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National Farm to School Network

News

Honoring Black History and Leadership in Farm to School

NFSN Staff Friday, February 28, 2020

By Anna Mullen, Communications Director

February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community and to celebrate the many Black leaders on whose shoulders we stand. For the National Farm to School Network, it’s also a time to recommit ourselves to being honest about the racism and inequities that persist within our field of work, and to reaffirm our commitment to working towards a vision of equity and justice. Listening, learning and reflecting on the histories, stories and wisdom of Black leaders in the food movement is one step in this journey, and we invite you to join us. Here are a few recommendations to get you started: 

EXPLORE: Black History Month Food and Farm Justice resource lists - HEAL Alliance

READ: Black Farmers Are Embracing Climate-Resilient Farming, by Leah Penniman - Civil Eats

WATCH: Malik Yankini on Food, Race and Justice - TEDxMuskegon

LISTEN: Karen Washington on Food Justice, Land Stewardship and Legacy Work - WhyHunger

MEET: The Black farm to school pioneers, leaders and kids in the picture above!

Top row:
  • Betti Wiggins, Officer of Nutrition Services at Houston Independent School District and former NFSN Advisory Board member.
  • Students at Kimball Elementary School in Washington, D.C. growing hydroponic lettuce and tomatoes.
  • LaDonna Redmond, founder and executive director of The Campaign for Food Justice Now.
  • A young gardener picking peas at the former K Street Farm in Washington, D.C.

Middle row:
  • Students enjoying a taste test at John Adams Elementary School in Riverside, Calif.
  • Glyen Holmes, founder of the New North Florida Cooperative, and a farm to school movement trailblazer. He's been helping small farmers in Florida sell to schools since the 1990s!
  • A little gardener learning about plants in Tennessee.
  • Rodney Taylor, director of Food and Nutrition Services for Fairfax County Public Schools, pioneer of "farm to school salad bars" in the 1990s, and former NFSN Advisory Board member.

Bottom row:

These are just a few of the many Black trailblazers, innovators and movement makers who are helping power farm to school efforts nationwide. There are many more - including on our staff, Advisory Board, in our network of Core and Supporting Partners, and others - who we also celebrate this month. 

While there are just a few days left of Black History Month 2020, our commitment to listening to and lifting up Black voices and leadership in farm to school doesn't stop at the end of February. Every day is the right day for being honest about and addressing the racism and inequities in our work. (You can read more about National Farm to School Network's commitment to centering our work in equity here.) In March and April, our staff will be participating in Food Solutions New England's 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge - sign up to join us. And, we encourage you join us in continuing to honor the Black leaders who have given, and continue to give, boundless wisdom, vision, creativity and commitment to the farm to school movement.

Learning How to Gro More Good Indoors: An Update on Our Pilot Project

NFSN Staff Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Students at Amidon-Bowen Elementary in Washington, D.C. excited about the fast growth of their salad greens.
By Jenileigh Harris,  Program Associate
With a goal of connecting more students across the country to indoor gardening opportunities, the Scotts-Miracle Gro Foundation, Hawthorne Gardening Company and National Farm to School Network have launched a pilot project to integrate hydroponic growing systems into classrooms and science curricula this school year. 

Halfway into the pilot year the hydroponic gardens are overflowing and teachers, students and families are seeing the positive impacts in and outside of the classroom. Students are demonstrating an increased interest in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) concepts, as well as an increase in applying critical thinking skills. The hydroponic systems have also enhanced family and community engagement and fostered student behavioral and social-emotional development. 

Across all pilot schools, the hydroponic systems are encouraging students from pre-school to middle school to take ownership over the garden, deciding what to grow, monitoring the system daily, and leading care and harvest. According to teachers, student ownership of the hydroponic units has translated into improved attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors related to healthy eating, improved their knowledge about gardening, agriculture and food systems and provided valuable opportunities for peer learning. 

