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National Farm to School Network


This week in farm to school: 7/14/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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. 

Funding & Grants
1. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has teamed up with Skoop, a superfoods company committed to bringing the health benefits of superfoods to every American. Together they have launched Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. These $2,500 grants assist in expanding students’ palates, and encouraging increased consumption of and exposure to fresh produce through engagement in lunchroom education activities that encourage students to taste new vegetables and fruits offered either in a dish, cooked, or raw. Learn more about the grant and find details to apply on The Lunch Box

2. Local Foods, Local Places 2015-2016 Application
Communities are invited to apply for a new round of technical assistance from Local Foods, Local Places. Local Foods, Local Places helps communities create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods through the development of local food systems. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. The assistance process features a community workshop that brings people together to develop shared goals and steps to achieve them. This is not a grant program. Applications dues September 15, 2015. Learn more here

Research & Resources
1. New USDA farm to preschool resource
USDA Farm to School team has published a new two-page fact sheet focused on preschool settings. Farm to Preschool: Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Settings presents basic information about farm to preschool efforts, including tips and resources. The fact sheet is available here

2. Farm to Early Childhood Programs: A Step-By-Step Guide
Michigan Farm to School has recently released Farm to Early Childhood Programs: A Step-By-Step Guide. Freely downloadable, this new guide provides tools and resources to help early childhood program providers of all types and sizes purchase and use local foods in their meals and snacks. Find a pdf copy of the guide here

3. Urban-Rural Differences in Childhood and Adolescent Obesity in the United States: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
This is a systematic literature review and subsequent meta-analysis performed to investigate differences in childhood obesity between urban and rural areas in the United States. All but one study suggested that residence in rural areas was associated with higher prevalence or increased odds of childhood obesity, compared to children living in urban areas. A meta-analysis of 74,168 pooled participants ages 2–19 found that rural children have 26% greater odds of obesity, compared to urban children. Read the full study here

4. Obesity: Americans Much Heavier Than in 1960
The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that over the past 45 years both men and women in the United States have gained weight and that "the average American woman now weighs 166.2 pounds – nearly identical to what American men weighed in the 1960s  … up from about 140 pounds in 1960." In addition, more than one in five U.S. children between the ages of 12 and 19 are considered obese, with 17.7 percent of kids ages 6–11 also weighing in at obesity levels. Read more about the study here

Webinars & Events
1. Canada’s first national school food conference, Nov 12-14, Montreal
Changing the Menu, Canada’s first-ever national school food conference, aims to advance activities to get more healthy, local and sustainable food into the minds and onto the plates of students. The three-day event will feature field trips to inspirational projects in Quebec, keynote speakers, presentations, workshops and networking opportunities. The conference will bring together a diverse group of participants from various sectors including health, education, agriculture, food service, recreation, policy and research. Early bird registration now open through September 15. Learn more about the conference on the Changing the Menu website

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Program Officer for Food Communities & Public Health Program, The John Hopkins Center for  Livable Future
The primary role of this position is to manage the Center’s Food Policy Networks (FPN) project, in close collaboration with senior staff at the Center for a Livable Future. As a core and senior member of the Food Communities and Public Health program team, the Program Officer will also contribute to other CLF projects within the FCPH program portfolio, such as the Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast (EFSNE) project, Meatless Monday and actively fulfill Center-wide activities as needed. Learn more about the position here.

2. Research, Data & Evaluation Manager, FOCUS
School Food FOCUS (FOCUS) is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of 43 large school districts across the country that collectively represent more than 4.9 million children. FOCUS seeks a Manager to coordinate research, evaluation and procurement data activities across the organization. View the full job description here

Farm to school in the news
Farm to school on The Many Shades of Green featuring NFSN Director of Development, Jaime Lockwood!
Jaime Lockwood was last week’s guest on The Many Shades of Green radio show. She discusses how farm to school works to bring fresh, local foods into school across the U.S., and how the Farm to School Act of 2015 can help strengthen the farm to school movement. Listen here

Op-ed: Don’t reverse progress toward healthier school lunches
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged Congress not to roll back the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act healthier school meal standards in an opinion piece this week. (via The Salt Lake Tribune)

Oregon to drastically change the way children get their school lunches
Oregon is taking its farm-to-schools statewide. As part of a spending bill, lawmakers agreed to pour $3.3 million of general fund money toward expanding the program, from the 19 school districts that currently enjoy farm-to-school benefits to every K-12 in the state. (via Portland Business Journal)

Ige Signs Law Creating Farm-to-School Program in Hawaii
Last week, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill that is intended to increase the amount of local food students eat in Hawaii’s public school system. The bill creates a state-wide farm to school program, and funds a full-time farm to school coordinator position. (via Civil Beat)

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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