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NFSN Grants $45,000 to Nine Projects in First Round of COVID-19 Relief Fund

NFSN Staff Friday, June 12, 2020

Photo credit, left to right: Guåhan Sustainable Culture, CentroNía, Linden Tree Photography (courtesy Georgia Organics).
National Farm to School Network is pleased to announce the first round of grants awarded from our COVID-19 Relief Fund. Nine organizations will receive a $5,000 grant to support their efforts helping kids and families continue eating, growing and learning about just and sustainable food – and farmers continuing to produce and supply it – during this global pandemic. 

As an organization rooted in a vision of a just food system, National Farm to School Network is committed to ensuring that the resources of our COVID-19 Relief Fund reach and impact communities that have been systematically underserved and disproportionately affected by this pandemic. This specifically includes and prioritizes Black, Indigenous, Latinx, immigrant and other communities of color. Our current food system is a legacy of exploitation and racism, and the pandemic – as well as current protests in support of Black Americans – have only further magnified the injustices that persist in the ways our country approaches food. As a grantmaker, we have a responsibility to use our resources in ways that will correct these injustices and serve those who have been underserved for too long. We are proud to be able to support the efforts of these nine organizations in meeting the urgent needs of their communities: 

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
Brooklyn, New York
To support Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s local food distribution efforts, which includes purchasing food directly from regional distributors, New York Black farmers, and Central Brooklyn growers, and utilizing existing infrastructure to aggregate and pack farm share bags offered to families free of charge. 

CentroNía
Washington, DC
To fund three weeks of CentroNía’s food assistance efforts, including local produce and nonperishable items, for 165 families in Washington, DC, and Takoma Park, Mayland experiencing food insecurity.

Fairfax County Public Schools, Food and Nutrition Services 
Springfield, Virginia
To support Fairfax County Public Schools in purchasing local fruits and vegetables from Mid-Atlantic growers and distribute fresh produce to children and families throughout the summer; and, to help fund the expansion of a farm to school focused, home learning initiative—FCPS Grow at Home—to reach students across its 63 emergency meal sites. 

Fond du Lac Ojibwe Schools - Farm to School
Nagaajiwanaang - Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Minnesota)
To purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and other locally produced and traditional food products for the Ojibwe School’s Food Program, and to support the ongoing procurement and educational activities of its farm to school efforts. 

Georgia Organics
Atlanta, Georgia
To support Georgia Organics in providing fresh, local produce and educational materials to families in need while supporting local small, minority and disadvantaged farmers in Clayton County and Hall County.   

Guåhan Sustainable Culture
Barrigada, Guam
To expand the “Supporting Farmers, Sustaining Families” initiative from 100 families to 200 families per week for the next two months, which includes purchasing fresh produce from local producers and supplies like coolers and packaging materials to safely transport and distribute food. 

Sprout City Farms
Denver, Colorado 
To support Sprout City Farms in launching a mobile farm stand and food pantry in order to continue feeding Denver Green School students and their families, especially those that are sheltering in place and/or experiencing transportation barriers to fresh food access. 

Steam Onward Inc
Accokeek, Maryland
To support Steam Onward’s FARMMACY Project, which works with youth to provide seeds, tilling services, and gardening consultation and resources free of charge to families and seniors as a way to supplement their diet with fresh vegetables and improve food security. 

YouthWorks
Santa Fe, New Mexico
To support YouthWorks’ ongoing emergency food distribution throughout northern New Mexico, its Culinary Training Program, and its support of young people growing food for the community. 

The urgent need to support hunger relief efforts and local food systems goes far beyond what we have been able to support in this first round of funding. We received over $1 million in requests for support from 119 organizations during the first request period. We need your help to meet this demand. 

Our COVID-19 Relief Fund is made possible by the generous support of small donors like you who share our vision of farm to school and farm to ECE programs supporting strong and just local and regional food systems that strengthen the health of all children, farms, environment, economy and communities across the country. If you’re able, please give today to help us grow our Relief Fund and support our COVID-19 response efforts. Thank you to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the many individual donors in our network for your financial support of this first round of grants. 

Donate Now

Round two of our 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.