Most classrooms are using their pepper, tomato, herb and salad green harvests in taste tests while teachers are incorporating plant parts, hydroponic vs. soil garden needs and life cycle lessons into existing STEM, food system, and/or nutrition curricula. At Kimball Elementary School in Washington, D.C., students in a FoodPrints classroom and lab incorporate their hydroponic produce into meals and snacks they prepare as a part of their cooking and gardening STEM curriculum. Recently, students used their hydroponically grown tomatoes to create a salsa for sweet potato quesadillas. “Our special education class has taken ownership of the hydroponic grow station. They put it together, take care of it and monitor the growth. It’s been a great experience for them,” describes Kimball Elementary School.

At P.S. 214 in the Bronx, New York sixth grade students had the opportunity to teach second grade students about the hydroponic garden. The sixth graders did a shared reading about plants as a system, and then created hydroponic bags to observe the growth of a lima bean. 


A classroom lesson, “Donde esta la tierra?” (“Where is the soil?”), at Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C. in which students compared and contrasted plant needs in a soil-based garden versus a hydroponic garden in both English and Spanish.

One of the things that makes the hydroponic systems such a great learning and teaching tool for plant life cycles and other STEM concepts is that they provide relatively instant results for both students and teachers. “Students can see the plants from seed to plant in record time. Seeds produce plants [which] produces tomatoes. They know that but to see it without waiting months is amazing. They run to the grow station every time they enter the classroom,” describes Kimball Elementary School.

And students’ general inquiry and interest in scientific process is increasing. “I have heard very fascinating ‘what if’ questions from my students like ‘what if we can grow a whole farm of vegetables just like this?’ which has led me to incidental exploration of other science avenue topics such as sustainability, pros vs. cons, and water as a resource,” reports Amidon-Brown Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

At Kimball Elementary, students counted the yellow flowers on their tomato plants in anticipation of the plant’s fruits. “They are very excited to see if we can produce as many tomatoes as predicted,” describes a Kimball Elementary teacher.
 
Students at Kimball Elementary School in Washington, D.C. taking care of their hydroponic tomatoes.

Many of the schools have had success engaging families and community with the hydroponic systems. Some schools have included families in the harvesting and tasting of the hydroponic plants while others have placed the unit in a shared space where the whole school community can observe, ask questions, and share in the excitement with the students. “We teach a family cooking class on Monday afternoons. Parents who might not have ever seen a garden or be interested in growing plants ask so many questions about the hydroponic system. It sparks conversations about the plants we are growing, healthy eating and how to cook those plants in a non-threatening informative way,” describes Kimball Elementary School.

Teachers have noticed marked changes in their students such as increased overall awareness and attentiveness to academic responsibilities as well as demonstration of social-emotional development. NFSN staff observed a young student at Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C. who had been struggling to concentrate in the classroom become much more engaged when the class visited the hydroponics unit, eagerly asking and answering questions.  At Sunrise Middle School in San Jose, California, students have started managing the hydroponic care schedule and consistently remind their teacher who is on deck to be the weekly garden helpers. 


 
Students at Community School 134 in the Bronx, NY taste testing and measuring their recently harvested greens.

Once spring arrives, many classes have hopes to transplant their tomatoes and peppers to outdoor gardens while others are planning to plant a new round of hydroponic pods at the same time they plant seeds, creating additional opportunities to explore STEM concepts, to encourage family and community engagement and support continued social-emotional development. 

Teachers anticipate the positive impacts to grow as they continue to integrate the hydroponics systems into lessons and families become more engaged in the delicious results.

This Week in Farm to School: 2/18/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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. FY20 Team Nutrition Training Grants for School Meal Recipe Development
Deadline: April 3
A Request for Applications for the FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development is now available through Grants.gov. FNS expects to award approximately $5.2 million to state agencies (up to $300,000 per state) that administer the National School Lunch Program. The FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development will assist states in helping schools offer meals supported by recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. Using grant funds, state agencies will be able to develop nutritious and tasty recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. View the Request for Applications here

2. Action for Healthy Kids Grant
Deadline: April 3
Action for Healthy Kids' (AFHK) is providing schools the resources for students to eat better, stay physically active and be better prepared to learn. AFHK is offering two grant opportunities: Game on Grants for $1,000-$2,500 and Parents for Healthy Kids Grants for $1,000. Learn more and apply here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Register Today! 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is just three months away, and now is the time to start planning! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration is NOW OPEN!! Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more. 

