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This Week in Farm to School: 5/26/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 26, 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 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

2. USDA AMS Local Food Grant Programs
TODAY! Deadline: May 26
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) pushed back the deadlines of its key local food grant programs by three weeks to May 26, due to COVID-19. These include Farmers Market Promotion Program, Local Food Promotion Program, and Regional Food System Partnerships.

3. USDA AMS Seeks Grant Reviewers
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) seeks subject matter experts as peer reviewers to objectively evaluate grant applications against the published criteria in its competitive grant programs’ Requests for Applications. Given the sector’s great need for these resources, AMS is aiming to avoid delays on announcing its key local food grants awards, to the extent possible. They are seeking grant reviewers to assist in the upcoming review process. Learn more and apply here.

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 California Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) Emergency Fund
It’s in these times of crisis that communities realize just how valuable–and vulnerable–family farmers are. CAFF's emergency fund will directly support family farmers–anchors of California's local food systems–to help ensure they make it through this crisis. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and award decisions will be made every other week based on a fixed dollar amount. Learn more and apply here.

7. COVID-19 Reinvestment Fund's 2020 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program
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.  Reinvestment Fund will hold a webinar on June 2, 2020 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. COVID-19 Webinar: "A Sharing of Healing Works"
May 27 // 3pm ET
This free North American Food Systems Network Good Food Talk webinar will provide a space for anyone to share creative, healing works of poetry, music, artwork, or dance that have served as their anchor, guiding star, or nurturing inspiration. We are leaning in and being in community with each other during these challenging times. Register here.

2. COVID-19 Webinar Series: Mobilizing Food Policy Councils to Support Food Workers During COVID-19
May 28 // 12pm ET
As workers from across the food supply chain risk their lives to continue feeding us, the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the harms of existing labor policies and practices. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks project invites you to join them for a series of webinars to discuss how food policy councils can support food chain workers during COVID-19. Register here.

3. Online Meeting: Native Youth Food Sovereignty
May 28 // 12pm ET
Youth! You are the future and Food Sovereignty is the foundation of the future! You can be the center of making a real difference and have fun in the process! Youth are encouraged to join the Intertribal Agriculture Council for the Native Youth Food Sovereignty online meeting Thursday, May 28 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time, using this link (no registration required).

4. Virtual Conference: National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP)
May 29-June 3
Are you looking for professional development with practitioner presentations that address real community issues? Do you want to hear and discuss the implications of COVID-19 on the future of communities? Join NACDEP for 4-days of discussion (spaced for Zooming comfort!), energizing talks, and actionable ideas at Community Development in Practice: Improve Your Skills and Add to Your Toolbox. Special virtual professional development fee of $105. Use discount code: “Extension” or “Professional” and register today here.

5. COVID-19 Webinar: Liability for Transmission of COVID-19 to Customers of Farm and Food Businesses
May 29 // 4pm EST
If your actions lead to a customer contracting COVID-19, are you legally liable? Join Farm Commons for a webinar discussing whether, when, and how, legal risk could befall a farm or food business, including farmers markets and food hubs. Register here.

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. COVID-19 Webinar Recording: USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Direct Payments
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has posted a recording of the webinar for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) held Thursday, May 14. The recording is available on the Farmers.gov YouTube channel for immediate viewing and will be posted at farmers.gov/cfap.


COVID-19 Resources
1. COVID-19 CDC Stakeholder Resources: Schools and Childcare
View the CDC's guidance on reopening School and Childcare programs here, as well as decision trees for specific settings:
Childcare Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Youth Programs and Camps During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2. COVID-19 Cultivating Social-Emotional Health with Farm to Early Care and Education
Families and children are confronting stress and uncertainty in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents, caretakers, and early care and education providers may be looking for ways to encourage play-based learning that can teach children critical skills pertaining to this crisis - especially those related to social-emotional health. This resource from Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems outlines farm to ECE activities that can be helpful for continuing to cultivate young children's emotional wellness during this time. Learn more here.

3. COVID-19 Cornell Cooperative Extension Provides Online Farm to School Learning
Cornell Cooperative Extension has assembled a collection of Farm to School materials and exercises in a public Google Drive folder. Here, you can find virtual farm tours and live streams, worksheets, and hands-on learning activities that can help you teach your child these important lessons all while still at home. Read more.

4. COVID-19 Farmers Markets Respond to COVID-19 — Best Practices, Examples, and Resources
View the Farmers Market Coalition's guidance on safely operating a farmers market during the pandemic here.

5. COVID-19 National Young Farmers Coalition's (NYFC) Portable Handwashing Station
Hand washing is one of the most important food safety practices, and in important in any time of food-growing setting including school gardens. View NYFC's guidance on building portable handwashing stations here.


Research & Resources
1. Research Article: Tradeoffs in Farm to School Implementation: Larger Foodsheds Drive Greater Local Food Expenditures
Read the new Journal of Agriculture and Resource Economics article on the relationship between two supply chain indicators -- local foodshed size and length of local food supply chain-- and districts' local food expenditures. Data shows that a school districts' actions to increase student access to local foods by widening definitions of local or sourcing through intermediaries thus have the potential to reduce localized benefits to nearby farmers and community members. Read more here.

2. Farm to Early Care and Education: Toward a Shared Language
Farm to early care and education (ECE) happens where early care and education and food systems meet. Although we are often working towards the same goals, it can be difficult for food systems and early care and education to communicate because there is not a shared language. This resource from Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems aims to begin a conversation between early care and education providers and food systems practitioners to work towards developing a shared language and fuller understanding of the common purpose we are working towards. Learn more here.

3. Farm to Fork Strategy – for a Fair, Healthy and Environmentally-Friendly Food System
View the European Commission's Farm to Fork Strategy that aims to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system that should ensure food security, nutrition and public health, making sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food among other things. Read more.

4. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) Editorial: Food Waste in K-12 Schools — an Opportunity to Create More Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems
Institutions such as K−12 schools, which operate on large scales and feed hundreds of children, are ideal settings to implement system changes to reduce food waste. A recent systematic review of food waste in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) found that approximately 30% of food served is wasted. Read more here.


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 Farm to Family Food Box Distribution
The USDA Farm to Family Food Box program has selected distributors to purchase produce, dairy, and meat products from farmers and producers and distribute them to families through partnerships with local non-profit organizations (including food banks, schools, and community sites). If your ECE site or non-profit organization has the operational and financial capability to receive, store and distribute requested food items, contact an awarded distributor.

4. COVID-19 USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
On May 19, the USDA announced further details on the direct assistance to producers that it will provide in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Applications will open on May 26. These direct payments will compensate a variety of producers for losses they suffered by April 15, 2020, as a result of the pandemic. To find out more about the program, and how to apply, you can visit their website at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.

5. COVID-19 Georgia’s CAPS Program Expands Child Care Assistance to Essential Services Workforce Serving During COVID-19 Pandemic
Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services, or CAPS Program, is expanding its new priority group for the Essential Services Workforce during COVID-19 to include those who work within the food supply chain like grocery stores, farming, and food delivery and pick-up. CAPS provides scholarships to help with the cost of child care so parents can work or attend school. Read more here.


Farm to School in the News
With Schools Closed, Their Gardens Take on a New Role
It’s clear now that schools around the country will be closed until at least next fall, but that hasn't stopped school gardens. “I want people passing by on their daily walks to see that [the garden] is still growing and that our community still grows and continues,” says FoodCorps member Tara McDaniel. (Civil Eats)

Supporting Local Farmers to Feed Children in Hawaii
During the COVID-19 health crisis, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), school districts, and communities across the country have been working tirelessly to ensure that children have access to food. In Hawaii, one community college professional found a way to pull resources together for a common cause and help feed Hawaii's keiki. (USDA)

As the Coronavirus Pandemic Strains Supplies, Native Americans Fight Food Insecurity
A "Seeds and Sheep" project in Utah is one of many innovative programs seeking to help Native communities become more food sovereign and self-reliant. (NBC News)

Op-Ed: While Food Supply Chains Snap, a Solution Is on the Table
Supporting local farmers can help build resilience in our food system. (The Hill)


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: 5/19/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 19, 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 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

2. USDA AMS Local Food Grant Programs
Deadline: May 26
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) pushed back the deadlines of its key local food grant programs by three weeks to May 26, due to COVID-19. These include Farmers Market Promotion Program, Local Food Promotion Program, and Regional Food System Partnerships.

3. USDA AMS Seeks Grant Reviewers
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) seeks subject matter experts as peer reviewers to objectively evaluate grant applications against the published criteria in its competitive grant programs’ Requests for Applications. Given the sector’s great need for these resources, AMS is aiming to avoid delays on announcing its key local food grants awards, to the extent possible. They are seeking grant reviewers to assist in the upcoming review process. Learn more and apply here.

