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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 6/23/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 23, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network has launched 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 Pacific Northwest Farm Aid Farmer Resilience Fund
Deadline: June 26
For Alaska, Oregon, and Washington Farmers, Farm Aid has created a fund to give farmers  struggling during COVID-19 a one time $500 emergency relief payment. Learn more and apply. Applications in Spanish available here.

2. USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: July 6
USDA has announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. There is approximately $1 million available for Planning Projects and $2 million for Implementation Projects. The close date is July 6. Learn more and apply.

3. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Relief Fund
Deadline: July 6
Round two of the National Farm to School Network's COVID-19 Relief Fund application is now open. Organizations that seek financial support of their efforts to connect kids and their families to just food through the support of local farmers and food systems are welcome to apply. In our commitment to standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Native communities, where the coronavirus has had devastating impacts, organizations that directly serve and are led by Black people and Indigenous people will be prioritized in application review. Learn more and apply.

4. COVID-19 Reinvestment Fund's 2020 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program
Deadline: July 10
The 2020 HFFI round has $3 million in grant funds available (grants from $20,000-$200,000) for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill. A webinar will be held on June 2 at 2 p.m. EST to confirm details about the application process and answer questions. No registration is required to join and a recording of the webinar will be accessible using the same link. Learn more and apply here.   

5. Call for Proposals: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health Prize
Deadline: July 30
A Culture of Health recognizes that where we live—such as our access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs, and reliable transportation—affects how long and how well we live, and that improving health and well-being requires collective efforts to create the conditions to ensure all residents have a fair and just opportunity for health. This request seeks an entity to re-imagine, lead, and manage the next two-year phase of the leadership and management of the national RWJF Culture of Health Prize. Learn more and apply. 

6. Farmers Advocating For Organic (FAFO) Fund 
Deadline: August 1 (LOI) and August 15 (Application)
Funded entirely by voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers, FAFO is the largest farmer-funded grant program in the U.S. and one of the few focused solely on organic. FAFO awards grants of $5,000-$50,000 to research, education, and advocacy projects that protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers. Learn more and apply. 

Webinars & Events
1. EQUITY White Fragility Conversation Group
June 24 // 4pm ET
What is white fragility? And how does it show up at your farm? Watch this video from Dr. Robin Diangelo, author of White Fragility, then join this discussion space with the Farm-Based Education Network. Register here

2. EQUITY Justice in Farm-Based Education: Roundtable Discussion
June 25 // 4pm ET
How can the Farm-Based Education Network support you as you identify and dismantle oppressive systems in your farm community? Join the Roundtable Discussion, facilitated by the Farm-Based Education Network, to share your thoughts. Register here. 

3. Regional Ohio Action for Resilience's Next World Conversations
June 25 // 7:30PM CT
Please join Regional Ohio Action for Resilience for a series of conversations that will be a facilitated dialogue between two leaders in the field of agriculture and food, followed by a conversation with you, the audience. In the face of interlinked challenges including climate change, pandemics, and systemic racism, a new vision of the future is needed. Our systems are breaking down and we are searching for and re-visioning what our future could look like. This series will address systems such as food, energy, education, democracy, health – major systems that impact our quality of life. Register here.

4. COVID-19 Webinar: Local Food Markets, Farm Labor and Metrics in a Time of Covid-19
June 26 // 12pm ET
The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) along with the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) host this free webinar to discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on local food systems. Register here. 

5. COVID-19 Webinar: Safe Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfection in Child Care Facilities and Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic
June 30 // 1PM ET
During this webinar, public health panelists will address how to more safely choose and use cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products and practices for child care facilities and schools in this time of COVID-19. The speakers will also describe the differences between these different activities and how to know where and how often each should be done. There will be ample time for Q&A. Learn more and register here.

6. Food Systems Mapping 101: Tools and Skills Call
July 2 // 2pm ET
Mapping can be a great tool for understanding what’s happening in your community food system. However, there are lots of tools to choose from when making a map. Next up in a series on food systems mapping is a call to learn about the available data sets and mapping platforms, and how to find the right tools for your needs. Carolyn Talmadge from Tufts University and Cynthia Caul from Chatham University will join Wallace Center staff to share their expertise and introduce you to some tools to help create useful and effective food systems maps. Register here.

7. COVID-19 Webinar Recording: Disinfecting, Cleaning, and Best Practices for Protecting Your Family

During the COVID19 PandemicSince the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic began there has been an onslaught of news, information, and emerging science on the topic. Discerning how to best keep family and loved ones safe can be challenging in these times. Since the Coronavirus started spreading in the US, there has been an increased use of disinfectants and cleaners that pose potential dangers of their own. During this webinar scientists presented their work on effective, non-toxic solutions to cleaning and disinfecting in the home. View the recording.

Research & Resources
1. The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens
It is clear that Black farmers need help now more than ever. We also need fresh produce they provide. Here is  a list of Black owned farms and food gardens that you can support. Learn more. 

2. BIPOC in Agriculture and Food: A Resource Guide
View this open source database of black, indigenous people of color in the agriculture and food spaces across the country.  Read more. 

3. Soul Fire's Reparations Map for Black-Indigenous Farmers
Members of the Northeast Farmers of Color Network are claiming their sovereignty and calling for reparations of land and resources so that we can grow nourishing food and distribute it in our communities. The specific projects and resource needs of farmers of color are listed here.

4. Agricultural Employer Checklist for Creating a COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan
To prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19, agricultural employers can use this checklist to create a COVID-19 assessment and control plan for applying specific preparation, prevention, and management measures. This checklist has been developed based on the Agriculture Workers and Employers Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor. Read more. Ver recursos en español aquí.