West Virginia’s COVID-19 Response Builds Long-Term Resilience for Local Food System

NFSN Staff Thursday, June 11, 2020

By Olivia Wein, NFSN Programs and Policy Intern

The landscape of food and education changed quickly when COVID-19 became an inextricable part of everyone’s lives. Communities had to shift and make drastic changes as schools and businesses closed their doors. In order to ensure children had continued access to meals, stakeholders had to rapidly and creatively adjust to the new circumstances. With the help of strong community partnerships, innovation and willingness to collaborate from the state to the local level, communities in West Virginia have made tremendous headway in not only continuing to provide meals for children across the state, but also maintaining markets for farmers, and supporting food businesses in their communities. Sector lines have started to blur as communities come together to build and leverage resiliency in their local food system.  

When businesses and schools started closing, West Virginia’s Office of Child Nutrition partnered with communities to establish 505 feeding sites across the state. The strong partnerships rooted in these communities made it possible for children and families to access bagged lunches from a variety of locations. Not only did the Office of Child Nutrition want to ensure kids were being fed, but that they maintained highly nutritious meals while continuing to source locally from producers during the pandemic.
 

Setting up for distribution at Madison Elementary School. Photo credit: Grow Ohio Valley
Producers sent out weekly updates of local items that were available and the Office of Child Nutrition supported coordinated delivery of those items to regional distribution sites so the products could make their way to grab and go meals. In the beginning weeks, it took a period of trial and error in order to assess the best methods of creating grab-n-go style meals while incorporating local ingredients that would withstand the holding conditions during distributions. With time and patient collaboration, school districts and producers were able to successfully meet the goals of feeding kids with local products. 

While the state worked on broader distribution, local partners were building innovative collaborations and leveraging community resources, creativity, and talent to further support community members. Grow Ohio Valley (GrowOV), a community-based non-profit working to advance economic prosperity, improved health, and a better environment, partnered with West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC), Ohio County Schools, and local chefs to launch the Restaurant-to-School program in early weeks of the pandemic. 

Staff from Sarah's on Main, local eatery in Wheeling, WV preparing meals in WV Northern Community College teaching kitchen. Photo credit: Grow Ohio Valley
The program utilized WVNCC kitchen space and equipment to allow chefs and staff from local restaurants to create meals to distribute to Ohio County students. This innovative partnership not only helped to provide local kids with nutritious meals, but also helped support local restaurants by keeping employees paid. About 75% of each meal was paid for with funding from USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), with remaining costs covered by other community partnerships. Restaurant owners have been busy preparing meals using locally-sourced fruits and vegetables and delivering meals to school sites for daily distribution. In the last few weeks, two more counties have teamed up with local restaurants to build out similar models. 

As schools shift to summer feeding programs, West Virginia will continue to build on these solid partnerships and lessons learned in establishing these programs. The Office of Child Nutrition will continue to encourage and facilitate counties in maintaining relationships with local producers and implementing creative community based opportunities to reach children and families with local food. This includes providing funding to feature local products in grab and go “farmers market bags” to supplement grab and go summer meals. West Virginia has seen great program and partnership successes that will continue through the summer months. For example, two counties had partnered with a closed state park (Cacapon State Park) as a location for food distribution sites and other counties are launching on-site farmers markets at their summer feeding sites. By building on strong existing cross-sector relationships and leveraging resources and talent, from the state to the local level, West Virginia children, families, producers, and food businesses are benefiting in the immediacy while building long-term resilience in local community food systems. 
@yourfriendishere

we love to hand out free meals! ##fyp ##fypage ##volunteer ##americorps ##westvirginia ##wv ##coronavirus ##covid ##covid19 ##wheelingwv

♬ Shooting Stars - Bag Raiders

This Week in Farm to School: 6/9/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 09, 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 NEA Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Deadline: June 11
The purpose of the NEA Foundation’s Rapid Response Funding is to support educator-led initiatives to adapt to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer months of 2020. Among other initiatives, this may include meeting the nutritional needs of students who rely on school meals and school-based summer feeding programs. These grants will be awarded for a six-month grant period and for amounts of $1,500 to $5,000. Applicants must be teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel and must be current NEA members. Learn more here.

2. COVID-19 United Philanthropy Forum's Momentum Fund
Deadline: June 18
The Momentum Fund will provide grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that are managing an active COVID-19 fund. The grants will help these organizations build their capacity so that they can effectively grow, promote, manage and sustain their funds (whether they need to add new staff, access consulting expertise, acquire new software, etc.). Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $100,000 and a total of $8.5 million will be awarded. Learn more and apply.

