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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 6/30/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 30, 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 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.

2. Food Waste Warrior Mini-Grants
Deadline: June 30
These mini-grants enable schools and districts to implement educational lessons and audits to help drive food waste reduction in cafeterias across the US as part of the World Wildlife Fund Food Waste Warrior initiative. Submission deadline is June 30. Learn more and apply. 

3. 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.   

4. 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. 

5. Pure Farmland™ Pure Growth Project
Deadline: July 31
Pure Farmland believes that good things are grown from the ground up. That’s why they created the Pure Growth Project— an initiative and grant program (ranging from $1,000 to $20,000) that supports community gardens in neighborhoods throughout the country and builds on our longstanding commitment to protect vital American farmland. View the press release. 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. Food Safety Focus Group with The National Young Farmers Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition is seeking produce farmers who grow for Farm to School programs to participate in an online Food Safety focus group this summer. This is a PAID opportunity for farmers to share their knowledge and experience, and learn more themselves. Each hour-long virtual focus group will feature a farmer co-facilitator discussing their operation and systems and 8 - 10 farmers asking the lead farmer questions and sharing their own experience with the topic. The farmer co-facilitator and participants will be paid for their time; $250 and $50, respectively, and be joined by Maggie Kaiser from the Coalition and Billy Mitchell from National Farmers Union. More information and sign-ups can be found at You can also send questions directly to 

2. EQUITY Virtual Workshop: People's Sovereignty Lab's Workshop: "Resisting and Reclaiming Land, Territories and Peoples Sovereignty"
Today! June 30 // 2PM CEST or 7AM CST 
This workshop, organized by the People´s Sovereignty network, aims at sharing the experiences of social movement and civil society activists from different regions of the world who are struggling to defend their rights and sovereignty over their territories and lives. This workshop brings together activists from the Basque Country, Guatemala, Kenya and the Six Nations in Canada who, along with a group of academics, are part of the People´s Sovereignty network experience and have recently engaged in a process of reciprocal learning and co-authorship that led to a forthcoming special forum of the Globalizations Journal. Learn more and register. 

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Safe Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfection in Child Care Facilities and Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Today! 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.

4. EQUITY Black Women on Black Food Sovereignty
Today! June 30 // 2pm ET
Join FoodShare Toronto for a conversation featuring four Black women leading the call for Black food sovereignty in Canada, the U.S.A., and the United Kingdom. Through our panelists’ uniquely valuable perspectives and experiences, we’ll explore what Black food sovereignty means, why it is important, and how we can collectively work to advance it. Register here. 

5. COVID-19 Taking Advantage of CEP This School Year
Today! June 30 // 2pm ET
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides school meals to students at no cost to them. With rising food insecurity due to COVID-19, CEP will be a lifeline for students and families in the coming school year. Among its numerous benefits, CEP simplifies counting and claiming (hello, meals in the classroom!), eliminates school meals debt, and improves student behavioral and academic outcomes. Join this webinar hosted by No Kid Hungry to learn more about how to make CEP work for your team and your students this year. Register here. 

6. Workshop Series: Edible Schoolyard Summer Training at Home
Starts June 30
Edible Schoolyard is hosting a free, multi-month summer program of online training and professional development sessions for the field of edible education. The program will consist of a four-part workshop series on adapting edible education to remote and home learning and a three-part panel series on the core values of nourishment, stewardship, and community. All sessions will be offered at no cost. Learn more and register here. 

7. 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.

8. EQUITY Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) Build, Unlearn, Decolonize Learning Series
Deadline to apply: July 7
Drawing inspiration from abolitionist & decolonial pedagogy, CoFED’s Build, Unlearn, Decolonize program (BUD) is a 5-week-long cooperative education intensive designed to support teams of young BIPOC looking to build community health and wealth through thriving, cooperative food and land-based businesses. BUD will take place from September 14 - October 19, 2020, in virtual space. Open to teams of 2-3 people from ages 18-30, BUD is a life-changing experience where you and your crew can learn more about cooperative economics, decolonizing our food system, and creating community-led food solutions with a triple bottom line of food sovereignty, sustainability, and decoloniality. Learn more and apply.

