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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 11/19/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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. 

Action Opportunities
1. Get Counted! USDA Farm to School Census Still Open
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems' third Farm to School Census is currently open and will be wrapping up at the end of November. Be sure your school district is counted! The Farm to School Census is the only national survey that examines school districts’ farm to school activities. It's imperative that all School Food Authorities (SFAs) - whether or not they currently participate in farm to school activities - complete the Census in order to have the most accurate picture of the scope, reach and impact of farm to school nationwide. The Census has been sent directly to SFAs. Please check with your SFAs to ask if they've submitted the Census, and make sure your efforts are counted! Learn more about the Census here

Grants & Funding
1. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA Now Open
Deadline: December 13
The 2020 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. With additional funding made available through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $10 million in FY 2020 funding. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 will be available to schools, nonprofits, State and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan and implement farm to school activities. Applications are due Dec. 13, 2019. Learn more here.
2. NFSN Consultation Services to Support USDA Farm to School Grant Applicants
National Farm to School Network advocated for the establishment of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program and is committed to ensuring this funding reaches the communities that need it most. NFSN is available on a consultation basis to provide assistance during the application process (thought partnership, preparing the grant application, evaluation) and during grant implementation (needs assessment, evaluation, action plan, virtual coaching). Learn more here.  

3. USDA Regional Farm to School Institutes RFA
Deadline: December 27
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems is pleased to announce the new Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications (RFA). This new grant for fiscal year 2020 will support the creation and dissemination of information on farm to school program development, and provide practitioner education and training, and ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. The Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding at least two grants with a combined total of $150,000, to eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations working regionally to promote farm to school activities and support practitioners. Learn more here.

4. 2020 Youth Gardening Grant
Deadline: December 16, 2019
Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States or US Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. The selection of winners is based on demonstrated program impact and sustainability. Previous Youth Garden Grant winners who wish to reapply must wait one year after receiving the award and must prove that their garden programs have been significantly expanded. Learn more and apply here.

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Product Spotlight - Increasing Regionally Sourced Grains in Institutions
Nov. 19 // 2 PM EST
Join FINE and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) for a one-hour webinar to learn more about regional grain production and how it can be a cost effective choice for your institution. Across the state of Maine, allies are working to transform the grain economy by increasing production and reducing procurement bottlenecks while serving and educating customers. Register here.

2. EQUITY Webinar: Building Partnerships to Support Food Sovereignty in African American Communities
Dec. 3 // 3PM EST
This webinar is an opportunity to explore how and why African American communities are working together to enhance their food sovereignty. Following this introduction to the concept of food sovereignty and its role in African American communities, Malik Yakini with the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and Lilly Fink Shapiro with the University of Michigan’s Sustainable Food Systems Initiative will discuss their partnership designing and co-leading the Food Literacy for All course. They will describe how the partnership was developed and its impact both in the community and on campus. The webinar also will introduce Kimberly Carr, a post-doctoral research associate in food sovereignty and racial equity at the Center for Regional Food Systems and Center for Interdisciplinarity at Michigan State University. The webinar is hosted by the Racial Equity in the Food System workgroup, coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Register here.

3. Call for Proposals: National Children & Youth Garden Symposium
Deadline: January 8, 2020
The American Horticultural Society is pleased to announce its 28th annual National Children & Youth Garden Symposium (NCYGS). The 2020 event will take place July 7-10 in Santa Cruz, California, hosted by Life Lab. At the core of the symposium are peer-led educational sessions that focus on relevant, thought-provoking topics, provide attendees with practical knowledge and skills, and appeal to attendees representing a variety of experience levels, educational settings, and youth audiences. Learn more here

4. Request for Proposals: The Test Kitchen
Deadline: January 10, 2020
No Kid Hungry's The Test Kitchen is a concept accelerator designed to help nonprofits, schools, faith organizations, and local governments turn their best ideas into validated strategies and promising practices. The focus of each cohort is different, as selected innovation teams work concurrently to develop and test new ideas that may help reduce childhood hunger. Now in its second year, this year’s focus is on ending childhood hunger in rural communities in the summer. Selected teams will receive grant funds and technical assistance to support a pilot to test their idea and have the opportunity to build relationships with other innovative organizations at an in-person planning retreat. Learn more here

5. Scholarship Application: 2020 National Child Nutrition Conference
Deadline: January 16, 2020
Scholarships are now available for the National Child Nutrition Conference. Apply today for the opportunity to join over 1,700 attendees at the premier training and networking event for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and Afterschool Meals community. The conference will be held April 14-16, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Learn more here

6. National Farmers Union’s Women’s Conference
January 19-21 // San Diego, California
Farming is never a one-woman job – it takes a village to run a successful operation. This conference will not only prepare attendees for success in agriculture, but it will also provide them with their own network of women farmers and ranchers they can reach out to throughout the year. Farmers, policy makers, educators, and specialists will present on a number of subjects, including financial management, farm labor, leadership, and more. Learn more and register here

7. NFSN EVENT Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 21-23, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Are you passionate about supporting local agriculture and fostering a culture of food literacy in your community? This event is for you. Visit to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque!

Research & Resources
1. New Data on Child Poverty Rates
The number of children living in neighborhoods with high poverty and low opportunity is examined in a new data snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods. This snapshot shares the latest data — for the nation and each state — on children growing up in high-poverty areas. It also singles out two important factors, geographic location and race and ethnicity, that shape a child’s risk of living in concentrated poverty. The document ends by outlining recommended moves that leaders can take to help families in these communities thrive. Read here

2. EQUITY Food Sovereignty Stories
What is food sovereignty and what does it look like in the United States? Food sovereignty can take on unique meanings in different communities, but it always puts questions of power, control, and social justice at the heart of food and farming. Food Sovereignty Stories, created by the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, is a series of videos from social movements in the United States working towards a more just and sustainable food system. These films explore issues of farm justice, migrant rights, feminism, radical urban agriculture, fighting the extractive economy, Indigenous cosmovision and farm justice, amongst others critical issues. Watch here

Farm to School in the News
California students help bring small-scale urban farming to community
Students in the Greater Victoria school district participated in a small-scale urban agriculture project over the summer and were able to grow food, connect with the community and improve their mental health in the process. (Victoria News)

For DC students, lessons in growth, of the garden variety
When students returned to the District’s Capital City Public Charter School in September, they encountered old friends, new teachers and a one-of-a-kind classroom. Rather than walls and books, it bursts with plum and cherry trees, blueberry and aronia bushes, milkweeds and vegetables, and lots and lots of insects. (The Washington Post)

Arizona elementary school students use lunch leftovers to make compost
Elvira Elementary students in Tucson are turning their lunch leftovers into food for a future school garden. (Yahoo! News)

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


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