This week in farm to school: 12/15/2015
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community.
Webinars & Events
1. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 2-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. Registration opens Feb 15, 2016.
2. Texas Farm to School Roundup, February 11, 2016, Rockwall, Texas
The Texas Farm to School Roundup will be held as part of the 2016 Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Conference and combines an intensive pre-conference workshop along with several sessions focused on sales and educational components of farm to school during the conference. The TOFGA conference will be held February 11-13 in Rockwall, Texas at the Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront. Find additional information, including a list of conference sessions, here.
Research & Resources
1. Report: Schools Vary—And That Means Meal Costs Vary Too
USDA provides meal reimbursements to local school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Economic Research Service researchers found that per-meal costs were affected by the location of the school food authority, its size, and the balance between the number of lunches and breakfasts it served. Read the report here.
2. Report: The Promise of Farm to Preschool in Southwest Colorado
Developed by Healthy Community Food Systems, this report aims to explain the concept of farm to preschool, why it is so important, and why it is crucial to do well and without delay. The focus and examples are applicable to the whole of Southwest Colorado and beyond. Read the report here.
3. Documentary: In Defense of Food - premieres Dec. 30 on PBS
Join author Michael Pollan on a fascinating journey to answer the question: What should I eat to be healthy? Busting myths and misconceptions, In Defense of Food reveals how common sense and old-fashioned wisdom can help us rediscover the pleasures of eating and at the same time reduce our risks of falling victim to diet-related diseases. In Defense of Food premieres Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, 9pm ET on PBS. The film will be accompanied by a comprehensive education program for middle school students created by the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy at the Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition, an extensive outreach program has been designed to help food and health organizations and community groups use the film to spark deeper engagement and action in support of healthier homes, schools and communities. Learn more here.
4. Documentary: Food for Thought, Food For Life
Food for Thought, Food for Life is a short documentary film that educates people about the negative impact our current methods of agriculture have on the earth. In addition to providing vital information, the film gives viewers the necessary tools to make a difference in their own lives. The film is offered without a screening license fee to those who convene screening events designed to actively engage people in conversations about the food and farming sustainability issues raised by the film. Visit the Food for Thought website for a full screening kit, discussion guide, and materials
Jobs & Opportunities
1. Washington State Department of Agriculture Farm to School and Small Farm Direct Marketing positions
WSDA’s Small Farm Direct Marketing and Farm to School team has four openings for Commerce Specialist 3 ~ Education & Outreach Specialists. These are full-time project positions with different project durations ranging from 8 months to 2 years. These positions will be based in Seattle. This recruitment is open until filled with the first review date of December 30, 2015. Learn more at www.careers.wa.gov.
Farm to school in the news
Cultivating Healthy Habits from the Start: Farm to Early Care and Education
As we ring in the New Year, many adults are thinking about changing their unhealthy ways and making more nutritious choices. It’s also an ideal time to consider creative approaches to helping children develop their own lifelong healthy habits. Learn how to get started with farm to early care and education in this blog written by Lacy Stephens, NFSN Farm to Preschool Association. (via ChildCareInfo.com)
Local food, health go hand-in-hand
Traverse City Area Public Schools' Tom Freitas incorporates as many local vegetables and fruits into school cafeteria menus as he can. It's part of a push to give students more access to produce from area farms, a move that’s a win-win for student health and the local economy. (via Traverse City Record Eagle)
Desert Sands schools dish farm-to-table lessons
The days of reading, writing and ‘rithmatic ended a very long time ago and students of today have a broader education than ever before. At many Desert Sands Unified School District schools, gardens have become a part of a curriculum or used in after-school programs. (via The Desert Sun)
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.