5. COVID-19 NFSN Local Food in COVID-19 Response and Recovery
This fact sheet outlines some of the promising practices that school nutrition providers, early care and education centers, community partners, and state agencies have seen during COVID-19 while supporting local farmers and producers in accessing markets, while supporting families in accessing healthy food. View the resource.

6. National Young Farmers' Coalition Racial Equity Toolkit
This toolkit is a starting point to help farmers organize around transformative learning and action. It aims to orient and incite members toward preliminary consciousness-raising and direct action. This toolkit does not detail a universally applicable pathway toward resolving pervasive racialized oppression; it is an initial resource for people who are overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of the problem, and need help determining how to start dismantling racism in their communities. View the toolkit.

7. Article: Household Food Insecurity, Coping Strategies, and Happiness: The Case of Two Public Housing Communities
While the module recognizes some of the strategies households employ to cope with food hardships, it hardly encompasses the salient strategies commonly used by low-income families. The purpose of this study is to identify the major strategies low-income households employ to cope with their food insecurity, and to gain insight into the process they go through toward making ends meet and into how the process may affect their sense of overall happiness. Read more.

8. Call for Proposal: Transforming School Food Politics Around the World
Due: July 15 
Sarah Robert and Jennifer Gaddis seek contributions for a second volume, tentatively titled Transforming School Food Politics Around the World. This edited volume will contain a curated collection of case studies that can help scholars, activists, policymakers, and students envision and create school food programs that are fair, culturally relevant, healthy, and sustainable.  View the full call for proposals. 

Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are grounded in a central goal of continuing to advance towards strong, just local and regional food systems. There is a need for immediate relief to the people most impacted by this crisis, while building towards longer-term policies that strengthen a resilient, just food system. As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. Our federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice by endorsing our federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate for key food systems priorities on Capitol Hill. Sign on here

2. COVID-19 Minnesota Department of Agriculture Grants Support Farm to School Connections During COVID-19
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) anticipates awarding up to $124,000 through two new Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) mini-grants to respond to the disruptions COVID-19 has caused in traditional Farm to School markets. “During this period of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re looking for ways to support farmers and invest in schools differently,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “These mini-grants help preserve and expand markets that provide students with locally grown, healthy, nutritional food options.” Read more.

3. COVID-19 Farmers to Families Food Box COVID-19 Relief Program Gets 2-Month Extension in Northeast
Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) announced that two Vermont-based entities, the Abbey Group and Willing Hands, have secured extended contracts through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue the delivery of food boxes throughout this summer through the end of August.  These two contracts will bring an additional $8.5 million in nutrition assistance to Vermont and the Upper Valley community in New Hampshire, most of which will go toward buying produce and dairy from local farms. Read more.

Job Opportunities
1. Property Manager, Farm Fresh Rhode Island (Providence, Rhode Island)
Deadline: July 7
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is seeking a full-time Property Manager for its soon-to-be-completed 60,000 sf Food Hub, located in the Valley neighborhood of Providence.  Farm Fresh RI will occupy approximately 30,000 sf and the remaining space will be tenanted by food and farm-related businesses. An ideal candidate is committed to supporting local farmers and agriculture and improving the local food system, has a proven track record in hands-on property and tenant management, and is a strong team player. Learn more and apply. 

2. Creative Coordinator, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development (Amana, Iowa) 
The Creative Coordinator leads social media, graphic design, and marketing for specific projects as well as for the organization. They are also responsible for managing websites, copyediting, research, and supporting special projects and publications. The position works in both of the organization’s focus areas: Food Systems and Creative Placemaking. Food system efforts include farm to school, farmers markets, farmer training, food safety, food hub development, food entrepreneur technical assistance, food production, and community food security. Learn more and apply.

In The News
School Lunch as We Know It Is Over
School nutrition professionals overhauled their operations on the fly. They feed families now, too. And they’re reinventing lunch programs for the coming year with fewer workers, untold variables, and multimillion-dollar budget deficits. Inside the effort to keep students fed while we rethink how to educate them safely. (The Counter)

COVID Questions Abound in School Lunch Planning and Prep
As the extent of the pandemic became more widely known, USDA announced 13 temporary COVID-19 waivers to help school districts meet the challenge of shifting meal delivery methods and menus away from the school cafeteria through the 2019-20 school year. While USDA has extended three of those waivers — non-congregate feeding, meal service times, and parent pickup — through Aug. 31, the School Nutrition Association (SNA), nutrition directors, and meal distributors and manufacturers agree schools need more certainty given the virus’ continued threat. (Agri-Pulse)

Gardening Projects in West Virginia Bring Kids, Families and Community Together
Several separate efforts to encourage gardening and healthy eating in Morgan County, WV have put down roots and grown with a wider community vision this spring. Local agencies and students have joined together to work with families and young people to teach the strategies, benefits and joys of gardening. They started with seeds and progressed to making box gardens and planting at people’s houses. (The Morgan Messenger)

Land Loss Has Plagued Black America Since Emancipation – Is It Time to Look Again at ‘Black Commons’ and Collective Ownership?
Underlying the recent unrest sweeping U.S. cities over police brutality is a fundamental inequity in wealth, land and power that has circumscribed black lives since the end of slavery in the U.S. (The Conversation)

‘Resilient Food Systems’: Carroll County Group Looks to Connect Gardeners With Food Banks
A Baltimore county group wants to gather modest-sized gardens together to create a big effect on the supply of fresh produce for food pantries. Neighbors Nourishing Neighbors is a new effort by a group of gardeners and people passionate about solving food insecurity. They’re working to gather home gardeners and start up new community gardens on church and government properties. (Baltimore Sun)

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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