9. National CACFP Sponsors Association's Child Nutrition Virtual Summit
Deadline to register: August 7 //  August 11, 12, 18, & 19
The National CACFP Sponsors Association is bringing training to your office! With offerings spanned over 4 days, the virtual summit allows up to 20 hours of Continuing Education Credits for food program training for $149. View the schedule and register here. Online registration deadline is August 7.

10. Honoring School Food Heroes Campaign
Kids can’t eat a virtual lunch, and farmers can’t sell virtual vegetables! It’s time to recognize the school food heroes who serve our children meals every day, and use their school food dollars to support our local food producers. Help appreciate these front line heroes by sharing this video and join TIPS for School Meals That Rock, Chef Ann Foundation, Life Time Foundation, Wellness in the Schools, and Whole Kids Foundation in celebrating our heroes. View the campaign video and learn more. 

11. University of Massachusetts' Online Organic Vegetable Production Class 
The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering an online class on organic vegetable production beginning July 6.  STOCKSCH 320 - Organic Vegetable Production is a 3 credit, college class taught by Stockbridge instructor, Renee Ciulla, who has experience both as a college teacher and an organic farmer.  This online course will cover the principles and practices of growing vegetables organically for both the professional small farmer and serious home gardeners. The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering 5 online classes during the 6-week summer session including Urban Agriculture and Professional Development in Sustainable Food and Farming. Classes offered during the second summer session will begin on July 6, 2020, and registration is now open.  For information on all 5 online classes offered this summer as well as the 13 classes offered this fall at UMass Amherst click here.

Research & Resources
1. EQUITY Indigenous Futures Survey Research Project
Deadline: August 1
IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance, and Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth are partnering with acclaimed researchers Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) of the University of Michigan and Dr. Arianne Eason of the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct the Indigenous Futures Survey -- a groundbreaking research project for Native peoples by Native peoples. The 15-20 minute survey launched Tuesday, June 23, 2020 and will close on August 1, 2020. IFS researchers are looking to reach as many Native relatives as possible, and are seeking to partner with organizations and tribal leaders to help disseminate the survey to at least 2,000 participants 18 years of age and older. IFS disseminating organizations and tribes can request access to data collected from the survey to be helpful to their future work. To participate in the IFP survey dissemination, or have questions regarding the survey, please email or call (202) 736-2905. Learn more and take the survey.

2. National Museum of African American History and Culture's Talking About Race Resources
Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. The National Museum of African American History and Culture provides tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation. View the resources.

3. COVID-19 The Coronavirus Will Make Child Care Deserts Worse and Exacerbate Inequality
As COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders to protect public health continue, a quiet crisis is unfolding in child care programs across the country.  Without federal intervention, it is possible that licensed, reliable, high-quality child care will become a privilege of the wealthy, while millions of young children will end up in care of uncertain safety, reliability, and quality. Child care deserts will become the norm, holding back millions of working families, particularly working mothers, in the middle-class communities that were already falling behind economically prior to the pandemic. Read more.

4. Soul Fire Farm's BIPOC Led How-To Videos, Gardening Resources and Online Learning Resources
Soul Fire Farm's got you covered. This list of resources has everything you need to learn from BIPOC siblings paving the way to food justice, grow food, and support your community all while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. View the repository.

5. 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. 

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. EQUITY Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Issue
Across the country, local and state leaders are declaring racism a public health crisis or emergency. These declarations are an important first step in the movement to advance racial equity and justice and must be followed by allocation of resources and strategic action. American Public Health Association has created a growing list of states, cities and counties that are naming racism as a determinant of health. See the list here. 