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.


Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 Webinar: Opportunities and Challenges in Providing School Meals in the Wake of COVID-19
TODAY! May 19 // 1:30-3pm ET
School nutrition professionals are working hard to provide school meals to children in their local communities while our nation continues to deal with an unprecedented public health emergency. State agency leadership from three states will provide an overview for the progression of USDA policy changes requested from the state agencies to support local districts in receiving necessary flexibilities to successfully provide meals during COVID-19. This webinar is hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Register here.

2. COVID-19 Webinar: Menu Planning for Non-Congregate Meals
TODAY! May 19 // 2pm ET
Cold meals or re-heatable meals? Individually portioned items or bulk components? Planning menus for non-congregate meal service can be a challenge, especially as the weather turns warmer. Tune into this webinar to learn about planning and procuring healthy, nutritious meals for kids in your community - and about keeping those meals safe on hotter days. You'll hear from Jen McNeil from LunchAssist, Aleshia Hall-Campbell from the Institute on Child Nutrition, and Miguel Villareal from San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Register here.

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Are You Ready For The New Normal, Part Two
TODAY! May 19 // 3:30pm ET
Join Health-e Pro for the second in a two-part series on steps for child nutrition programs to prepare for Fall. Part 1 focused on asking the right questions. Part 2 will provide answers. This webinar will discuss: caring for staff; managing waivers; assessing changes to MPLH; and engaging with distributors and local farms. Register here

4. COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall: "Speak Up & Speak Out:  A Virtual Town Hall Meeting for Educators”
TODAY! May 19 // 7pm ET
Join the National Education Association for “Speak Up & Speak Out: A Virtual Town Hall Meeting for Educators," presented by the Congressional Black Caucus focused on COVID-19 and Black America. NEA’s Vice President, Becky Pringle will serve as a speaker in this important discussion. This Town Hall will include such allies as: Congresswoman Karen Bass and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (D-CA-37), Congressman and Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24), American Federation of Teachers, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., as well as other educators, activists, and thought partners. Register here

5. COVID-19 Webinar: CDC Stakeholder Webinar and Resources: Schools and Childcare 
May 20 // 4pm ET
CDC has announced upcoming live stakeholder calls to help communities plan for, respond to, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The May 20 call is specifically for schools and childcare programs. Register here

6. COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall: Dispatch from the Frontlines: COVID-19 and Indigenous Communities
May 20 // 7pm ET
The Congressional Progressive Caucus Center and the Native Organizers Alliance are hosting “Dispatch from the Frontlines: COVID-19 and Indigenous Communities” to focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Tribal Nations and Indigenous people in the U.S. Speakers include: Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01, Laguna Pueblo); Faith Spotted Eagle (Native Organizers Alliance, Brave Heart Society, Yankton Sioux); State Rep. Ruth Buffalo (ND-HD27, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation); Tara Houska (Giniw Collective); Kevin Allis (National Congress of American Indians, Forest County Potawatomi). Register here

7. COVID-19 Webinar: Farm Credit COVID-19 Specialty Crop Virtual Panel Discussion
May 21 // 11am ET
Join this virtual panel discussion featuring Farm Credit fruit and vegetable producers. The panelists will discuss the challenges they are facing due to COVID-19, the impacts on the food supply chain and what additional resources they may require to be able to continue to operate and meet the demands of consumers. This webinar is hosted by Farm Credit. Register here

8. COVID-19 Webinar Series: Mobilizing Food Policy Councils to Support Food Workers During COVID-19
May 21 & May 28, 12pm ET
As workers from across the food supply chain risk their lives to continue feeding us, the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the harms of existing labor policies and practices. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks project invites you to join them for a series of webinars to discuss how food policy councils can support food chain workers during COVID-19. Register here

9. COVID-19 Webinar: Transitioning to Summer Meals
May 21 // 3pm ET
Summer's almost here - what does that mean for the Summer Nutrition Programs and those schools and sponsors that have been operating feeding programs due to COVID-19? This webinar will cover the most up-to-date information on the program flexibilities, tips for maintaining momentum, and things to consider for this summer. This webinar is hosted by FRAC. Register here

10. COVID-19 Webinar: Pickup and Order Options at Farmers Market: Create Resilience, Not Legal Vulnerability
May 21 // 4pm ET
As Farmers Markets add curbside pickup, take advance orders, and offer bundled market purchases, customers are getting fresh, local foods in the midst of a pandemic. But, these innovations can also bring legal risk as well. With some advance planning, market managers can address these risks and create a program with strength beyond COVID-19. This webinar cover issues including increased liability risk, shifting insurance needs, potential licensing obligations, and concerns under site agreements. Register here.

11. COVID-19 Webinar: True Cost Accounting in Post-COVID Food Policy
May 22 // 3pm ET
The current pandemic is showing us how brittle our food supply chains can be. But there is scope to respond to the crisis through building more sustainable, equitable food systems with policies that support localized supply chains, creating circular economies that benefit people and the planet. True Cost Accounting in food and agriculture is a currently evolving way of seeking to make visible the true costs and benefits of different food production systems with implications for everyone. Dr. Robin Currey will facilitate this panel discussion to explore how true cost accounting - applied along the food value chain - could guide post-COVID food policy. Register here

12. COVID-19 Webinar: Delivering Food and Nutrition Content During COVID-19
May 22 // 1pm ET
The Tisch Food Center, FoodCorps, and Common Threads are partnering to host a webinar on producing digital food and nutrition education content. Key areas of focus will include tailoring interventions to your audience, basic filming and video editing tips, and developing content for Google Classrooms. Hear from FoodCorps and Common Threads as they describe how they are developing high-quality digital content for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Register here

13. COVID-19 Webinar Recording: USDA Posts Recording of CFAP Direct Payments Webinar
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has posted a recording of the webinar for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) held Thursday, May 14. The recording is available on the Farmers.gov YouTube channel for immediate viewing and will be posted at farmers.gov/cfap.


Research & Resources 
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here: www.farmtoschool.org/covid19

2. COVID-19 USDA Extends Three Nationwide Waivers
The USDA had announced that three nationwide COVID-19 Child Nutrition Response waivers will be extended through August 31, 2020, providing critical guidance to schools and other organizations making plans now to provide meals through the summer months. Waivers extend through August 31 include: the non-congregate meal service waiver; the parent meal pick-up waiver; and the meal service times waiver. The USDA also confirmed that program operators will be able to distribute meals for more than one day at a time. View the full press release here.

3. COVID-19 EQUITY When Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Programs Close, Who Cares for Farmworkers' Children?
Over 90% of Head Start programs have temporarily closed since the COVID-19 outbreak began. These closures include nearly all Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs, which provide early education, nutrition, and health services to agricultural workers and their families. Agricultural workers, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus and many of whom were excluded from stimulus relief, now have the added strain of finding child care, while Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs do their best to support families from afar. Read more

4. COVID-19 EQUITY Orgs Providing Emergency Food Relief to Native Communities During COVID-19
As COVID-19 continues to spread, Native communities across the country have been particularly hard hit by the virus. The pandemic has also exacerbated food insecurity in Native communities, which typically already face high rates of poverty and hunger in urban and rural areas. As COVID-19 disrupts food supply chains, communities face more severe water and food shortages. Food Tank is highlighting 17 organizations providing emergency food relief to Native communities during COVID-19. Read more here
 
5. COVID-19 Cultivating Social-Emotional Health with Farm to Early Care and Education
Families and children are confronting stress and uncertainty in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents, caretakers, and early care and education providers may be looking for ways to encourage play-based learning that can teach children critical skills pertaining to this crisis - especially those related to social-emotional health. This resource from Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems outlines farm to ECE activities that can be helpful for continuing to cultivate young children's emotional wellness during this time. Learn more here

6. COVID-19 Big Green at Home - Virtual Education Resources
Big Green at Home compiles garden education resources for educators and families including standards-aligned curriculum material and weekly activity newsletters. See more here.

7. COVID-19 The Green Our Planet Virtual Academy
Farmers, chefs and hydroponic experts from Green Our Planet film themselves doing lessons in the gardens and at their homes, which Green Our Planet is sharing with teachers, students and families via the weekly Green Our Planet Virtual Academy Newsletter. See more here

8. COVID-19 Maine School Garden Network's Strategies for Remote School Garden Engagement 
The Main School Garden Network has a great list of ideas on how to maintain school or early care and education (ECE) gardens safely, strategies to engage kids this spring during the pandemic and many other resources. Access the document here.

9. Farmers Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms (English & Spanish)
This publication, created by the National Young Farmers Coalition, compares farm-specific software platforms that support direct-to-consumer sales, and highlights related educational resources. English version available here. Spanish version available here.

