This Week in Farm to School: 4/21/20
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. 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. COVID-19 New COVID-19 Rapid Response Program Area for Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
Deadline: June 4
NIFA recently added a program area to its main Agricultural and Food Research Initiative RFA. There are four areas of priority: Health and Security of Livestock; Well-being of Farm, Food Service Providers, and Rural Americans; Economic Security; and Food Safety. Applicants should focus on critical and urgent research, extension, or integrated solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the nation’s food and agricultural system. Applications should include strategies and knowledge that can be rapidly implemented to minimize or eliminate COVID-19 impacts on the nation’s food and agricultural system. For more information and to apply, view the RFA.
4. EQUITY 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 here.
5. Voices for Healthy Kids: Policy Campaign Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids' 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. The Letter for Intend deadline is April 29, 2020. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 EQUITY Webinar Panel: Farmworkers, COVID-19, and Our Capitalist Food System
April 23 // 1:30pm ET
Food First is hosting a webinar panel to discuss more about farmworkers and our capitalist food system during COVID-19. This webinar will bring together Edgar Franks of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, an independent farmworker union, labor and photojournalist David Bacon, and a member from Community to Community, a women-led grassroots organization dedicated to food sovereignty and immigrant rights. Food First will be moderating this event. Register here.
2. EQUITY Webinar Series from the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
April - August 2020
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust is hosting a webinar series to dive deep into some of the strategies they're employing, such as Reparations, Cultural Respect Easements, Cooperative Land Tenure, and building a new economy that centers BIPOC experiences and knowledges. Featuring land and food sovereignty activists such as David Ragland, Stephanie Morningstar, Ramona Peters, Carmen Mouzon, Karen Washington, Christine Hutchinson, and Leah Penniman, you will have an opportunity to meet the food and land sovereignty change makers who work every day to make land, food, and community wealth accessible to Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Register for webinars here.
3. EQUITY WEBINAR: Get The First Detailed Overview Of Work And Funding At The Intersection Of Climate Change, Health, And Equity
April 23 // 2:30pm-3:30pm EST
Learn what seven funder affinity groups found when they surveyed their foundation members and NGOs in the field—almost 200 foundations and organizations from around the country—about this rapidly growing and changing area of critical work. Register here.
4. 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.
Resources & Research
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here.
2. COVID-19 New Weekly COVID-19 & Farm to School Resource E-Newsletter
National Farm to School Network is launching a free weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of new COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.
3.COVID-19 Share Your Story: Farm to School and ECE During COVID-19
Communities across the country are demonstrating innovation and resilience as they continue to connect children and families to local foods and education opportunities and support local producers. National Farm to School Network wants to hear from you about what food systems resilience looks like in your community. If you have a farm to school, farm to ECE or community food systems story to share, please share it with us using this brief form.
4. COVID-19 Farmer's Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms
This National Young Farmers Coalition guide is intended to help farmers compare the software platforms that support various kinds of online sales, without endorsing any product in particular. See more here.
5. COVID-19 IPES' COVID-19 and the Crisis in Food Systems: Symptoms, Causes, and Potential Solutions
View the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems' (IPES) analysis of the impact COVID-19 has had on spotlighting the gaps and inequalities in our food system and potential solutions to move toward a more just food system together. Read the analysis here.
6. New Study Released on Oregon’s Farm-to-School Program
In a new JAFSCD article, "Farm-to-School Grant Funding Increases Children’s Access to Local Fruits and Vegetables in Oregon," the study's results show that adapting and implementing similar programs nationwide could be a successful tool for increasing program participation among low-income school districts with high minority populations. Read more here.
7. SEEDS Gardening Activities for Kids
Gro More Good Learning Activities is a series of 72 free lessons focused on the four seasons of a garden. Each activity is fun, hands-on and perfect for getting your kids outside, exploring and learning. The activities are based on early childhood education best practices and developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. View the resource here.
8. Find a Farm Credit Lender
Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. Farm Credit stands with America’s farmers and ranchers during these challenging times. Learn more here.
1. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As the federal government continues to develop legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, National Farm to School Network urges policymakers to respond to this emergency in ways that will advance a more just food system. Read our COVID-19 federal policy platform here.
2. COVID-19 NFSN Policy FAQ: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19
National Farm to School Network is compiling policy-related questions and answers for how COVID-19 is impacting farm to school and farm to ECE efforts. In this document, find a summary of information about how the federal government has done so far to allow farm to school and ECE programs to adapt; what resources are available to farmers who are suffering losses as a result of school and program closures; and more. See more here.
3. COVID-19 Strengthening School Nutrition in the Face of COVID-19
Karen Spangler, Policy Director of the National Farm to School Network, and Kumar Chandran, Policy Director of FoodCorps, discuss the importance of school meals in the wake of COVID-19 and offer responses to USDA's proposed changes to school nutrition standards. "When school cafeterias reopen, we must ensure school nutrition staff are equipped with the tools they need to serve a variety of healthy choices for our students. The USDA’s decision will play a critical role in making that future a reality." Read more here. (via Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity)
Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 The Scramble to Feed the Kids Left Hungry by the Coronavirus Crisis
Cafeteria workers and school nutrition directors from five districts across the country explain how meal programs are working now. (Vox)
COVID-19 Arizona School District Offers Virtual Gardening Lessons, Food Demos During School Closings
Through virtual gardening, Prescott Unified School District is encouraging students and their families to create their own gardens at home. The team has created videos and shared tips on how to plant a garden from seed, offered food demonstrations and offered tips on how to make such things as fresh yogurt and kale smoothies. (The Daily Courier)
COVID-19 Schools Transform Into ‘Relief’ Kitchens, but Federal Aid Fails to Keep Up
Many school cafeterias are now operating more like community soup kitchens, even though the federal school meals program won’t reimburse districts for meals served to struggling adults. (New York Times)
COVID-19 EQUITY Coronavirus Is Creating a Food Security Crisis in Indian Country
The coronavirus is devastating Indigenous communities, long shut out of food supply chains and infrastructure development. In addition to limited medical resources, and escalating mortality rates, many Indigenous communities are facing drastic food and water shortages. (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.