Injustice in Your School Cafeteria
This opinion editorial from Teen Vogue argues that our system of “cheap” industrial food and low-wage labor is incredibly costly in the long term. The author explores the types of questions that students in the United States ask themselves everyday in the cafeteria and provides guidance on how to implement the change that you would like to see in your school food system. Read here
2. EQUITY Article: A New Generation of Black Farmers Is Returning to the Land
This article from YES! MAGAZINE explores the efforts of those working to repair harm inflicted over the past 400 years towards black farmers, with an eye toward reparations. Read here

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Community Food Systems Mentorship Program
Deadline: December 29
The Wallace Center is excited to announce that the application for the Spring 2020 round of the Community Food Systems Mentorship Program is now open. The Mentorship Program provides food systems leaders with the opportunity to closely engage with proven leaders and experts as thought partners and coaches. It includes 8 hours of one on one connection between you and a mentor over a 4-month period. The application deadline in December 29, 2019. Learn more here

Farm to School in the News
Oregon students celebrate Thanksgiving with farm to school meal
When you think of school food you probably think back to when you were a kid, and it may not have been that appetizing. That's not the case with Portland Public Schools.It’s all healthy and local. Lunch on Friday was no different, as students across the district had a Thanksgiving spread filled with turkey, mashed potatoes and roasted squash. (KGW8)

Illinois high school students prepare farm-to-table Thanksgiving meal for senior citizens
Almost everything was prepared with food from the school, which has the city’s only working farm, according to school officials. The turkeys were raised on the school’s 70-acre farm, where students also raise cows, turkeys, pigs, goats, chickens and two alpacas. Vegetables, including the pumpkins in the pie, also were grown at the school. (Chicago Tribune)

Multi-group effort teams students with sustainable farming in Hawaii
This past semester at Kohala High School has, with lots of help, enhanced garden-to-school efforts thanks to dedicated partnerships between KHS, community investors, and the Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture. (West Hawaii Today)

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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