10. Spanish Translation of FDA Produce Safety Rule
The FDA has released a Spanish translation of the codified text of the Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety rule establishes, for the first time, science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. The rule is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. See more here


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. 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 fed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice to endorse NFSN’s federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate key food systems priorities in the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800). Sign on here

2. COVID-19 HEROS Act Provides Additional $16.5 Billion for Farmers During Pandemic
Last week, the House of Representatives unveiled another COVID relief package. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act largely builds off of previous relief bills and includes a broad range of support from support for nutrition programs to support for worker protections and increased funding for sustainable agriculture programs. Read more from NSAC here

3. COVID-19 NY State Kicks Off Nourish New York Initiative
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball kicked off the new Nourish New York Initiative last week. The initiative is providing $25 million to food banks for the purchase of surplus agricultural products from New York State farms to distribute to populations who need them most. Read more here

4. COVID-19 Massachusetts Invests $56M to Combat Food Insecurity
To bolster the food supply chain amid the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts state announced an investment of $56 million to combat food insecurity as a result of findings from the state’s Food Security Task Force. The group prioritized more than 80 recommendations tied to developing an emergency food program; fortifying the food bank system; maximizing federal resources for food and nutrition and reinforcing the food system infrastructure. Read more here.


Farm to School in the News
National Farm to School Network Announces FoodCorps as 2020 National Partner of the Year
In 2017, National Farm to School Network launched a “National Partner of the Year” program to strategically align and partner with other national organizations that share our goals of ensuring a nation of healthy kids, thriving family farms, and resilient communities. In 2020, we're pleased to be partnering with FoodCorps. We are joining forces to bolster our advocacy and programming so that we can better serve our communities, especially those most impacted by an unjust food system. Read more

COVID-19 Maine Lunches Made with Local Ingredients Feeding More than Students
The Community Regional Charter School in Skowhegan is pouring its school lunch dollars into the local community, helping businesses stay afloat. "It supports local and small businesses that are the backbone of our country and helps that local hub of businesses stay alive during this time and beyond really." (News Center Maine)

COVID-19 Tennessee Schools Serving Local Produce in Grab-n-Go Lunches 
Locally grown, fresh strawberries were served in Weakley County School lunches last week. “Supplying local schools has been a goal of ours for a couple of years;” Tyler Smith, owner of Future Vision Farms, said. “However, we just haven’t had the capacity. As we have grown to meet the production of our larger customers we have been able to begin servicing local school systems with our produce. We look forward to working with Weakley County Schools throughout our season from now until Thanksgiving.” (Weakley County Press)

COVID-19 YMCA Is More Than Gym-And-Swim When Kids Need Lunch
When Shelby County Schools had to cancel its plans to provide lunches for students during the pandemic because one of its food service workers had tested positive for COVID-19, the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South stepped up. As of last week, the project had made, boxed up, delivered and handed out 279,569 meals. (Daily Memphian)

COVID-19 Listen: ‘Our Food System Is Very Much Modeled on Plantation Economics’
CounterSpin, FAIR's podcast, interviewed Ricardo Salvador, Union of Concerned Scientists and NFSN Advisory Board member, about the coronavirus food crisis. Listen here.


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: 5/12/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 12, 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 GENYOUth Emergency School Nutrition Funding
GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more here.

2. COVID-19 EQUITY NDN Collective's COVID-19 Response Project
The NDN Collective’s COVID-19 Response Project is designed to provide immediate relief to some of the most underserved communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to frontline organizations, Tribes, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities within the next 15-45 days to provide gap resources during this health crisis. Grants are available to support medical supplies, food delivery, youth and/or Elder care, educational access, economic relief and more. Grant review and funding notifications will occur on a weekly basis through the end of May 2020. Learn more here. Donations to support NDN's Collective's COVID-19 Response Project can be made here

3. EQUITY Native American Agriculture Fund 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more here.

4. "One Planet. One Health" Initiative  
Deadline: June 22
Danone Institute North America – a non-profit innovation center established by Danone North America – is soliciting proposals for its second annual “One Planet. One Health” Initiative, which offers academic-based teams the opportunity to design, implement and evaluate actionable community-based projects that drive the sustainability of local food systems. The grant will provide seed funding for projects such as pilot studies, feasibility testing, needs assessments and planning grants. The four teams selected will each receive grants of $20,000 to implement their projects and amplify their messages to a broader audience – plus a $10,000 incremental award for the team with the strongest communications plan. Learn more and apply here.

5. USDA's Notice of Funding Opportunity: Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program 
Deadline: July 6
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on May 6 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. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight July 6, 2020. Learn more and apply here.

6. USDA: Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
Deadline: June 26
The 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. An informational webinar will be held on May 14 at 2pm ET. 


Webinars & Events
1. EQUITY Webinar Series from the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
April - August 2020
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust is hosting a webinar series to dive deep into some of the strategies they're employing, such as Reparations, Cultural Respect Easements, Cooperative Land Tenure, and building a new economy that centers BIPOC experiences and knowledges. Featuring land and food sovereignty activists such as David Ragland, Stephanie Morningstar, Ramona Peters, Carmen Mouzon, Karen Washington, Christine Hutchinson, and Leah Penniman, you will have an opportunity to meet the food and land sovereignty change makers who work every day to make land, food, and community wealth accessible to Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Register for webinars here.

2. COVID-19 Weekly Virtual Gatherings: School Garden Support Organization Network
The School Garden Support Organization Network is hosting weekly gatherings on topics related to supporting school gardens during closures and social distancing. The next gathering is on May 12. Learn more and watch recordings here

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Produce in a Pandemic: Providing Children with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables During COVID-19 School Closures
May 13 // 2pm EST
Across the country school, nutrition professionals are doing incredible work to ensure children in their communities have access to meals during COVID-19 school closures. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced meal and a required meal pattern component. This SNA webinar, made possible in partnership with School Nutrition Association and United Fresh Produce Association, will highlight how several school nutrition programs are sourcing and serving fresh produce, and share how produce companies are working with school nutrition customers and supply chain partners during this unprecedented time. Register here.

4. Webinar: Menu Planning for Non-Congregate Meals
May 19 // 2:00PM EST
Cold meals or re-heatable meals? Individually portioned items or bulk components? Planning menus for non-congregate meal service can be a challenge, especially as the weather turns warmer. Tune into this webinar to learn about planning and procuring healthy, nutritious meals for kids in your community - and about keeping those meals safe on hotter days. You'll hear from Jen McNeil from LunchAssist, Aleshia Hall-Campbell from the Institute on Child Nutrition, and Miguel Villareal from San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Register here.

5. Webinar Series: Resiliency through Agriculture
May 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, & 26 
A webinar series, Resiliency through Agriculture, developed by team members at the Intertribal Ag Council (IAC) is exploring topics under the IAC mission areas of Legal and Policy, Professional Development, Conservation and Production Innovation, Food Systems, Communications and Economics.  Resiliency through Agriculture is an initiative to help educate producers, provide them resources and offers toolkits that will help them make informed decisions. Webinars will occur throughout the month of May and will be archived. Learn more and register here.


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here.

2. COVID-19 NFSN New Weekly COVID-19 & Farm to School Resource E-Newsletter
National Farm to School Network is launching a free weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of new COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

3. COVID-19 NFSN Infographic: How to Create a Mutual Aid Pod in Your Community
Farm to school, at its core, is about relationships: relationships that benefit children and families while strengthening local community food systems. In times of crisis, these community-based relationships are even more vital in supporting continued healthy food access, community well being, and producer viability. Models like mutual aid bring people in communities together so no one goes hungry. Learn about starting a Mutual Aid Pod in your neighborhood with this new infographic

4. COVID-19 ABC Adventure Video Series featuring Chef Asata
Small Bites Adventure Club has created the ABC Adventure series to help children discover, love, and eat fruits and vegetables at home while schools are closed. This series introduces a new food and an *EASY* tasting activity. The series also touches on counting, colors, shapes and critical thinking skills! New videos will be uploaded every week! View the video series here.

5. COVID-19 USDA Approves $1.2B in Contracts for Farmers to Families Food Box Program 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved $1.2 billion in contracts to support American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. A full list of approved suppliers can be found here. Additional information on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including webinars and an FAQs, is available here.  