2. Applications Open: Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Systems Leadership Retreat
Deadline: February 24
Hosted by the Wallace Center's Food Systems Leadership Network, the Food Systems Leadership Retreat is a 2.5 day facilitated convening of food systems leaders from April 27-30 in Canby, Oregon. The retreat convenes food systems leaders to reflect and dig deep into the tools of systems leadership and systems thinking for social change. Participants are guided through hands-on, experiential workshops that will strengthen leadership skills, offer new tools for mapping and finding the change levers in the systems they are working on, and support their growth as effective facilitators of community change processes.  Click here for more information and to apply. Contact Annalina Kazickas at annalina.kazickas@winrock.org with questions.

3. EQUITY Registration is Open! 2020 Racial Equity Challenge!
March 30-April 19
Sign up for the Food Solutions New England's (FSNE) annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge starting on March 30th! In its sixth year, the Challenge is a great way to learn about the history and impacts of racism on our current food system while inspiring participants with resources and tools to build racial equity in their work and lives. People from all over the country participate in the Challenge with the goal of raising awareness, shifting attitudes and changing outcomes. This year a Discussion Guide will be available for groups who want to do the Challenge together. Visit the FSNE Challenge website for more information or to register.

4. EQUITY Webinar Recording: The Roots of Injustice in Our Agricultural System
A conversation with key leaders in the farm workers movement to share how and why farm worker issues have historically been left out of U.S. labor law protections, and how farm workers are building powerful movements that integrate an analysis toward climate, migrant, food, and worker justice. Jeannie Economos (Farmworkers Association of Florida), Mily Treviño-Sauceda (National Alliance of Farmworker Women) and Diana Tellefson Torres (United Farm Workers Foundation) share their experiences from decades of organizing. They will also highlight upcoming campaigns and policy fights in 2020 that are critical to the building power over the longer term. View the recorded webinar here.


Research & Resources  
1. EQUITY February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community. Throughout February, National Farm to School Network is sharing stories, resources, articles and more that highlight histories and narratives that often go overlooked. This week, we encourage you to explore how communities of color are coming together to take a stand and reclaim their health while creating a just and intersectional food system in M. Jahi Chappell's Beginning to End Hunger: Food and the Environment in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Real Food Media's podcast of the book here

2.  NFSN National Calendar of Farm to School Events
The National Farm to School Network hosts a national calendar of farm to school events, conferences and networking opportunities. Events are added on an ongoing basis. Submit your farm to school event to the calendar by clicking the green "Submit Event" button. To be considered, events should be open to the public and specifically related to farm to school content. View the calendar and submit events here.


Policy News
1. U.S. Senators Cory Booker and John Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand School Nutrition Education
U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) today introduced a bipartisan bill to establish a new pilot program to fund nutritional education in schools. The Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act of 2020 would allocate federal funding for projects that educate students while connecting them to healthy food practices, with a priority given to schools in neighborhoods with high rates of childhood diet-related illnesses and those in which 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. The National Farm to School Network alongside many other leaders in the food systems community support this legislation. Read more here.

2. Legislative Spotlight on Farms Could Help Save an Industry in Wisconsin
State lawmakers in Wisconsin on both sides of the political aisle are talking about helping farmers and producers of agriculture products. When it all shakes out, legislators hope to see both short-term relief for farmers across the state and long-term initiatives that will help shore up the industry. Among Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers' policy proposals to be introduced t support farmers includes: Giving school districts that have a high percentage of low-income students priority in the awarding of state farm to school grants that help get locally grown produce food into school lunches. Read more here.


Job Opportunities
1. Food Systems Specialist, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (East Lansing, MI)
Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a full-time Specialist - Outreach to support capacity-building among and facilitate technical assistance to Michigan local food councils, Michigan food and health organizations, and countrywide grantees in the federal Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). The full position description is available on the MSU Careers website by searching for posting #636431. Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2020.

