This Week in Farm to School: 3/31/20
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.
Webinars & Events
1. COVID-19 Virtual Conversation with State Food Councils and Networks on Response to COVID-19
April 1, 2-3:30pm EST
Join the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks project for a conversation with food systems councils and networks working at the state level about their response to COVID-19. Share what is happening in your state to support local and regional food systems, including policies being proposed, debated and passed. Learn how states are convening local councils and partners and setting policy priorities in response to the pandemic. This discussion will be recorded and posted to YouTube afterward. Register here.
2. 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.
Resources & Research
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. This page will be updated on an ongoing basis.
2. COVID-19 EQUITY Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources
Racial Equity Tools has created a COVID-19 Racial Equity & Social Justice list that includes information that will help communities and activists as they work to understand and respond to the moment and for the long haul. These COVID-19 Resources are arranged in categories to help you sift through the material: Analysis, Resources & Tools, Healing & Community Care, Organizing & Solidarity, Resource Building & Rapid Response, Virtual Work & Online Engagement, and List of Lists. See more here.
3. 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.
4. 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.
1. 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.
2. Farm to School Coordinator, University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (Molokai, Hawai’i)
University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR) is hiring a Farm to School Coordinator on the island of Molokai to provide educational support for farm-to-school activities in Molokai schools. This individual will serve as an extension agent and will be housed at the Molokai Cooperative Extension Service Office in Ho’olehua. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
COVID-19 As Rural Schools Close, Some Hungry Kids to Get a Box of Processed Food
Ensuring that children are fed, during the COVID-19 crisis and in the future, is at the top of many minds. Lacy Stephens, National Farm to School Network's Senior Program Manager, talks with Civil Eats about goals for connecting more local producers into the emergency feeding system. (Civil Eats)
Inspiration: Inside the Pioneering Fresh Pasta Program at Waconia Public School District in Minnesota
Here’s how it’s possible to make and serve fresh spaghetti, ravioli, ramen and more in a K-12 setting; it just takes some ingenuity, dedication and a strong farm grandma’s can-do spirit. (Food Management)
COVID-19 Iowa School District's Community Garden Has Added Meaning Amid COVID-19
Since 2000, Iowa resident Mary Hawley has helped keep up the Iowa Community School District's community garden. At the beginning, it was a way for kids in kindergarten through third grade to have something to do but bloomed into something for everyone. And now, at this present moment, it's a way for even more people to get involved. (Globe Gazette)
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.