6. COVID-19 Research: The COVID-19 Crisis Has Already Left Too Many Children Hungry in America
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has increased in the United States. This is particularly true for households with young children. Two recent nationally surveys - The COVID Impact Survey and The Hamilton Project/Future of the Middle Class Initiative Survey of Mothers with Young Children - have found that rates of food insecurity observed in April 2020 are meaningfully higher than at any point for which there is comparable data. The Survey of Mothers with Young Children found that 40.9 percent of mothers with children ages 12 and under reported household food insecurity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 17.4 percent reported that since the pandemic started, “the children in my household were not eating enough because we just couldn’t afford enough food.” Read more here.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Local Policy Ask Template in Response to COVID-19

National Farm to School Network has compiled local policy asks to create a COVID-19 Local Response Template for advocates. The asks in this template have been pulled together with the support of over 20 local organizations, and reflect policy concerns beyond just farm to school, as we understand that food justice is tied to the larger justice conversation. Advocates are encouraged to pull ideas from this template, making changes and additions as needed, to address the needs of your community. See more here

2. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As the federal government continues to develop legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, National Farm to School Network urges policymakers to respond to this emergency in ways that will advance a more just food system. Read our COVID-19 federal policy platform here.

3. COVID-19 NFSN Policy FAQ: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19
National Farm to School Network is compiling policy-related questions and answers for how COVID-19 is impacting farm to school and farm to ECE efforts. In this document, find a summary of information about how the federal government has done so far to allow farm to school and ECE programs to adapt; what resources are available to farmers who are suffering losses as a result of school and program closures; and more. See more here.

4. COVID-19 EQUITY Intertribal Agriculture Council Loan Relief Call to Action
The Intertribal Agriculture Council is seeking your support for a common-sense solution that will provide meaningful, timely assistance to nearly all of the 80,000 Indian Producers, countless other farmers and ranchers across the country. This solution would reduce loan payments for all borrowers for 2020 and 2021 and allow for planning in this time of uncertainty. View the call to action and sign-on here.

5. COVID-19 Washington State Legislators Introduce “Farmers Feeding Families Act” to Support Local Farmers Washington State Congresswomen Kim Schrier, M.D. and Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced the Farmers Feeding Families Coronavirus Response Act which would provide funding for state agencies and partnering food-banks to replenish their food stocks to meet increased demand spiked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

6. COVID-19 National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Child Nutrition & School Meals
Congress has provided $8.8 billion in additional funding for child nutrition programs and temporarily removed some existing program requirements in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided administrative flexibilities. 
Click here to learn more about federal options to provide meals during COVID-19.

7. COVID-19 CACFP Relief Bill Introduced in Congress to Provide Emergency Funding
Maryland Representative David Trone has introduced a bill to Congress that would provide emergency funding to CACFP operators. If passed, child care providers, centers, and sponsors would receive emergency funding equal to 55% of reimbursements from the same month of the previous year minus any current reimbursements. Read more and see the bill text here.  


Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 STEM Academy in Ohio Sponsors Virtual Farm Tour
Global Impact STEM Academy (GISA) in Springfield, Ohio gave its students a chance to venture onto a sheep farm through their computers from home Wednesday. The STEM Academy has participated in several virtual farm tours over the years, but this was their first time sponsoring one, according to school officials. (Springfield News-Sun)

COVID-19 Kids, Adults Learn to Grow Vegetables at Home With Free Online OSU Courses
How’s this for convenient learning: Oregon State University Extension Service has free, online gardening courses that adults and interested older kids can access anytime. The introductory course to the Oregon Master Gardener program, which trains volunteers to teach others about the science and art of gardening, is always free and a vegetable growing course has been extremely popular since its $45 fee was waived until May 27. (The Oregonian)

COVID-19 Schools Struggle to Afford Meals for Low-Income Kids
Many public schools that are closed by the coronavirus pandemic are still providing lunches to low-income students who would otherwise go hungry. Some are serving entire families and other community members, acting more like soup kitchens than school cafeterias. But what happens when the school year ends? (AXIOS)

COVID-19 NFSN Share Your Story: Farm to School and ECE During COVID-19
Communities across the country are demonstrating innovation and resilience as they continue to connect children and families to local foods and education opportunities and support local producers. National Farm to School Network wants to hear from you about what food systems resilience looks like in your community.  If you have a farm to school, farm to ECE or community food systems story to share, please share it with us using this brief form.

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: 5/5/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 05, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network has launched a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Grants & Funding
1. COVID-19 NFSN National Farm to School Network COVID-19 Relief Fund
Deadline: May 10
National Farm to School Network has created a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support organizations in continuing their important farm to school and farm to ECE work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Any organization working to support farm to school / farm to ECE efforts is eligible to apply, with priority being given to current NFSN Core and Supporting Partners, as well as organizations serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian populations within urban, rural and tribal jurisdictions (including schools, farmers/producers and community-based organizations and Tribal entities). The application deadline is May 10, 2020. Learn more here. Donations to support NFSN's COVID-19 Relief Fund can be made here

2. COVID-19 GENYOUth Emergency School Nutrition Funding
GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more here.

3. COVID-19 EQUITY NDN Collective's COVID-19 Response Project
The NDN Collective’s COVID-19 Response Project is designed to provide immediate relief to some of the most underserved communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to frontline organizations, Tribes, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities within the next 15-45 days to provide gap resources during this health crisis. Grants are available to support medical supplies, food delivery, youth and/or Elder care, educational access, economic relief and more. Grant review and funding notifications will occur on a weekly basis through the end of May 2020. Learn more here. Donations to support NDN's Collective's COVID-19 Response Project can be made here

4. EQUITY Native American Agriculture Fund 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more here.

5. "One Planet. One Health" Initiative  
Deadline: June 22
Danone Institute North America – a non-profit innovation center established by Danone North America – is soliciting proposals for its second annual “One Planet. One Health” Initiative, which offers academic-based teams the opportunity to design, implement and evaluate actionable community-based projects that drive the sustainability of local food systems. The grant will provide seed funding for projects such as pilot studies, feasibility testing, needs assessments and planning grants. The four teams selected will each receive grants of $20,000 to implement their projects and amplify their messages to a broader audience – plus a $10,000 incremental award for the team with the strongest communications plan. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 Guiding Native Farmers Through COVID-19 Relief & Recovery
TODAY! May 5 // 3-4:30pm EST
Native American Agriculture Fund and Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative are pairing with Farm Aid and Farmers' Legal Action Group to walk through COVID-19 relief and recovery for Native farmers and ranchers. Register here. 

2. EQUITY Webinar Series from the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
April - August 2020
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust is hosting a webinar series to dive deep into some of the strategies they're employing, such as Reparations, Cultural Respect Easements, Cooperative Land Tenure, and building a new economy that centers BIPOC experiences and knowledges. Featuring land and food sovereignty activists such as David Ragland, Stephanie Morningstar, Ramona Peters, Carmen Mouzon, Karen Washington, Christine Hutchinson, and Leah Penniman, you will have an opportunity to meet the food and land sovereignty change makers who work every day to make land, food, and community wealth accessible to Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Register for webinars here.

3. COVID-19 Weekly Virtual Gatherings: School Garden Support Organization Network
The School Garden Support Organization Network is hosting weekly gatherings on topics related to supporting school gardens during closures and social distancing. The next gathering is on May 6. Learn more and watch recordings here

4. COVID-19  WEBINAR: Communication and Outreach During COVID-19
May 7 // 3pm EST
As schools remain closed due to COVID-19 -- and with many states announcing that they will stay closed for the rest of the school year -- it is important that schools, sponsors, and advocates maintain communication with families about the availability of meals through the child nutrition programs. This webinar will highlight strategies and best practices for getting the word out as things continue to evolve. Register here.

5. COVID-19 National Education Association (NEA) Education Support Professionals Quality (ESPQ) Department Center for Great Public Schools Webinar: School Meal Policy in the COVID-19 Era
May 7 // 7pm EST
This webinar will explore the policy and practice of feeding hungry children in the midst of an epidemic. What intelligent and pressing advocacy has the NEA Government Relations engaged in? How have food service workers met the challenges in spite of obstacles and risks? NEA lobbyist, Christin Driscoll, NEA New Mexico Director of Instruction and Professional Learning, Ignacio Sanchez, and Angelica Castañon, Senior Policy Analyst with NEA’s Education Policy and Practice, will lead this timely and lively discussion. Register here.

6. COVID-19 Webinar: Produce in a Pandemic: Providing Children with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables During COVID-19 School Closures
May 13 // 2pm EST
Across the country school, nutrition professionals are doing incredible work to ensure children in their communities have access to meals during COVID-19 school closures. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced meal and a required meal pattern component. This SNA webinar, made possible in partnership with School Nutrition Association and United Fresh Produce Association, will highlight how several school nutrition programs are sourcing and serving fresh produce, and share how produce companies are working with school nutrition customers and supply chain partners during this unprecedented time. Register here.


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here.