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 13. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Students in Louisiana show off healthy cooking skills in annual 'On Cuisine du Jardin Cook-Off'
The goal of the cook-off is to provide local youth hands-on experience using vegetables grown from their school gardens and/or local produce and knowledge of healthy food choices.Charles Hebert, LSU AgCenter County Agent, explained, "Many of them are taking those concepts home now and starting vegetables with their parents or grandparents at home. They're learning how to get back together as a family and cook their own produce that they're raising at home, and they're also cooking that produce in the school." (KATC 3)

One on One With: Broome Tioga’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services' Mark Bordeau on Building Successful Teams and Farm to School Programs in K-12 School Food Service
After nearly 30 decades in child nutrition, Mark Bordeau, senior food service director of the Broome Tioga BOCES in upstate New York has learned many lessons. He’s created a highly successful school food program that manages cafeterias in 15 districts, with a combined purchasing power of $18 million. He developed the Rock On Café a marketing program to promote fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk. Listen to the podcast here.

Food Waste in Maryland Public School System Could Be Lowered With the Idea of Giving Back
As food waste continues to be a problem in Frederick County Public Schools, Alysia Mason-Feuer, director of Farm to School in Frederick County, helped start the project of a share table in mid-January to help provide food that would otherwise be thrown away to those in need.. Her main objective has been working to get local fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias, but after seeing the amount of food thrown out, Mason-Feuer developed a plan to reduce waste. (The Frederick News-Post)

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.

This Week in Farm to School: 2/11/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 11, 2020
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. FY20 Team Nutrition Training Grants for School Meal Recipe Development
Deadline: April 3
A Request for Applications for the FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development is now available through Grants.gov. FNS expects to award approximately $5.2 million to state agencies (up to $300,000 per state) that administer the National School Lunch Program. The FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development will assist states in helping schools offer meals supported by recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. Using grant funds, state agencies will be able to develop nutritious and tasty recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. An informational webinar will be hosted on Feb. 11. View the Request for Applications here

2. Action for Healthy Kids Grant
Deadline: April 3
Action for Healthy Kids' (AFHK) is providing schools the resources for students to eat better, stay physically active and be better prepared to learn. AFHK is offering two grant opportunities: Game on Grants for $1,000-$2,500 and Parents for Healthy Kids Grants for $1,000. Learn more and apply here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Register Today! 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is just three months away, and now is the time to start planning! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration is NOW OPEN!! Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more.

2. Life Lab: Educator Workshops at the Garden Classroom
Spring - Summer 2020 // Santa Cruz, CA
Life Lab offers trainings and workshops for educators in their Garden Classroom on the UCSC CASFS Farm. Upcoming trainings this spring and summer include: School Garden Program Sustainability, The Growing Classroom, and Plant to Plate. Learn more here

3. 2020 California Farm to School and School Garden Conference
March 26-27 // San Diego, CA
Registration is now open for the California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork's (CDFA-F2F) 2020 California Farm to School and School Garden Conference. The conference brings together farm to school practitioners from across the school food and education spaces, offering professional development, networking and the sharing of best practices. It is hosted by CDFA-F2F in partnership with Community Health Improvement Partners in San Diego. Learn more and register here

4. Garden-To-Plate: A Day of Food Workshops
March 7 // Chaska, MN
A one day workshop for teachers, school administrators, school food service professionals, students, and all those passionate about actualizing farm to school are invited to attend this workshop to learn how to, with sparse staff time and limited resources, ensure maximum production of safe food for your efforts. This day of workshops will bring together the latest research and best practices to ensure Minnesota community food growers bring a bounty of safe produce to their communities. Learn more and register here.


