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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 7/07/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 07, 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 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.   

2. 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. 

3. 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. 

4. 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. 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. 

2. EQUITY Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) Build, Unlearn, Decolonize Learning Series
Deadline to apply: Today!
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.

3. Building Sustainable Power for Change: Toolkit for Activism
Join The New School's four-part workshop series on organizing, community building, and how to influence change in the world. Hear from Ted Kerr, Kiara Nagel, A.W. Strouse, and Miski Noor, who will lead the discussions. Workshops will take place every Tuesday in July from 3:00-4:30 p.m. (EST).  Presented by the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Justice and the Dean's Office at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts.

Self Care and Resiliency in the Face of Grief: Working Inside and Out
Narrative Power in the Time of Uprising (7/14)
Organizing by Understanding Power (7/21)
Engagement Burnout: How to be Restored (7/28)

4. How to Host a Nonpartisan Virtual Candidates Forum 
July 8 & July 22 // 12-1PM EST
Join Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Community Food Strategies, and Rural Advancement Foundation International - USA in this webinar designed to support food councils or community groups in considering hosting their own local food-themed virtual forum this fall. With a presidential election this fall, it is an important election year to bring attention to issues related to food, farming, and health with your community leaders and stakeholders. Register for July 8. Register for July 22. Contact Jared Cates at or Matt Kneece at with questions. 

5. National Young Farmers Coalition Produce Safety for Farm to School Focus Group
July 8 // 4PM EST
The National Young Farmers Coalition is seeking produce farmers who grow for Farm to School programs to participate in an online focus group this summer on produce safety in farm to school. All participants will receive a $50 stipend and a copy of our food safety guidebook: A Small Farmer's Practical Guide to Food Safety.  Register here.

6. NFSN Twitter #LunchChat 
July 9 // 1PM EST
National Farm to School Network is hosting a Twitter #LunchChat with FoodCorps next Thursday, July 9 from 1-2pm ET and you're invited to join us! We'll be tweeting about the ways school meals can support our country through COVID-19, how communities and policy makers can take action, and our vision that all students – across all races, places, and classes – deserve access to healthy food. Hope to see you there! Follow: @FoodCorps & @FarmtoSchool on Twitter.

7. EcoFarm's Farm to Farmer Conversation Series
July 28 // 12 PM PST
During the pandemic, USDA and state agencies have funded over $3 billion to purchase food as a way to reduce food waste and to feed the millions of newly unemployed. This 90 minute conversation hosted by the Ecological Farming Association will feature national leaders from organic farms, food hubs, food banks, academia, and sustainable agriculture groups to explore these new and old programs. You will learn about the policy, marketing, and nutritional implications of this new CFAP program and related state efforts. Register here.

8. 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.

9. The Power of Food: Cultivating Equitable Policy Through Collective Action
September 20-22, 2021 // Kansas City, Missouri
Join the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks project for the first-ever, in-person national forum dedicated to food policy councils (FPCs) and similar groups. The Power of Food: Cultivating equitable policy through collective action will now take place on September 20-22, 2021, in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Forum is committed to creating an equitable space to foster learning and sharing that will transform how FPCs imagine community-centered policy change for vibrant, healthy and equitable communities. To stay up-to-date on the latest plans for the Forum, sign up here.

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.

12. Horizon Summer Camp - Farm Education Video Series
July 2020
Horizon Organic is opening up the barn doors for Summer Camp! Kids and families are invited to tune-in to this summer camp video series to get a behind-the-scenes look at farm life. Throughout July, Horizon will be sharing fun and education activities - like creative ways to upcycle milk cartons, how to milk a cow, and a farm tour - on their YouTube page. Check-in weekly to see what's new at camp! Watch the summer camp video series 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. In Defense of Food: A Middle School Curriculum
The IDOF curriculum was developed by Kikim Media, the producers of the program, in partnership with the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University.  It is designed to help adolescents develop something valuable: practical tools for healthier eating. Even though scientists know a lot about food and health, the messages that reach adolescents about healthy eating have become increasingly complex and contradictory. View the curriculum.

3. Urban Agriculture Survey: Please Share Your Thoughts
What do you need from your local Cooperative Extension? If you are engaged in urban agriculture anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast region, U of M like to hear from you -- please fill out this survey to help get a better understanding of what urban agriculture looks like and how Extension can better serve urban farmers! The survey should take less than 30 minutes to complete. It is open to all individuals who are at least 18 years old and grow food plants or engage in other agriculture in urban areas in the Northeast U.S. If you have any questions, please contact Neith Little at and Dr. Matthew Richardson at Complete the survey.

4. EQUITY A Reading List For Learning About Anti-Black Racism and Food
Here are some books to educate ourselves on racism in America as it relates to farming, cooking, grocery shopping, and beyond. 