2. COVID-19 NFSN New Weekly COVID-19 & Farm to School Resource E-Newsletter
National Farm to School Network is launching a free weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of new COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

3. COVID-19 NFSN Infographic: How to Create a Mutual Aid Pod in Your Community
Farm to school, at its core, is about relationships: relationships that benefit children and families while strengthening local community food systems. In times of crisis, these community-based relationships are even more vital in supporting continued healthy food access, community well being, and producer viability. Models like mutual aid bring people in communities together so no one goes hungry. Learn about starting a Mutual Aid Pod in your neighborhood with this new infographic

4. COVID-19 NASDA: State Departments of Ag Create Solutions to Food Supply Chain Disruptions
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) members are developing creative solutions to market and distribute food through safe, efficient, and innovative approaches – including the “Million Dollar Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Partnership," Florida's "Farm to You" commodities list, and the “Seed to Supper” in New Mexico. See many more examples here. 

5. Educational Greenhouse Program Survey
Deadline: May 8
 The U.S. Botanic Garden and City Blossoms would like to survey educators (including formal classroom educators, specialists and organizations partnering with schools, or anyone else who identifies as an educator) who would like to develop an educational greenhouse program. If this sounds like you, please take this SURVEY that will help us plan trainings around growing and teaching in a greenhouse. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes. Please respond by Friday, May 8th.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN Local Policy Ask Template in Response to COVID-19

National Farm to School Network has compiled local policy asks to create a COVID-19 Local Response Template for advocates. The asks in this template have been pulled together with the support of over 20 local organizations, and reflect policy concerns beyond just farm to school, as we understand that food justice is tied to the larger justice conversation. Advocates are encouraged to pull ideas from this template, making changes and additions as needed, to address the needs of your community. See more here

2. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As the federal government continues to develop legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, National Farm to School Network urges policymakers to respond to this emergency in ways that will advance a more just food system. Read our COVID-19 federal policy platform here.

3. COVID-19 NFSN Policy FAQ: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19
National Farm to School Network is compiling policy-related questions and answers for how COVID-19 is impacting farm to school and farm to ECE efforts. In this document, find a summary of information about how the federal government has done so far to allow farm to school and ECE programs to adapt; what resources are available to farmers who are suffering losses as a result of school and program closures; and more. See more here.

4. COVID-19 EQUITY Intertribal Agriculture Council Loan Relief Call to Action
The Intertribal Agriculture Council is seeking your support for a common-sense solution that will provide meaningful, timely assistance to nearly all of the 80,000 Indian Producers, countless other farmers and ranchers across the country. This solution would reduce loan payments for all borrowers for 2020 and 2021 and allow for planning in this time of uncertainty. View the call to action and sign-on here.

5. Article: Ensuring Equitable Access to School Meals
This article in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides an overview of the increasing prevalence of unpaid meal debt and associated lunch shaming within our nation’s schools, and the Academy’s current policy stance to address this issue, developed by the Child Nutrition Reauthorization working group and approved by the Academy Board of Directors. The Academy advocates for addressing the root cause of lunch shaming, which is unpaid meal debt, and thereby supports equitable access to school meals by expanding and strengthening universal school meal policies and programs and the Community Eligibility Provision. Read more here


Job Opportunities
1. Congressional Hunger Center, Director, Emerson National Hunger Fellowship (Washington, D.C.)
The Hunger Center seeks a Director of the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship who will lead the design of programmatic goals and strategy; fellow recruitment, selection, and advising; host organization recruitment and selection; program budget, administration and reporting; and strategic partnerships. Learn more and apply here

2. Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Director (Washington, D.C.)
This Division supports the mission of ARC through management of economic development projects. This position is responsible for providing strategic direction, operational management and personnel leadership of the Division. This position works collaboratively to plan, develop, execute and evaluate regional economic development strategies aligned with ARC’s priorities and strategic plan. The division is responsible for program grants management activities including coordination with State ARC Offices, other federal agencies, the Office of the Federal Co-Chair, and grantees. This position reports to the Executive Director and manages a team of administrative and professional positions. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 PODCAST: Local Food Fuels Meals for Kids
ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) shares how in response to school closures, Buncombe County School Nutrition quickly pivoted to provide free meals to students—open to any child in the area, from birth to 18 years old. Since March 15th, they’ve served a total of 413,009 meals with breakfast and lunch combined. Listen here.

COVID-19 Community Health Collective Roots4Change Launches “Farms to Families” Initiative for Immigrant Families
A new emergency initiative provides fresh, healthy, locally grown food to Latino and Indigenous residents and families hard-hit by job loss and food insecurity. (Madison 365)

COVID-19 'They Need Our Help': Free Meals During Coronavirus Will Cost Baltimore-Area Schools Millions Without Aid
Maryland schools have been feeding whole families and neighborhoods instead of just their students, but because the U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses schools for meals on a per-student basis, schools in Maryland and around the country are bracing for tens of millions of dollars in losses from their food programs, unless they receive additional funding. (Baltimore Sun)

COVID-19 NFSN Share Your Story: Farm to School and ECE During COVID-19
Communities across the country are demonstrating innovation and resilience as they continue to connect children and families to local foods and education opportunities and support local producers. National Farm to School Network wants to hear from you about what food systems resilience looks like in your community.  If you have a farm to school, farm to ECE or community food systems story to share, please share it with us using this brief form.

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: 4/28/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 28, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network is launching a new weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders - similar to what is shared weekly in these This Week in Farm to School blog posts. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Grants & Funding
1. COVID-19 NFSN National Farm to School Network COVID-19 Relief Fund
Deadline: May 10
National Farm to School Network has created a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support organizations in continuing their important farm to school and farm to ECE work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Any organization working to support farm to school / farm to ECE efforts is eligible to apply, with priority being given to current NFSN Core and Supporting Partners, as well as organizations serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian populations within urban, rural and tribal jurisdictions (including schools, farmers/producers and community-based organizations and Tribal entities). The application deadline is May 10, 2020. Learn more here. Donations to support NFSN's COVID-19 Relief Fund can be made here

2. COVID-19 GENYOUth Emergency School Nutrition Funding
GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more here.

3. COVID-19 EQUITY NDN Collective's COVID-19 Response Project
The NDN Collective’s COVID-19 Response Project is designed to provide immediate relief to some of the most underserved communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to frontline organizations, Tribes, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities within the next 15-45 days to provide gap resources during this health crisis. Grants are available to support medical supplies, food delivery, youth and/or Elder care, educational access, economic relief and more. Grant review and funding notifications will occur on a weekly basis through the end of May 2020. Learn more here. Donations to support NDN's Collective's COVID-19 Response Project can be made here

4. EQUITY Native American Agriculture Fund 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more here.

4. Voices for Healthy Kids: Policy Campaign Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids' Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income. The Letter for Intend deadline is April 29, 2020. Learn more here.  


Webinars & Events
1. EQUITY Webinar Series from the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
April - August 2020
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust is hosting a webinar series to dive deep into some of the strategies they're employing, such as Reparations, Cultural Respect Easements, Cooperative Land Tenure, and building a new economy that centers BIPOC experiences and knowledges. Featuring land and food sovereignty activists such as David Ragland, Stephanie Morningstar, Ramona Peters, Carmen Mouzon, Karen Washington, Christine Hutchinson, and Leah Penniman, you will have an opportunity to meet the food and land sovereignty change makers who work every day to make land, food, and community wealth accessible to Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Register for webinars here.

2. COVID-19 Weekly Virtual Gatherings: School Garden Support Organization Network
The School Garden Support Organization Network is hosting weekly gatherings on topics related to supporting school gardens during closures and social distancing. The next two gatherings are April 29 and May 6. Learn more and watch recordings here

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Finding Balance in Disorienting Times
April 29 // 2pm ET
To balance something means to put it in a steady position to prevent it from falling. During uncertain times, you may find yourself not feeling very steady – and that’s ok! Join Kaiser Permanente, Sanford Harmony and Healthier Generation as we help you gain practical tips to steady yourself in disorienting times, including setting boundaries, understanding why and how to use gratitude and learning how to complain effectively. Register here.


Research & Resources
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here.