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community. Throughout February, National Farm to School Network is sharing stories, resources, articles and more that highlight histories and narratives that often go overlooked. This week, we encourage you to explore Food First's multi-authored series, Dismantling Racism in the Food System, and listen to The Sporkful's "The Order That Changed The World" podcast, which explores the famous 1960 civil rights protest at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

2. Greenhouse Manual: An Introductory Guide for Educators
United States Botanic Garden, the National Association for Appropriate Technology and City Blossoms developed this freely available manual in response to an expressed need to help guide would-be greenhouse managers and educators as their schools explore ways to build new infrastructure or reinvest in existing greenhouse facilities. Its purpose is to support and expand the planting and use of school gardens and greenhouses, farm to school activities, and the integration of plant science in the curriculum. The manual lays out a basic understanding of greenhouses, how to integrate greenhouses into lessons, and how to use greenhouses in classroom curricula and after-school activities. View the resource here


Policy News
1. Minnesota Department of Agriculture Allocates Funding for First-Time Dedicated Farm to School Staff
Two farm to school policy wins were achieved in the 2019 Minnesota legislative session. Funding was allocated to create a new, permanent position, Regional Marketing Specialist, with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). That position, Regional Marketing Specialist, is now filled by Helen Schnoes. With MDA Helen will focus on supporting farm to school across Minnesota as well as other state agriculture and food business marketing efforts, including the wholesale directory with Minnesota Grown. Read more here.

2. Hawai‘i Food Coalition Endorses Farm to School Bills
The Hawai‘i Local Food Coalition endorsed 10 bills they dubbed “pro-agriculture”. Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau and member of the LFC, Brian Miyamoto said the coalition carefully considered which bills to best support in relation to local food production. “It’s not always easy to build consensus across a diverse industry, but we all agreed on the importance of getting these bills into the end zone." The bills endorsed by the Local Food Coalition include establishing a P-20 agriculture education coordinator position and a two-year farm to school grant pilot program among others. Read more here.


Job Opportunities
1. Equity Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network is seeking an Equity Consultant to support initiatives aimed at advancing equity at the organizational and programmatic levels. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of February 12. For more information, email Jenileigh Harris at jenileigh@farmtoschool.org.

2. Senior Outreach Specialist, The Common Market (Chicago, IL)
The Common Market is a nonprofit, multi-regional distributor that connects communities with good food from sustainable family farms. The Common Market seeks to explore replication of its successful model in Chicago, IL and is conducting an extensive search for its first employee in this region. The ideal candidate is highly motivated, results-driven, passionate about community and sustainable food, in addition to having the professionalism and experience to succeed in a demanding role that is critical to the success of the organization. Learn more and apply here.

3. 2020 Intertribal Agriculture Council Internship Opportunities
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) is recruiting innovative, collaborative, and focused high school and early college-aged youth that are passionate about promoting the regeneration of natural resources within their communities. Selected interns will engage in an 8-10 week paid internship between May and September 2020. This is a full-time, paid internship position. Each intern will experience a tailored learning plan to enhance their knowledge of natural resource management in Indian Country, exploring their strengths and improving their weaknesses. Learn more and apply here

4. FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 13. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Op-Ed: Why Are You Still Packing Lunch for Your Kids?
Jennifer Gaddis, an expert on school lunch policy, writes: While parents have been focusing on creating Instagram-friendly school lunches, the quality of cafeteria food has improved significantly. And when kids eat school lunch, they and their parents are supporting the efforts to improve the national program for current and future generations. (The New York Times)

Renowned Chefs to Spice up Food at Chicago Public School Cafeterias 
Chicago Public Schools has launched a brand new Chicago Chef Council — a panel of celebrated chefs who will contribute their culinary passion and creativity toward developing the daily breakfasts, lunches and after-school meals served by CPS’ Nutrition Support Services. They will also promote the CPS Farm to School program and engaging students and staff through demonstrations, in-café sampling and take-home recipes. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Minnesota District Serves More Local Foods
Through partnership with a local food hub and through direct outreach to farms, Prior Lake-Savage schools have been putting more local food on meal trays. Though, locally-grown food doesn’t do any good if the children don’t eat it. So every week, the schools offer a “Try-It Tuesday” experiment. Cafeteria staff walk around with samples of foods that might be unfamiliar like persimmons and artichoke hearts. The goal is to inspire students to make healthy and smart food choices not only in the schools, but also in homes. (CBS Minnesota)

Connecticut School Draws Students With Experiential Agriculture Program 
Shepaug Agriscience STEM Academy has been combating it's declining enrollment by offering students within and outside the school district experiential learning opportunities focused on animal, food, plant and power sciences. The academy has become a breeding ground of new life both literally and figuratively. Students rotate through “pathways” to study animal science; food products and processing systems; plant sciences; and power, structural and technical systems once every nine weeks. (U.S. News

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.