8. Article: Food Waste in a School Nutrition Program After Implementation of New Lunch Program Guidelines
Researchers conducted a study to assess the amount of food waste by meal components according to the new National School Lunch Program guidelines among pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. Analyzing the results, researchers found that strategies to reduce food waste in school lunch should be researched and implemented. Read more.

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 USDA Extended Waivers through June 30, 2021 for SBP, NSLP, and CACFP
These flexibilities allow for:
- Meals that do not meet normal meal pattern requirements when necessary to keep kids fed;  
-Meals to be served outside of group settings and outside of standard times to facilitate grab-and-go and other alternate service options; & 
-Parent/guardian pick-up of meals for students participating in distance learning. View the full press release.

3. COVID-19 USDA Adds Digital Options for Farmers and Ranchers to Apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that it will now accept applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. FSA is also leveraging commercial document storage and e-signature solutions to enable producers to work with local service center staff to complete their applications from home. Currently, the digital application is only available to sole proprietors or single-member business entities. Read the full press release. 

4. “Absolutely Essential”: USDA Cuts Red Tape for School Lunch Programs This Fall
Despite all these changes, school nutrition directors say there’s still a lot more than USDA can do to help them feed kids next year. Read more.

Job Opportunities
1. Healthy Food Access Program Manager, Kansas State University Extension (Manhattan, Kansas)
Deadline: July 18
Kansas State University is seeking a Program Manager to join our healthy food access team.  K-State’s food access work includes the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative ( and the Rural Grocery Initiative ( This position will be responsible for providing technical assistance, assisting with grant development, event management, and managing partner and stakeholder relationships.  For best consideration, please submit your application materials using the link below by July 18. Learn more and apply.

2. Food Systems Researcher, The Lexicon (California)
The Lexicon, a California based NGO, is hiring food systems researchers with established domain expertise in the following subject areas: regenerative agriculture, food equity, food & climate change, supply chains, and agrobiodiversity. Applicants must have a secondary degree in a food or ag related field, demonstrable expertise in self-directed food research, and the ability to meet tight deadlines. Strong English language writing skills are a must, as is fluency in Google's suite of cloud based tools (Drive, Sheet, Doc, etc.) The work begins immediately and starts with a 3 month probationary period. Interested applicants can share a resume with

In The News
Stream: Arthur Jafa’s Love is the Message, The Message is Death
Arthur Jafa premiered Love is the Message, The Message is Death at Gavin Brown's enterprise in Harlem just days after the tumultuous 2016 election. Created earlier that summer, in the midst of an eruption of citizen documentation of police brutality towards Black people in the United States and subsequent protests, the seven-and-a half-minute video demanded viewers see the epidemic of racial violence that has always been in front of them. With Jafa’s support, 13 institutions have come together to amplify this work and simultaneously stream it for the first time. “What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?”-Amandla Stenberg.  Learn more and watch the live stream.

COVID-19 How Garden-Based Education Programs Are Adapting to COVID-19
The novel coronavirus has forced many garden-based education programs to find new ways to engage students from a distance. Two programs located in the Southern United States, Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) in Birmingham, Alabama and The Green Heart Project in Charleston, South Carolina, are finding similar ways to adjust their programs so they can continue to use gardening as an educational tool. (Food Tank)

COVID-19 Program Supports West North Carolina Farmers and Offers Food Relief During Pandemic
Asheville-based agriculture aid nonprofit Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project has stepped up to do what it does best: support Southern Appalachian farming communities by building connections to locally grown food. ASAP’s recently announced Appalachian Farms Feeding Families program connects farmers in Western North Carolina with smaller-scale food relief efforts, providing funding that covers costs to farmers. (Carolina Public Press)

Rediscovering Detroit’s Roots Through Indigenous Food
Through a collective maple sugaring effort, pop-up dinners, seed saving, and more, an urban community is reconnecting to its Indigenous foodways. (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.


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