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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 4/14/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 14, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network is launching a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

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. COVID-19 AFT Farmer Relief Fund Grants
Deadline: April 23
AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs. AFT envisions an initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1. The application is available in English and Spanish. Learn more here. 

2. COVID-19 COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Funding
Calling all Principals, School Nutrition Managers, School Nutrition Directors and District Superintendents! GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more and apply here.

3. Carton 2 Garden Contest
Deadline Extended: May 1
Apply for Evergreen Packaging and's sixth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest! Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Fifteen (15) entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Learn more and apply here.

4. USDA AMS: Regional Food System Partnerships
Deadline Extended: May 26
USDA AMS's Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The effort is focused on building and strengthening local or regional food economy viability and resilience by alleviating unnecessary administrative and technical barriers for participating partners. Learn more here.

5. Native American Agriculture Fund (NAFF) 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more and apply here.

Webinars & Events
1. April 11-17: Week of the Young Child
The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Knowing that circumstances are different for everyone, this year's celebration focus on providing resources you can use wherever you are celebrating young children. National Farm to School Network has a new blog sharing social distancing & family-friendly farm to ECE activity ideas to help little ones engage in gardening, cooking & healthy eating every day of the week. Read more here

2. COVID-19 Weekly Virtual Gatherings: School Garden Support Organization Network
April 15 // 2-3pm EST
Starting April 15, the School Garden Support Organization Network will begin hosting weekly gatherings on topics related to supporting school gardens during closures and social distancing. Register for the first virtual gathering here. Learn more about other upcoming gatherings here

3. EQUITY WEBINAR: Racial Equity in the Food System: Perceptions, Reality, and the Road Ahead
April 15 // 3-4pm EST
In this webinar sponsored by the Racial Equity in the Food System (REFS) workgroup, you'll learn provocative findings from a national survey of REFS webinar registrants that will ground a thoughtful discussion of these questions. To catalyze the discussion, members of the REFS national committee and a leader of a Toronto-based food system non-profit will offer insights into what the findings may be telling us, and share examples where projects and organizations are operationalizing equity in their everyday work. Learn more and register here.

4. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Online Discussion: U.S. Food System & COVID-19
April 15 // 4-6pm EST
Join The New School for a discussion with Vanessa Garcia Polanco and Leah Douglas to explore the implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing on the food system in the U.S. Comments and questions from viewers throughout the session are welcome. Learn more here.

5. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Possibilities Through Partnership During COVID-19
April 16 // 3-4pm EST
Ensuring access to nutritious meals during COVID-19 requires collaboration on every level. Join FRAC and guest speakers to learn about promising partnerships between state agencies, school districts, program providers, food banks, and others that result in more children being reached by the child nutrition programs. Register here

6. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Serving Meals During COVID-19: Sharing Promising Strategies, Tips and Tricks
April 21 // 2-3pm EST
Join this webinar to hear from program operators that are continuing to provide meals in this ever-changing climate, despite school closures, shelter-in-place policies, procurement challenges, and more. We'll share wins and lessons learned, and we'll have an honest discussion about the challenges we face to make sure that kids still have access to nutritious meals during this pandemic. Register here

7. NFSN New Dates: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 27-29, 2021 // Albuquerque, New Mexico 
National Farm to School Network is pleased to share the new dates for our 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference (originally scheduled for April 21-23, 2020): this event will now be held April 27-29, 2021 in the same location, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Current ticket holders will have their registration transferred to these new dates, with an option to change their registration status. Registration for new tickets will open in Fall 2020. Learn more here

Research & Resources 
1. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Resources for Farm to School and ECE
National Farm to School Network is compiling resources related to COVID-19 that will be relevant to the farm to school and farm to early care and education community. View the list here. We're also launching a new weekly e-newsletter to highlight newly available resources and information relevant to the farm to school and ECE community. Anyone can sign up for this free weekly e-newsletter here