3. USDA Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
USDA NIFA's Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. NIFA requests applications for the AgVets to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The close date is June 26. Learn more and apply here.

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

5. 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

6. COVID-19 Nourishing Neighbors Program to Support Summer Meals
Deadline: June 22 
Nourishing Neighbors (formerly known as Hunger Is), an initiative of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, has established a fund to help local families impacted by the current crisis. This new opportunity is specifically aimed at increasing participation in, and access to, the Summer Meals Programs this summer. Intermediary organizations, sponsors, and schools can apply for funding. Learn more and apply. Contact Christy.Duncan-Anderson@albertsons.com with additional questions. 


WEBINARS & EVENTS
1. EQUITY Webinar: Farming for Justice: From Gun Violence to Homesteading
June 10 // 12pm ET
Farmer Chantel Johnson will speak about her journey, from surviving the impacts of gun violence to creating and operating Off Grid in Color, a farming business that uses sustainability as a tool for healing and building intentional community. As a farmer, a doula and a counselor with a Masters degree in social work, Chantel embraces holistic practices including agriculture, restorative living and the power of healing. This webinar is hosted by Groundswell. Register here. 

2. Webinar: Maintaining Mental Wellness During Difficult Times (In Spanish)
June 10 // 5-7pm ET
Action for Healthy Kids is partnering with Alma Consulting Services to host a virtual Spanish-language workshop on June 10. Parents and families will learn how to handle stressful situations, prevent conflict, manage emotions and practice self-care techniques to maintain family harmony during these times. 

Manteniendo el Bienestar Mental en Nuestro Hogar Durante Tiempos Difíciles
Taller virtual para padres y familiares
10 de junio // 5-7 pm Este
Organizado por Action for Healthy Kids y presentado en español por Chely Romero de Alma Consulting Services. Vea los detalles y regístrese.

3. COVID-19 Webinar: A Shared Narrative in COVID-19 and Beyond
June 11 // 2pm ET
This webinar, hosted by Blue Sky Funders Forum will feature opportunities for organizations to message the importance of their work during COVID-19 and beyond through the Rethink Outside shared narrative. Learn more and register.

4. COVID-19 Webinar: Meeting Students’ Nutritional Needs Next School Year
June 11 // 3pm ET
Many states and school districts are beginning to plan for how to safely reopen schools in the fall. Ensuring access to school meals is a large part of this conversation. Due to the impact of COVID-19, it will be more important than ever to collaborate with district and community stakeholders to implement best practices to ensure students have continued access to the nutrition they need to thrive. Join this webinar, hosted by FRAC, to learn what’s included in the CDC's Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools, in regards to school meals, and best practices your school district can implement to meet the needs of students, including operating innovative service models and community eligibility. Register here

5. Webinar: The Essentials of Accessibility: School and Community Gardens June 16 // 1pm EST
This presentation from the University of Maine and Maine AgrAbility Program will discuss planning for school and community gardens for all users including those of all ages and abilities. The presentation includes concepts on making the garden an enjoyable destination and how assistive technology in the form of adaptive garden tools can help. Learn more and register.

6. COVID-19 Webinar: Green Schoolyards In a Post COVID-19 Era
June 18 // 2pm ET
Green schoolyards are an exceptional use of public space, creating equitable access to green space, providing places to play and learn during school time, and offering community access out-of-school time. Cities Connecting Children to Nature brings together experts from the Children & Nature Network, Landscape Architecture Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and the Austin Green School Parks program to understand what is happening with schoolyards in the face of COVID-19, and what we should aim for post-COVID-19. Register here.  

7. Webinar: Planning for the Reopening of Schools: The Importance of School Nutrition & District Leadership Relationships
June 11 // 2PM EST
As districts think through what the reopening of schools will look like, school meals must remain a service kids and families can count on. Whatever phase of back-to-school planning your district is in, it is vital to include all key stakeholders, including school nutrition leadership, to create a comprehensive and compatible plan that will best equip schools for reopening. In this interview-style webinar, you'll hear directly from a school nutrition director, superintendent and school board president about how they have worked together in the past and how they are working together now to maintain a robust child nutrition program. Learn more and register.