2. COVID-19 NFSN New Weekly COVID-19 & Farm to School Resource E-Newsletter
National Farm to School Network is launching a free weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of new COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

3. COVID-19 "Food Systems Disruptions: Turning a Threat into an Opportunity for Local Food Systems"
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed consumer buying and eating habits and strained agricultural supply chains? What does this mean for local food networks? A new JAFSCD commentary explores opportunities for the expansion of sustainable, resilient food systems as a result of this pandemic. Read more here

4. COVID-19 New Surveys Provide Insight on COVID-19 Impacts on Early Care and Education
Two new surveys - NAEYC's ECE Provider Survey and the Bipartisan Policy Center's Child Care in the Time of Coronavirus - provide important insight on the COVID-19's impacts on early care and education in the US. Highlights from these surveys include:
  • Half of providers have completely closed their facilities while 17% have closed to everyone except the children of essential personnel
  • Of the facilities remaining open, 85% reported operating with less than 50% of their enrollment capacity; and the majority of those—65%—were operating at less than 25% of capacity
  • 37% of respondents have had to lay off or furlough workers, or they have been laid off or furloughed, and another 41% anticipate furloughs or layoffs
  • 53% of center-based providers and 25% home-based care providers applied for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and Local Food
On Friday, April 17, USDA announced the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. This may be an opportunity for local product to make its way to emergency feeding programs, addressing a vital need for market opportunities for local producers and food access needs in communities. The program aims to support producers and consumers with two approaches: (1) direct support for farmers and ranchers, and (2) through the purchase and distribution of up to $3 billion of agricultural products to those in need. Read more here

2. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As the federal government continues to develop legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, National Farm to School Network urges policymakers to respond to this emergency in ways that will advance a more just food system. Read our COVID-19 federal policy platform here.

3. COVID-19 NFSN Policy FAQ: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19
National Farm to School Network is compiling policy-related questions and answers for how COVID-19 is impacting farm to school and farm to ECE efforts. In this document, find a summary of information about how the federal government has done so far to allow farm to school and ECE programs to adapt; what resources are available to farmers who are suffering losses as a result of school and program closures; and more. See more here.

4. COVID-19 EQUITY Intertribal Agriculture Council Loan Relief Call to Action
The Intertribal Agriculture Council is seeking your support for a common-sense solution that will provide meaningful, timely assistance to nearly all of the 80,000 Indian Producers, countless other farmers and ranchers across the country. This solution would reduce loan payments for all borrowers for 2020 and 2021 and allow for planning in this time of uncertainty. View the call to action and sign-on here.


Job Opportunities
1. Congressional Hunger Center, Director, Emerson National Hunger Fellowship (Washington, D.C.)
The Hunger Center seeks a Director of the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship who will lead the design of programmatic goals and strategy; fellow recruitment, selection, and advising; host organization recruitment and selection; program budget, administration and reporting; and strategic partnerships. Learn more and apply here


Farm to School in the News
COVID-19
COVID-19 has forced large-scale farms that supply institutions to dump produce they can’t sell. Why?
To get a clearer understanding of where institutional food comes from, why kinks at the center of the supply chain make rerouting a challenge, and what’s being done to change that, The Counter interview a number of agriculture experts, including Lacy Stephens (NFSN Senior Program Manager), Laura Edwards-Orr (NFSN Advisory Board), and others. (The Counter

COVID-19 ‘The Need Is Great’: Nonprofits in Iowa Work to Meet Families’ Need for Fresh Food During Pandemic
Living in a food desert — a place where there is limited access to healthy and affordable food — is not a new issue in eastern Iowa. But COVID-19 has increased the need for fresh food and has changed how nonprofits in the state can deliver that food to people who need it most. (Little Village)

COVID-19 Oregon State University Offers Farm-To-School and Nutrition Education Activities for Youth
Can’t leave home but still want to connect with local food and farmers? OSU Extension nutrition educators have adapted materials for elementary-age youth and their families for delivery online.  All activities are free, some require registration as supplies are limited. (Herald and News)

COVID-19 Vermont's Burlington School Food Project adds frozen meals to the menu
The Burlington School Food Project is expanding its emergency meals options to include frozen meals. Each meal will come bagged with instructions on how to properly heat up the food, made from locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. "Kids do tend to eat meals at school, whether they need to financially or not, so I think now when families are really struggling, it's super important that we make sure that the nutrition that they need is being offered to them," said Doug Davis. (WCAX3)

COVID-19 NFSN Share Your Story: Farm to School and ECE During COVID-19
Communities across the country are demonstrating innovation and resilience as they continue to connect children and families to local foods and education opportunities and support local producers. National Farm to School Network wants to hear from you about what food systems resilience looks like in your community.  If you have a farm to school, farm to ECE or community food systems story to share, please share it with us using this brief form.

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: 4/21/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 21, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network is launching 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 AFT Farmer Relief Fund Grants
Deadline: April 23
AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs. AFT envisions an initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1. The application is available in English and Spanish. Learn more here. 

2. COVID-19 COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Funding
Calling all Principals, School Nutrition Managers, School Nutrition Directors and District Superintendents! GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more and apply here.

3. COVID-19  New COVID-19 Rapid Response Program Area for Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
Deadline: June 4
NIFA recently added a program area to its main Agricultural and Food Research Initiative RFA. There are four areas of priority: Health and Security of Livestock; Well-being of Farm, Food Service Providers, and Rural Americans; Economic Security; and Food Safety. Applicants should focus on critical and urgent research, extension, or integrated solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the nation’s food and agricultural system. Applications should include strategies and knowledge that can be rapidly implemented to minimize or eliminate COVID-19 impacts on the nation’s food and agricultural system. For more information and to apply, view the RFA.

4. EQUITY Native American Agriculture Fund (NAFF) 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more here.

5. Voices for Healthy Kids: Policy Campaign Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids' Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income. The Letter for Intend deadline is April 29, 2020. Learn more here.  


Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 EQUITY Webinar Panel: Farmworkers, COVID-19, and Our Capitalist Food System
April 23 // 1:30pm ET
Food First is hosting a webinar panel to discuss more about farmworkers and our capitalist food system during COVID-19. This webinar will bring together Edgar Franks of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, an independent farmworker union, labor and photojournalist David Bacon, and a member from Community to Community, a women-led grassroots organization dedicated to food sovereignty and immigrant rights. Food First will be moderating this event. Register here

2. EQUITY Webinar Series from the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
April - August 2020
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust is hosting a webinar series to dive deep into some of the strategies they're employing, such as Reparations, Cultural Respect Easements, Cooperative Land Tenure, and building a new economy that centers BIPOC experiences and knowledges. Featuring land and food sovereignty activists such as David Ragland, Stephanie Morningstar, Ramona Peters, Carmen Mouzon, Karen Washington, Christine Hutchinson, and Leah Penniman, you will have an opportunity to meet the food and land sovereignty change makers who work every day to make land, food, and community wealth accessible to Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Register for webinars here

3. EQUITY WEBINAR: Get The First Detailed Overview Of Work And Funding At The Intersection Of Climate Change, Health, And Equity
April 23 // 2:30pm-3:30pm EST
Learn what seven funder affinity groups found when they surveyed their foundation members and NGOs in the field—almost 200 foundations and organizations from around the country—about this rapidly growing and changing area of critical work. Register here

4. NFSN New Dates: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 27-29, 2021 // Albuquerque, New Mexico 
National Farm to School Network is pleased to share the new dates for our 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference (originally scheduled for April 21-23, 2020): this event will now be held April 27-29, 2021 in the same location, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Current ticket holders will have their registration transferred to these new dates, with an option to change their registration status. Registration for new tickets will open in Fall 2020. Learn more here


Resources & Research 
1. COVID-19 NFSN Farm to School / ECE & COVID-19 Resource Hub
National Farm to School Network has launched a new page on our website dedicated to making it easier for you to find all of the resources, information, and news you need to support your community food systems work during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here

2. COVID-19 New Weekly COVID-19 & Farm to School Resource E-Newsletter
National Farm to School Network is launching a free weekly e-newsletter to share a roundup of new COVID-19 related resources and information with farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders. Sign up here to have this information delivered in your inbox weekly.

3.COVID-19 Share Your Story: Farm to School and ECE During COVID-19
Communities across the country are demonstrating innovation and resilience as they continue to connect children and families to local foods and education opportunities and support local producers. National Farm to School Network wants to hear from you about what food systems resilience looks like in your community.  If you have a farm to school, farm to ECE or community food systems story to share, please share it with us using this brief form.

4. COVID-19 Farmer's Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms
This National Young Farmers Coalition guide is intended to help farmers compare the software platforms that support various kinds of online sales, without endorsing any product in particular. See more here

5. COVID-19 IPES' COVID-19 and the Crisis in Food Systems: Symptoms, Causes, and Potential Solutions
View the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems' (IPES) analysis of the impact COVID-19 has had on spotlighting the gaps and inequalities in our food system and potential solutions to move toward a more just food system together. Read the analysis here

6. New Study Released on Oregon’s Farm-to-School Program
In a new JAFSCD article, "Farm-to-School Grant Funding Increases Children’s Access to Local Fruits and Vegetables in Oregon," the study's results show that adapting and implementing similar programs nationwide could be a successful tool for increasing program participation among low-income school districts with high minority populations. Read more here.