2. COVID-19 EQUITY Intertribal Agriculture Council: COVID-19 Survey
During these unprecedented times, while our country battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) seeks to gather information to help understand how the crisis has affected Indian country. Information gathered will be utilized to inform IAC's programmatic responses and the guidance it offers the USDA Office of Tribal Relations and its valued partners. Stakeholders can provide feedback here

3. COVID-19 EQUITY Talking About Coronavirus: Centering Language around Inclusion, Empowerment, and Justice
This resource from The Opportunity Agenda offers guidance for how to talk about coronavirus using VPSA (Value, Problem, Solution, Action) framing with language centered in empowerment, inclusion and justice. See more here

4. COVID-19 USDA "Meals for Kids" Interactive Map
USDA's “Meals for Kids” interactive map directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The site finder currently lists more than 20,000 meal sites from 23 states, and more sites will be added as states submit data each week. The map is available in both English and Spanish at

5. New Report Shows Schools Can Be On Frontline Against Food Waste
The World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Food Waste Warriors report provides the results of a food waste analysis conducted in 46 schools across nine U.S. cities in spring 2019. WWF provided classes in the participating schools with lesson plans and other resources on how to reduce food waste and the importance of food waste reduction. The lessons include training students on how to conduct food waste audits in the cafeteria. Read more here.

Policy News
1. COVID-19 Michigan is First State to Provide Food to Families Affected by School Closings Caused by COVID-19
Michigan has become the first state in the country to gain federal approval of a program that will provide nutritious food to children who were affected by school closings due to COVID-19. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) provides temporary funding to address emergency food needs and avert financial hardship for families affected by the pandemic. Read more here.

2. Court Strikes Down Rollback of School Nutrition Rules
A federal district judge has ruled that the Agriculture Department’s 2018 regulation easing sodium and whole-grain standards in school meals violated regulatory law. Read more here

Job Opportunities
1. National Director, Farm to Cafeteria Canada (Burnaby, BC)
Deadline: April 30
Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) and the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) seek an experienced National Director to represent F2CC, providing strategic direction, leading the F2CC team, and effectively managing our programs and services. Learn more and apply here.

2. Associate Director of Legislative Affairs, The Good Food Institute (Washington, D.C.)
The Good Food Institute's (GFI) Associate Director of Legislative Affairs will have the opportunity to promote a healthy, sustainable, and just food system. This position is responsible for managing GFI’s legislative initiatives/team and using state/federal legislation to remove hurdles and leverage resources to promote progress on alternative proteins. Learn more and apply here.

Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 Social Media Snapshots of School Lunch Superheroes in Action During Coronavirus Pandemic
School food social media feeds prior to the coronavirus pandemic were filled with images of traylines with awesome fresh food. Almost overnight, those same feeds have taken a different tone, as school nutrition workers found themselves on the frontline, helping their communities survive in a whole new reality. (Food Management)

COVID-19 EQUITY Groups Provide Relief To Indian Country As Coronavirus Cases Climb
For years, Tyrone Thompson has taught his neighbors in Leupp, Arizona how to grow their own food. Since COVID-19 has people stockpiling groceries and preparing for the worst, Thompson has taken to social media to teach the masses. He said the quarantine reminds people that food doesn’t come from the grocery store. It comes from the land. And traditionally Navajos subsisted off of the land. “Being sheltered in place it allows us to reconnect to who we are,” Thompson said. “We’ve forgotten so it’s really important that we get back to the way we used to do things.” (Fronteras)

COVID-19 Farmers Scramble to Stay Profitable Amid Disruptions to the Food Industry
Many farms around the country are still producing plenty of product, only now, there are fewer places to sell it. Listen to an interview with Joe Del Bosque, president of Del Bosque Farms, and Becca Jablonski, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University, for perspectives. (The Takeaway)

COVID-19 EQUITY Farmworkers like me are always the last to be protected in a crisis
Agricultural worker and organizer Lupe Gonzalo shares why workers (and, in turn, our food supply) are so vulnerable during the coronavirus. (Fast Company)

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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