8. Webinar: Food Procurement for a More Just Food System
June 18 // 11am PDT
How can we use food procurement policy to drive health equity?
Join ChangeLab Solutions on discussing how institutional food purchasing can be used to build a more just food system and promote economic and health equity. Learn more and register.

9. Prescott College's Food Systems Friday Webinars
June 19 // 12pm PDT
Join Dr. Robin Currey, Director of the MS in Sustainable Food Systems program at Prescott College, as the "Food Systems Fridays" series moderator for Episode 11 of Food Systems Friday. Learn more and register.


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Producers should apply through the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center.

2. Farm to Table: A Play on Farm to School at Home
View Action for Healthy Kids' resource for adapting farm to school to farm to school at home!

3. COVID-19 Join Heal Food Alliance's Call to Actions for Worker Safety
Nearly 25,000 food workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Workers nationwide are calling for an emergency OSHA standard that gives them workplace protections. Learn more here.

4. The Movement for Black Lives' Week of Action
Racial justice is food justice. Stay in the know with M4BL's week of action and other advocacy efforts. Learn more.

5. COVID-19 CDC and Department of Labor Release COVID-19 Related Guidance for Agriculture Workers, Employers
This guidance provides a template of action to protect agriculture workers from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Agricultural employers can adopt these recommendations to protect workers at their particular work sites or in specific work or in specific work operations. View the resource.

6. COVID-19 New USDA Resource for Nonprofits Seeking Food Assistance Support
Nonprofit organizations seeking to receive food through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program can learn more about the program overview and Frequently Asked Questions available at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website. 

7. Article: Implementation of a Multi-Component School Lunch Environmental Change Intervention to Improve Child Fruit and Vegetable Intake: A Mixed-Methods Study
Nudge interventions are widely used to promote health in schools, yet implementation metrics are seldom used to understand intervention outcomes. A multi-component intervention consisting of cafeteria decorations, creative names, social norming taste tests, and flavor station components was implemented in three rural elementary school cafeterias by school nutrition services (SNS) and extension staff. Read more.

8. Vidigrow Home Gardening Videos for Parents and Kids
View Vidigrow's simple gardening activities to the school curriculum and big issues in food and farming. The videos are targeted at ages 6-12 and can be found on the Vidigrow YouTube channel. Each session is designed to work at home or in school, and *no garden is required*.

9. EQUITY COVID-19 BIPOC-Led How To Videos, Gardening Projects and Online Learning Resources
Soul Fire Farm has compiled a comprehensive list of how to videos and other online resources learning developed by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on a variety of food, farming and gardening projects. These are great resources to reference for distance agriculture education. View the list here

10. EQUITY A List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens
The United Black Library has compiled a list of black-owned farms and food gardens across the country. Nationally, Black-owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms. See the list here.

11. COVID-19 Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s Farm Finance Support Videos (Spanish)
MSU Extension has created videos on labor challenges, the Families First Act, Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Spanish speaking farmers financially affected by Covid-19. View the video series.

12. COVID-19 USDA's Seamless Summer Option: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Under nationwide non-congregate feeding and meal time waivers, state agencies may allow school food authorities to provide more than one day’s worth of meals to eligible children via a single meal pick-up or delivery. View USDA's comprehensive resource on considerations, tips, best practices, and sample menus for the National School Lunch Program: Seamless Summer Option operators who wish to distribute multiple meals at one time. Access the resource.


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 Take Action to Support CACFP in The HEROES Act
Send a letter to the Senate and the White House to support provisions that would provide financial relief for the CACFP Community including child care providers, centers, afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations. Take action here.

3. COVID-19 Policy Brief: Food and Farm Worker Protections Critical to COVID-19 Pandemic Response
A new policy statement from Johns Hopkins University experts is calling for urgent action to protect food and agriculture workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

4. COVID-19 School Nutrition Group to USDA: Provide Free Meals for All Students in 2020-21
Two more waivers allowing schools’ grab-and-go meal sites to operate are set to expire at the end of this month unless the U.S. Department of Agriculture extends them. Meanwhile, the School Nutrition Association is asking the USDA to extend 11 school meal waivers through the 2020-21 school year and provide all students with free meals. Read more.