This Week in Farm to School: 2/4/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 04, 2020
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. FY20 Team Nutrition Training Grants for School Meal Recipe Development
Deadline: April 3
A Request for Applications for the FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development is now available through Grants.gov. FNS expects to award approximately $5.2 million to state agencies (up to $300,000 per state) that administer the National School Lunch Program. The FY 2020 Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development will assist states in helping schools offer meals supported by recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. Using grant funds, state agencies will be able to develop nutritious and tasty recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. An informational webinar will be hosted on Feb. 11. View the Request for Applications here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN EVENT Registration Open! 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23 // Albuquerque, NM
Early Bird registration is now open for the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference! With 40 skill-building workshops, 10 experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses, valuable networking time, and a showcase of New Mexico’s vibrant local food culture, this biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with food systems leaders from across the country. Early Bird registration is open through Feb. 28. Save $50 on regular registration pricing and secure a seat on your first-choice field trip! Visit www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org to register today. 

2. EQUITY Webinar Series: Food Literacy for All Evening Video Series 
Tuesdays // 6:30-8pm EST
Food Literacy for All is a community-academic partnership course at the University of Michigan. Structured as an evening lecture series, Food Literacy for All features different guest speakers each week to address challenges and opportunities of diverse food systems. The course is designed to prioritize engaged scholarship that connects theory and practice. By bringing national and global leaders, we aim to ignite new conversations and deepen existing commitments to building more equitable, health-promoting, and ecologically sustainable food systems.
Click here for the video schedule and archive of videos.

3. EQUITY Webinar: Learning "HOW" to Apply Racial Equity to Policies, Advocacy, Programs, and Service Provision to End Hunger 
February 5 // 1-2:30pm EST
The Closing the Hunger Gap (CTHG) webinar series is designed to foster shared learning and build shared understanding and analysis around the root causes of hunger and poverty. Learn from an array of food system advocates who are working to create a more just and sustainable system and create solutions to hunger grounded in social justice. Register here

4. Webinar Series: Montana Farm to School Successes
Wednesdays // 2-3pm MST
Join Montana Office of Public Instruction and Montana Team Nutrition Program for an exploration of farm to school successes across Montana in a three-part webinar series. Montana Team Nutrition Program’s Montana Farm to School Coordinator will provide a foundation of farm to school information, resources, and opportunities. Representatives from schools, organizations, and businesses from around the state will share their story and experiences. No pre-registration required. Learn more here

5. Edible Schoolyard Summer Training  
June 24-26 // Berkeley, CA
The Edible Schoolyard Summer Training is a three-day immersive training experience for teachers, educators, and administrators working with youth and food. The Summer Training includes workshops on teaching technical gardening and cooking skills in a classroom setting, sessions sharing best practices in curriculum planning and school lunch reform, and discussions on important issues in edible education such as developing culturally relevant curriculum and avoiding food shaming. The training is an opportunity to connect with individuals from across the country and globe who are working to educate youth and build a healthier and more just food system. Learn more and apply here by March 1st. 

6. Applications Open: 2020-2021 Northeast Farm to School Institute
Deadline: February 14
The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for selected school, early childhood, or district teams from New England and New York. The Institute kicks off with a Summer Retreat held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT June 29–July 1, 2020. Whether you're a long-time farm to school advocate or looking to begin integrating food, farm, and nutrition programs into your school community, you're invited to form a team and apply. Apply by Feb. 14. Learn more here

7. Call for Abstracts: American Public Health Association's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo
Deadline: February 20
Submit an abstract by to present and share your research at APHA's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo in San Francisco, Oct. 24 – 28. APHA accepts abstracts from all areas of public health but encourages you to submit abstracts related to the APHA 2020 theme “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence.” Anyone can submit an abstract however, accepted presenters must become individual members of APHA and must register for the Annual Meeting by the Advance Deadline. Learn more about deadlines and requirements for presenters here


Research & Resources 
1. EQUITY February is Black History Month 
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the Black community. Throughout February, National Farm to School Network will be sharing stories, resources, articles and more that highlight histories and narratives that often go overlooked. This week, we encourage you to explore Teaching Tolerance's Black History Month: Teaching the Complete History article and resources here.
 