5. EQUITY ASAP Growing Mind's Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Bias Resources
Children begin to develop racial awareness and bias at a very young age. In an effort to create learning environments that are more diverse, inclusive, and reflective of our culturally diverse society, farm to school programs should follow equity-minded best practices. Visit the ASAP Growing Minds Farm to School website for our Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Bias resources page, to find children’s books (including farm to school literature) that celebrate diverse voices, and access recommended external resources that can be used by both teachers and parents to teach children about race, diversity, and inclusion. 

6. EQUITY Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development Statement on Anti-Black Racism
After consultation and feedback from the JAFSCD Shareholder Consortium, the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development has released the JAFSCD Statement on Anti-Black Racism. This is a starting point and a way to remain accountable to the work the journal needs to do. Feedback on this statement is welcome. Contact JAFSCD Shareholder Consortium Co-Chair Keith Williams for comments and questions:

7. 'Google Maps for Food Systems': New Dashboard Aims to Aid Decision-Making
A new online data hub intended to help countries make more informed food policy decisions aggregates data from different aspects of the food system — from supply chains to individual diets — to provide a fuller picture of whether and how people around the world access the nutritious foods they need. Read more.

8. 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.

Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As Congress works to finalize its next COVID-19 response bill, NOW is that time to make our voices heard. National Farm to School Network's 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 Local Food Assistance and Resilient Markets Act
Last week, the National Farm to School Network endorsed the Local Food Assistance and Resilient Markets Act, a bill by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to expand food assistance and increase support for the local and regional food systems that have proven most resilient during the COVID-19 crisis. This bill addresses several of NFSN’s asks for crucial COVID-19 relief for our partners, families, kids, and farmers. The bill would:
  • Cover 100% of project costs with USDA Farm to School Grants for the next two years (rather than the 25% match currently required to access F2S grants)
  • Waive the matching requirement for several other local food systems grants
  • Expand funding for local food projects
  • Expand funding and access for Farm Microloans to help the smallest producers 
  • Address barriers to online SNAP participation for smaller retailers, including local food hubs and farmers markets

3. House Appropriations Subcommittee Increases Funding for USDA Farm to School Grant Program 
On July 6, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture approved a spending bill to fund agriculture and nutrition programs for Fiscal Year 2021. The federal Farm to School Grant Program received an unprecedented increase to $12 million per year in funds -- $7 million per year above the mandatory $5 million level. We wish to thank subcommittee leaders, particularly Chairman Sanford Bishop and Ranking Member Jeff Fortenberry, for prioritizing the expansion of these crucial grants. Join us in thanking these Members of Congress! Their Senate counterparts are hard at work on their own version of funding legislation, which will be unveiled later this month.

4. COVID-19 California Budget Provides Essential Funding for Safe School Meals
California’s legislative leaders and Governor Newsom have passed a final budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year that includes a $112 million allocation for California school districts providing free school meals during the pandemic, and another $10 million in funding for the Farm to School program and the Office of Farm to Fork. Read more. 

5. COVID-19 One-Third of Small Independent Farms Could Go Bankrupt in 2020 Due to COVID-19
The poll finds that more than 35% of farmers experienced an average drop in revenue of over 51% in March and April, compared to the same period the previous year, due to a lack of sales to restaurants and at farmers’ markets. The concern for them is getting stuck with goods they can’t sell; of the almost 37% who expect to have this problem, over half don’t have cold storage or another way to salvage what they’ve produced. Read more.

In The News
EQUITY Remembering Philando Castile, School Food Hero
On the four-year anniversary of the police killing of Philando Castile, National Farm to School Network and The Rockefeller Foundation have co-authored a blog honoring the legacy of Philando, a school nutrition professional, and calling for the recognition of school food programs as essential drivers of racial justice. Read the blog here

COVID-19 Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Program Expands Into Oregon
Despite school closures during the coronavirus pandemic this spring, Walla Walla Valley Farm to School volunteers have kept busy maintaining gardens at local schools and expanding the program south of the state line. Program manager Beth Thiel said funding from an Oregon State Farm to School Grant now supports a garden education manager in Oregon. (Union-Bulletin)

COVID-19 FoodCorps Members Keep Students Learning About Food
When COVID-19 forced schools to close across the United States, FoodCorps reimagined hands-on food and nutrition education. The national service program educates students in more than 375 schools across the United States. But now FoodCorps service members are teaching classes remotely while also serving on the frontlines of emergency feeding programs.(Food Tank)

How the Rise of Supermarkets Left Out Black America
60-plus years of corporate strategies, white flight and stereotypes about black Americans have made it significantly harder for many black people to access a supermarket than it is for most white people, according to leaders of big cities across the country as well as food policy advocates, historians and urban studies experts. (CNN)

An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism
From Audre Lorde's groundbreaking essays to Ibram X. Kendi's guide to being antiracist, these books are a great resource for understanding why people are protesting right now. View the list.

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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