5. COVID-19 'Not Moving Fast Enough': Millions of Children Still Without Food Aid
Millions of low-income school children are still waiting to receive federal help to buy food, even as the number of families having trouble affording groceries skyrockets. Read more.


In The News
COVID-19 Opinion: Purchasing Farm-To-Table Foods During the Pandemic Is Important
The pandemic has the power to change our relationship with food. (LA Times)

This New Site Shows Parents How to Cook Healthy, Quick, Affordable Meals
It's not easy to make healthy, quick, and affordable meals day after day, which is why so many people turn to fast food when the kids are hungry and time and the budget are both tight. Instead of wishing that kids would eat healthy mostly plant-based meals, Arielle Kestenbaum, a Registered Dietitian and certified nutritionist, launched Fare Meals by Arielle, a resource designed to help parents of young kids feed their families nutrient-dense meals on a budget. (The Beet)

COVID-19 School Lunch Programs Are Losing Millions Feeding Hungry Kids; They Could Be Broke by Fall
Still in emergency mode, school nutrition directors like Shenae Rowe, whose program has lost $500,000 since March, say they’re too overwhelmed to even begin thinking about what they’ll do when schools reopen in the fall. “Honestly, we haven’t been able to get past looking at today, day by day and week by week,” Rowe said. “We just keep going.” (USA Today)

COVID-19 Kids Could Go Hungry This Summer With School Lunch Programs in Peril
Anti-hunger advocates are warning that children won’t have access to the food they need during the summer months unless the Trump administration loosens rules for school meal programs. (Washington Post)

Local Tennessee Food Network Launches Farm to Pre-School Program
Nourishing Connection programming includes training teachers to access and implement Farm to Preschool curricula, educational outreach to parents and educators, and planting different crops three times per year. All materials and programming are provided at no cost to the programs involved thanks to multiple funders. (NWTOWN Today

COVID-19 Opinion: Why Covid-19 Threatens Military Readiness — and How School Lunch Can Help
The pandemic has exposed flaws in the federal school and summer lunch program, but we can fix them. (Politico)


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: 6/2/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 02, 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 NEA Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Deadline: June 11
The purpose of the NEA Foundation’s Rapid Response Funding is to support educator-led initiatives to adapt to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer months of 2020. Among other initiatives, this may include meeting the nutritional needs of students who rely on school meals and school-based summer feeding programs. These grants will be awarded for a six-month grant period and for amounts of $1,500 to $5,000. Applicants must be teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel and must be current NEA members. Learn more here.

2. COVID-19 Action for Healthy Kids: Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment Grants
These grants provide funds for additional equipment to create “grab and go” curbside meal pickups at schools and other locations within the community. School districts (not individual schools) providing meals during school closures as a result of COVID-19 may apply for as many sites/schools that can use equipment. Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis until all funds are awarded. Learn more and apply here.

3. COVID-19 United Philanthropy Forum's Momentum Fund
Deadline: June 18
The Momentum Fund will provide grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that are managing an active COVID-19 fund. The grants will help these organizations build their capacity so that they can effectively grow, promote, manage and sustain their funds (whether they need to add new staff, access consulting expertise, acquire new software, etc.). Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $100,000 and a total of $8.5 million will be awarded. Learn more and apply.

4. USDA Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
USDA NIFA's Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. NIFA requests applications for the AgVets to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The close date is June 26. Learn more and apply here.

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

6. 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.


WEBINARS & EVENTS
1. Webinar Series: Rise Up and Root Deep
June 3 // 1pm ET
The National Black Leadership Commission on Health is presenting a 3-part webinar series, "Rise Up and Root Deep." Part 2 will share how a youth group in Harlem is changing lives and growing community. The webinar is facilitated by Karen Washington, Farmer and Activities, with guest speaker Nando Rodriquez, Brotherhood SisterSol. Register here

2. Webinar: USDA's Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
June 3 // 2pm ET
USDA is hosting webinars to explain the purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for applying for recent opportunities from the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. $3 million is available for competitive grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.  Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 6, 2020 through Grants.gov. Learn more and register. Recordings of the webinars will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.

3. Webinar: USDA Rural Development Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program
June 3 // 2pm ET
View this webinar for stakeholders and the public from USDA on the B&I CARES Act Program which offers loan guarantees to rural businesses and agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans. Learn more and register.