2. A Policy Analysis of Current Farm to Early Childhood Education Legislation in the United States
Law Review of John Hopkins  
It is evident from the outcomes of state farm to school legislation that such legislation provides for promising impacts for our children. State legislation is especially important to create wide-ranging impacts, whereas state farm to school laws indicate increased fruit and vegetable availability and consumption, regardless of whether the individual schools within the state establish an farm to school program. Because the farm to early care and education movement is still in its infancy, this presents an ideal opportunity for state representatives to be innovative by molding farm to ECE policy needs specific for their state constituents. Read the full analysis, published by the Law Review of Johns Hopkins, here

3. Report: Growing Opportunity for Farm to School in New York
American Farmland Trust and Farm to Institution New York State
In 2018, the state of New York created a major new incentive to encourage schools to buy more food from New York farms. This incentive enabled schools that spend at least 30% of their lunch food budget on food from New York farmers, growers, producers, or processors to receive 25 cents per meal in state reimbursement - quadruple the 6 cents reimbursement they had received for the past 40 years. This report details these challenges, and makes eight recommendations the State of New York can act on to ensure this program reaches its full potential, and for other states to learn from when considering this type of incentive program. Read more here


Policy News
1. New York FY 2021 Executive Budget Supports Farm to School New York
Governor Cuomo has announced that the FY 2021 Executive Budget would raise the spending threshold for school districts procuring local food for breakfast and lunch through the federal Child Nutrition Programs. This change will give schools more flexibility in realizing the Governor’s goal for schools to source 30 percent of their menu items from local farms as part of the No Student Goes Hungry initiative. Read more here.


Job Opportunities
1. Equity Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network is seeking an Equity Consultant to support initiatives aimed at advancing equity at the organizational and programmatic levels. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of February 12. For more information, email Jenileigh Harris at jenileigh@farmtoschool.org

2. Greenhouse and Garden Manager, University of Colorado Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, CO) 
The UCCS Farm Manager will supervise, oversee and coordinate the UCCS Farm program activities and operations in the UCCS Auxiliary unit of the Division of Student Success. The Farm Manager is responsible for the health, care and maintenance of plants, flowers, trees, bees and chickens in a controlled environment where the growth and availability of produce is scheduled to coincide with the buying public. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Inside New York’s Pursuit to Bring Local Food into More Schools
During the 2018-2019 school year, the Buffalo School District more than doubled its spending on local produce compared to the year before—from about $300,000 to $700,000—while also buying more local milk and meat, spending $2.6 million total on foods produced in the state. The effort was an attempt to qualify for the state’s new farm to school purchasing incentive, which would significantly increase the amount the district received in meal reimbursement money at the end of the year, if it managed to spend 30 percent of its lunch budget on local food. (CivilEats)

It’s Summer All Year Long in This Ohio Classroom
With snow on the ground in Coventry Township, the tomato plants are two to three feet high, the zinnias are in bloom and the lettuce is ready to pick. The extensive hydroponics setups of grow lights, trays, tubing and buckets allows plants to grow in water year round. Science teacher Jim Trogdon said he wants his eighth-grade students to be a part of saving the world, making growing practices more sustainable. Their generation, he said, “has to help to come up with the solutions” to the challenge of feeding a growing population as the climate changes. (Akron Beacon Journal)

Michigan Farm to Freezer | In Good Co. Detroit
In Good Co. Detroit highlights Michigan Farm to Freezer, the work of NFSN Advisory Board member Brandon Seng, and his colleague Mark Coe. Farm to Freezer is leading the charge in providing access to Michigan grown fruits and vegetables to schools, low-income communities, and Michiganders across the state all year long, despite Michigan's notoriously short growing season. (In Good Co. Detroit)

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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