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National Farm to School Network


This week in farm to school: 4/28/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 28, 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. Webinar: Slow Food USA, May 7, 2pm EST
May School Garden Webinar: The Edible Schoolyard
The Edible Schoolyard Network is an online community for educators and advocates working to transform how children eat and learn. This session will highlight how to use the Edible Schoolyard Network as a tool to map your program, connect with peers around the world, and contribute to an edible education curriculum for grades preK through 12. Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone at 
Research & Resources

1. Study finds healthier school lunches offered

More elementary schools are offering healthier meals and less high-fat pizza, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has said in a three-page brief released this month. Read the “Improvements in School Lunches Results in Healthier Options for Millions of U.S. Children” brief here

2. Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement

Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement, a report by the Illinois Public Health Institute and Crossroads Resource Center, highlights practical, effective strategies for communities to add locally sourced food to their institutional food systems; recommends ways to conceptualize and measure economic and health impacts; suggests effective funding strategies; and includes Critical Analysis of Economic Impact Methodologies, which discusses the literature on the economic impact of local foods. Read the report here

Policy & Action

1. Second Bi-Annual Farm to School Census 

The USDA Farm to School Census is a crucial tool for gathering information about the state of the farm to school movement. The first census was conducted in 2013, and USDA is now seeking updated information through the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. The Census questionnaire was distributed to school districts through state agencies the week of March 16. School district submissions must be received by May 29, 2015. Questions about the Census? Please contact

2. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Nutrition Policy Associate, Center for Science in the Public Interest
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition and food safety. The Nutrition Policy Associate advocates for improved nutrition and health policies with local, state and federal policy makers and engages health professionals, academics and concerned citizens in supporting nutrition policies. For more information or to apply, visit CSPI’s website
2. Farm Aid hiring Farm Advocate and Program Manager positions
Farm Aid is a national nonprofit working to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. They are hiring for two full-time positions in their office in Cambridge, Mass. The Farm Advocate will serve as Farm Aid’s primary direct service provider, working one-on-one with farmers across the country to address their unique resource needs through quality referrals and emotional support. The Program Manager works to strengthen family farm and rural service organizations nationally and the resources and opportunities available for family farmers through strategic management, implementation, promotion and evaluation of Farm Aid’s grant program and the Farm Aid Resource Network website. Applications are due by May 3. See links for full job details. 
3. Executive Director, Food and Child Nutrition Services, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer, this position will oversee all aspects of the district’s Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operation. The job functions include administrating, planning, directing, assessing, implementing and evaluating the program in order to meet the nutritional needs of CMSD students, as they relate to the CNP. The Executive Director shall partner with others in the CMSD and community to support a sound nutrition food program and nutrition education program while following federal, state, and local guidelines. The CNP is to provide an environment that supports healthy food habits while maintaining program integrity and customer satisfaction. Position is open until filled. Cleveland is an active farm to school district and currently part of the School Food FOCUS Upper Midwest Learning Lab. Click here for more information.

Farm to school in the news
Search for antibiotic-free chicken a struggle for schools
Two businesses and two Oregon school districts are teaming up, all in the name of chicken. They want to serve healthier chicken that’s raised without antibiotics, bought at a fair cost, and locally grown in Oregon. KGW
Farmers are banding together to form food hubs and compete against the big players
A movement toward more fresh produce has spawned food hubs that buy from local growers and sell to schools, hospitals and restaurants. The result in Minnesota has been Sprout, which by last year was supplying five area school districts, three hospitals, an assisted-living facility and several restaurants with more than 100,000 pounds of produce from 47 growers. Star Tribune
Voice for Education, Prof. Olivia Thompson
An interview with College of Charleston professor Olivia Thompson, who heads up a farm to school initiative in South Carolina that creates school-based gardens that provide learning opportunities, along with fresh and nutritious food, for students. Voices for Education: South Carolina School Boards Associate

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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