4. COVID-19 Webinar: How Navajo Nation SoPL Leaders Are Advocating, Organizing and Farming During COVID-19
June 4 // 12pm ET
Join the HEAL Food Alliance's webinar for a timely conversation on priorities and challenges related to food and farming systems in Navajo Nation during the pandemic, and ongoing organizing and advocacy efforts by community members. Register here.

5. Webinar: USDA's Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction
June 4 // 2pm ET
USDA is hosting webinars to explain the purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for applying for recent opportunities from the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. $900,000 is available for local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot project for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The cooperative agreements will support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 26, 2020 through Grants.gov. Learn more and register. Recordings of the webinars will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.

6. Webinar: Serving the Whole Household through Community Partnerships
June 9 // 2pm ET
Join No Kid Hungry to learn about how schools and community partners in Charlotte, NC are working together to meet the needs of children and their families, with special attention given to hard-to-reach and immigrant communities. Register here.

7. COVID-19 Webinar: A Shared Narrative in COVID-19 and Beyond
June 11 // 2pm ET
This webinar, hosted by Blue Sky Funders Forum will feature opportunities for organizations to message the importance of their work during COVID-19 and beyond through the Rethink Outside shared narrative. Learn more and register.

8. COVID-19 Webinar: Green Schoolyards In a Post COVID-19 Era
June 18 // 2pm ET
Green schoolyards are an exceptional use of public space, creating equitable access to green space, providing places to play and learn during school time, and offering community access out-of-school time. Cities Connecting Children to Nature brings together experts from the Children & Nature Network, Landscape Architecture Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and the Austin Green School Parks program to understand what is happening with schoolyards in the face of COVID-19, and what we should aim for post-COVID-19. Register here


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY COVID-19 BIPOC-Led How To Videos, Gardening Projects and Online Learning Resources
Soul Fire Farm has compiled a comprehensive list of how to videos and other online resources learning developed by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on a variety of food, farming and gardening projects. These are great resources to reference for distance agriculture education. View the list here

2. EQUITY A List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens
The United Black Library has compiled a list of black-owned farms and food gardens across the country. Nationally, Black-owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms. See the list here

3. COVID-19 Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s Farm Finance Support Videos (Spanish)
MSU Extension has created videos on labor challenges, the Families First Act, Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Spanish speaking farmers financially affected by Covid-19. View the video series.

4. COVID-19 New Resources for Producers Applying for USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Payments
As of May 26, USDA’s Farm Service Administration will begin accepting applications from producers for aid through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Please see this brief from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition with information about the program to help producers determine whether applying makes sense for them. Funding is first-come-first-served. Read more here.

5. COVID-19 USDA's Seamless Summer Option: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Under nationwide non-congregate feeding and meal time waivers, state agencies may allow school food authorities to provide more than one day’s worth of meals to eligible children via a single meal pick-up or delivery. View USDA's comprehensive resource on considerations, tips, best practices, and sample menus for the National School Lunch Program: Seamless Summer Option operators who wish to distribute multiple meals at one time. Access the resource.


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 Take Action to Support CACFP in The HEROES Act
Send a letter to the Senate and the White House to support provisions that would provide financial relief for the CACFP Community including child care providers, centers, afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations. Take action here.

3. COVID-19 Policy Brief: Food and Farm Worker Protections Critical to COVID-19 Pandemic Response
A new policy statement from Johns Hopkins University experts is calling for urgent action to protect food and agriculture workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.


In The News
EQUITY Groups Supporting Food and Land Justice for Black Americans
Civil eats has compiled a listed of organizations working to strengthen food justice, land access, and food access in the Black community. (Civil Eats

EQUITY Podcast: Not Being Racist with Leah Penniman
Leah Penniman, farmer at Soul Fire Farm and author of Farming While Black, talks about three pillars of anti-racism work - education, reparations, and amplification of the efforts and demands of BIPOC - and shares resources on how to begin engaging in anti-racism work on The Best Advice Show. This is a short, 4 minute listen with lots of great links in the show notes. Listen here

EQUITY We Don't Farm Because It's Trendy; We Farm as Resistance, for Healing and Sovereignty
Ashley Gripper, a PhD Candidate in the Environmental Health Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has written an essay on how for more than 150 years, Black people have used farming to build self-determined communities and resist oppressive structures that tear them down. (Environmental Health Network)

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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