7. SEEDS Gardening Activities for Kids
Gro More Good Learning Activities is a series of 72 free lessons focused on the four seasons of a garden. Each activity is fun, hands-on and perfect for getting your kids outside, exploring and learning. The activities are based on early childhood education best practices and developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. View the resource here.

8. Find a Farm Credit Lender
Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. Farm Credit stands with America’s farmers and ranchers during these challenging times. Learn more here


Policy News
1. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
As the federal government continues to develop legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, National Farm to School Network urges policymakers to respond to this emergency in ways that will advance a more just food system. Read our COVID-19 federal policy platform here

2. COVID-19 NFSN Policy FAQ: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19
National Farm to School Network is compiling policy-related questions and answers for how COVID-19 is impacting farm to school and farm to ECE efforts. In this document, find a summary of information about how the federal government has done so far to allow farm to school and ECE programs to adapt; what resources are available to farmers who are suffering losses as a result of school and program closures; and more. See more here

3. COVID-19 Strengthening School Nutrition in the Face of COVID-19
Karen Spangler, Policy Director of the National Farm to School Network, and Kumar Chandran, Policy Director of FoodCorps, discuss the importance of school meals in the wake of COVID-19 and offer responses to USDA's proposed changes to school nutrition standards. "When school cafeterias reopen, we must ensure school nutrition staff are equipped with the tools they need to serve a variety of healthy choices for our students. The USDA’s decision will play a critical role in making that future a reality." Read more here. (via Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity)


Farm to School in the News
COVID-19
The Scramble to Feed the Kids Left Hungry by the Coronavirus Crisis
Cafeteria workers and school nutrition directors from five districts across the country explain how meal programs are working now. (Vox)

COVID-19 Arizona School District Offers Virtual Gardening Lessons, Food Demos During School Closings
Through virtual gardening, Prescott Unified School District is encouraging students and their families to create their own gardens at home. The team has created videos and shared tips on how to plant a garden from seed, offered food demonstrations and offered tips on how to make such things as fresh yogurt and kale smoothies. (The Daily Courier)

COVID-19 Schools Transform Into ‘Relief’ Kitchens, but Federal Aid Fails to Keep Up
Many school cafeterias are now operating more like community soup kitchens, even though the federal school meals program won’t reimburse districts for meals served to struggling adults. (New York Times)

COVID-19 EQUITY Coronavirus Is Creating a Food Security Crisis in Indian Country
The coronavirus is devastating Indigenous communities, long shut out of food supply chains and infrastructure development. In addition to limited medical resources, and escalating mortality rates, many Indigenous communities are facing drastic food and water shortages. (Civil Eats)

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 4/14/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 14, 2020
NEW: National Farm to School Network is launching 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 AFT Farmer Relief Fund Grants
Deadline: April 23
AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs. AFT envisions an initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1. The application is available in English and Spanish. Learn more here. 

2. COVID-19 COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Funding
Calling all Principals, School Nutrition Managers, School Nutrition Directors and District Superintendents! GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more and apply here.

3. Carton 2 Garden Contest
Deadline Extended: May 1
Apply for Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening.org's sixth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest! Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Fifteen (15) entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Learn more and apply here.

4. USDA AMS: Regional Food System Partnerships
Deadline Extended: May 26
USDA AMS's Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The effort is focused on building and strengthening local or regional food economy viability and resilience by alleviating unnecessary administrative and technical barriers for participating partners. Learn more here.

5. Native American Agriculture Fund (NAFF) 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. April 11-17: Week of the Young Child
The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Knowing that circumstances are different for everyone, this year's celebration focus on providing resources you can use wherever you are celebrating young children. National Farm to School Network has a new blog sharing social distancing & family-friendly farm to ECE activity ideas to help little ones engage in gardening, cooking & healthy eating every day of the week. Read more here

2. COVID-19 Weekly Virtual Gatherings: School Garden Support Organization Network
April 15 // 2-3pm EST
Starting April 15, the School Garden Support Organization Network will begin hosting weekly gatherings on topics related to supporting school gardens during closures and social distancing. Register for the first virtual gathering here. Learn more about other upcoming gatherings here

3. EQUITY WEBINAR: Racial Equity in the Food System: Perceptions, Reality, and the Road Ahead
April 15 // 3-4pm EST
In this webinar sponsored by the Racial Equity in the Food System (REFS) workgroup, you'll learn provocative findings from a national survey of REFS webinar registrants that will ground a thoughtful discussion of these questions. To catalyze the discussion, members of the REFS national committee and a leader of a Toronto-based food system non-profit will offer insights into what the findings may be telling us, and share examples where projects and organizations are operationalizing equity in their everyday work. Learn more and register here.

4. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Online Discussion: U.S. Food System & COVID-19
April 15 // 4-6pm EST
Join The New School for a discussion with Vanessa Garcia Polanco and Leah Douglas to explore the implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing on the food system in the U.S. Comments and questions from viewers throughout the session are welcome. Learn more here.

5. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Possibilities Through Partnership During COVID-19
April 16 // 3-4pm EST
Ensuring access to nutritious meals during COVID-19 requires collaboration on every level. Join FRAC and guest speakers to learn about promising partnerships between state agencies, school districts, program providers, food banks, and others that result in more children being reached by the child nutrition programs. Register here

6. COVID-19 WEBINAR: Serving Meals During COVID-19: Sharing Promising Strategies, Tips and Tricks
April 21 // 2-3pm EST
Join this webinar to hear from program operators that are continuing to provide meals in this ever-changing climate, despite school closures, shelter-in-place policies, procurement challenges, and more. We'll share wins and lessons learned, and we'll have an honest discussion about the challenges we face to make sure that kids still have access to nutritious meals during this pandemic. Register here

7. NFSN New Dates: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 27-29, 2021 // Albuquerque, New Mexico 
National Farm to School Network is pleased to share the new dates for our 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference (originally scheduled for April 21-23, 2020): this event will now be held April 27-29, 2021 in the same location, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Current ticket holders will have their registration transferred to these new dates, with an option to change their registration status. Registration for new tickets will open in Fall 2020. Learn more here


Research & Resources 
1. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Resources for Farm to School and ECE
National Farm to School Network is compiling resources related to COVID-19 that will be relevant to the farm to school and farm to early care and education community. View the list here. We're also launching a new weekly e-newsletter to highlight newly available resources and information relevant to the farm to school and ECE community. Anyone can sign up for this free weekly e-newsletter here

2. COVID-19 EQUITY Intertribal Agriculture Council: COVID-19 Survey
During these unprecedented times, while our country battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) seeks to gather information to help understand how the crisis has affected Indian country. Information gathered will be utilized to inform IAC's programmatic responses and the guidance it offers the USDA Office of Tribal Relations and its valued partners. Stakeholders can provide feedback here

3. COVID-19 EQUITY Talking About Coronavirus: Centering Language around Inclusion, Empowerment, and Justice
This resource from The Opportunity Agenda offers guidance for how to talk about coronavirus using VPSA (Value, Problem, Solution, Action) framing with language centered in empowerment, inclusion and justice. See more here

4. COVID-19 USDA "Meals for Kids" Interactive Map
USDA's “Meals for Kids” interactive map directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The site finder currently lists more than 20,000 meal sites from 23 states, and more sites will be added as states submit data each week. The map is available in both English and Spanish at www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids.

5. New Report Shows Schools Can Be On Frontline Against Food Waste
The World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Food Waste Warriors report provides the results of a food waste analysis conducted in 46 schools across nine U.S. cities in spring 2019. WWF provided classes in the participating schools with lesson plans and other resources on how to reduce food waste and the importance of food waste reduction. The lessons include training students on how to conduct food waste audits in the cafeteria. Read more here.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 Michigan is First State to Provide Food to Families Affected by School Closings Caused by COVID-19
Michigan has become the first state in the country to gain federal approval of a program that will provide nutritious food to children who were affected by school closings due to COVID-19. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) provides temporary funding to address emergency food needs and avert financial hardship for families affected by the pandemic. Read more here.

2. Court Strikes Down Rollback of School Nutrition Rules
A federal district judge has ruled that the Agriculture Department’s 2018 regulation easing sodium and whole-grain standards in school meals violated regulatory law. Read more here


Job Opportunities
1. National Director, Farm to Cafeteria Canada (Burnaby, BC)
Deadline: April 30
Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) and the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) seek an experienced National Director to represent F2CC, providing strategic direction, leading the F2CC team, and effectively managing our programs and services. Learn more and apply here.

2. Associate Director of Legislative Affairs, The Good Food Institute (Washington, D.C.)
The Good Food Institute's (GFI) Associate Director of Legislative Affairs will have the opportunity to promote a healthy, sustainable, and just food system. This position is responsible for managing GFI’s legislative initiatives/team and using state/federal legislation to remove hurdles and leverage resources to promote progress on alternative proteins. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 Social Media Snapshots of School Lunch Superheroes in Action During Coronavirus Pandemic
School food social media feeds prior to the coronavirus pandemic were filled with images of traylines with awesome fresh food. Almost overnight, those same feeds have taken a different tone, as school nutrition workers found themselves on the frontline, helping their communities survive in a whole new reality. (Food Management)

COVID-19 EQUITY Groups Provide Relief To Indian Country As Coronavirus Cases Climb
For years, Tyrone Thompson has taught his neighbors in Leupp, Arizona how to grow their own food. Since COVID-19 has people stockpiling groceries and preparing for the worst, Thompson has taken to social media to teach the masses. He said the quarantine reminds people that food doesn’t come from the grocery store. It comes from the land. And traditionally Navajos subsisted off of the land. “Being sheltered in place it allows us to reconnect to who we are,” Thompson said. “We’ve forgotten so it’s really important that we get back to the way we used to do things.” (Fronteras)

COVID-19 Farmers Scramble to Stay Profitable Amid Disruptions to the Food Industry
Many farms around the country are still producing plenty of product, only now, there are fewer places to sell it. Listen to an interview with Joe Del Bosque, president of Del Bosque Farms, and Becca Jablonski, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University, for perspectives. (The Takeaway)

COVID-19 EQUITY Farmworkers like me are always the last to be protected in a crisis
Agricultural worker and organizer Lupe Gonzalo shares why workers (and, in turn, our food supply) are so vulnerable during the coronavirus. (Fast Company)


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: 4/7/20

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 07, 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. COVID-19 AFT Farmer Relief Fund Grants
Deadline: April 23
AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs. AFT envisions an initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1. The application is available in English and Spanish. Learn more here. 

2. Carton 2 Garden Contest
Deadline Extended: May 1
Apply for Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening.org's sixth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest! Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Fifteen (15) entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Learn more and apply here.

3. USDA AMS: Regional Food System Partnerships
Deadline Extended: May 26
USDA AMS's Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The effort is focused on building and strengthening local or regional food economy viability and resilience by alleviating unnecessary administrative and technical barriers for participating partners. Learn more here.

4. Native American Agriculture Fund (NAFF) 2020 Request for Applications
Deadline: June 1
NAFF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. EQUITY Join the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
March 30-April 19
It's not too late! Sign up for 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 to learn more and register.

2. WEBINAR: How Can We Make Farm Work Healthier?
April 20 // 6:30PM PDT
Join Zócalo in the heart of California’s Central Valley, to consider how to make farm work healthier. Hear from organic farmer and artist Nikiko Masumoto, Huron Mayor Rey León, health researcher Chia Thao, and Tania Pacheco-Werner, co-assistant director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute. Register here

3. April is Kids Garden Month 
Each April, KidsGardening celebrates the joy and wonder of gardening with children with Kids Garden Month. This year, our ways of connecting with one another have rapidly changed, and KidsGardening invites families to share how they #GardenTogetherAtHome. If you are gardening with your kids, or trying any garden-based activities or lessons, enter their contest for a chance to win one of many cool prizes! Teachers, are you able to incorporate any gardening activities or lessons in your remote learning plans? Do you have ideas for families at home? Share what you’re doing and learn from others. It’s a great way to lift up, encourage, and virtually create community with other families and educators. We’re in this together. Let’s #GardenTogetherAtHome. Learn more here

4. April 11-17: Week of the Young Child
The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 51 Affiliates. Knowing that circumstances are different for everyone, this year's celebration will focus on providing resources you can use wherever you are celebrating young children. Visit the WOYC site for additional resources, support and inspiration. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. NFSN Farm to Early Care and Education Research and Literature
New literature and research has been added to the compiled list of Farm to Early Care and Education Research and Literature in the NFSN Resource Database. Collated by the National Farm to School Network’s Farm to Early Care and Education Working Group, this compilation of literature promotes increased access to and awareness of the research and evidence base around farm to early care and education. Any content we missed? Send suggested additions to Sadé Collins, NFSN Program Fellow, at programs@farmtoschool.org.

2. COVID-19 NFSN COVID-19 Resources for Farm to School and ECE
National Farm to School Network is compiling resources related to COVID-19 that will be relevant to the farm to school and farm to early care and education community. View the list here. This page will be updated on an ongoing basis.

3. COVID-19 Diversity Dashboard's Covid-19 Diversity & Inclusion Resources
Check out the Diversity Dashboard's resources to help diversity professionals through the COVID-19 pandemic. View the resources here.

4. COVID-19 USDA "Meals for Kids" Interactive Map
USDA's “Meals for Kids” interactive map directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The site finder currently lists more than 20,000 meal sites from 23 states, and more sites will be added as states submit data each week. The map is available in both English and Spanish at www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids.

5. COVID-19 No Kid Hungry: Texting Hotline to Provide Info on Emergency Meal Sites for Kids
No Kid Hungry is activating a texting hotline (FOOD/COMIDA to 877-877) to provide information about emergency food distribution sites in communities where schools have been closed due to coronavirus pandemic. To make it as effective as possible, they need your help! They're asking for data from state agencies, school districts, and food banks about when and where emergency food distribution sites are in operation. Program sponsors and administrators can submit site data at freemealsforkids.com.

6. COVID-19 Call for Food Service Video Footage
Schools across the country are figuring out how to continue getting essential food to kids. Food Insight Group (FIG) is collecting video footage of how school districts are procuring, preparing, and distributing meals to better understand what’s working and what’s needed. If you work in school foodservice, are volunteering to distribute meals, are receiving meals yourself or for a family member, or are otherwise looking for ways to help, you can send a video to FIG here.

7. Research: The Impact of a Multipronged Intervention to Increase School Lunch Participation Among Secondary School Students in an Urban Public School District
Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) and UC Berkeley School of Public Health researchers published a new study in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) on the impact of a multi-component intervention to increase students' lunch participation in SFUSD public middle and high schools. Read more here.


Policy News
1. COVID-19 Farm to Fork Initiative's Letter to Congress on COVID-19 Response
National Farm to School Network joined 25 other organizations in calling on Congress to act in the best interest of the people who grow, deliver and serve our food. Our best bet through this crisis will be working together and supporting the people our food systems rely on, from farm to fork. Farm to Fork is calling for a #CrisisProofFoodSystem for all. Read the Farm to Fork letter here.

2. COVID-19 Sign-On Letter to USDA on Direct Farmer Aid in the CARES Act
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is leading a letter to USDA that outlines specific priorities for disbursing aid to farmers and ranchers impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. The letter asks USDA to ensure that the billions aid funding in the CARES Act is distributed equitably, reaches farmers selling into local and regional markets, is delivered in a simple and accessible manner, and goes to producers, not corporate agribusiness. National Farm to School Network has signed on to this letter, and other organizations are encouraged to sign on as well. The deadline is Wednesday, April 8 at 6pm ET. Sign on here


Job Opportunities
1. National Director, Farm to Cafeteria Canada (Burnaby, BC)
Deadline: April 30
Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) and the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) seek an experienced National Director to represent F2CC, providing strategic direction, leading the F2CC team, and effectively managing our programs and services. Learn more and apply here.

2. Associate Director of Legislative Affairs, The Good Food Institute (Washington, D.C.)
The Good Food Institute (GFI) is at the forefront of the movement to use food technology and markets to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. The Associate Director of Legislative Affairs will have the opportunity to promote a healthy, sustainable, and just food system. This position is responsible for managing GFI’s legislative initiatives/team and using state/federal legislation to remove hurdles and leverage resources to promote progress on alternative proteins. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
OpEd: Cafeteria Workers Need Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Jennifer Gaddis and Amy Rosenthal share why school nutrition professionals need to be recognized with labor protections for risking their own health to continue serving free meals to students. (USA Today)

The Moment for Food Sovereignty is Now
From panic planting to cooperative gardens, farmers focused on equity and food justice know that ‘if you can feed yourself, you can free yourself.’ “Whether we’re talking about community gardens, home gardens, or school gardens—we just really need to localize our food and include more people in these relocalized food systems,” says Leah Penniman. (Civil Eats)

With Schools Closed, Some Districts are Feeding More People than Food Banks
Schools are more than education centers - they've become an essential lifeline for millions of children, families & community members. As more Americans are struggling to afford food, some of the nation's largest school districts are offering to feed anyone, no questions asked. (Civil Eats

Podcast: School Lunches Are As Important As Ever
On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” Dani interviews Mara Fleishman, CEO of the Chef Ann Foundation, about the vital need to feed food insecure children during school closures. “When chefs are able to see that they can be creative with school food and they can help change the palates of our youngest generation – I think it brings more culinary talent into this field,” says Fleishman. Listen here.

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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