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National Farm to School Network


This Week in farm to school: 5/4/16

NFSN Staff Wednesday, May 04, 2016

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. Last Chance! Join Us at the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference 
Don’t miss the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. The registration deadline is May 16 – that’s less than two weeks away. Register today at

2. Webinars: USDA Traditional Foods in Native Communities Webinar Series
This spring, USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems is hosting a four-part webinar series focused on integrating farm to school strategies in native communities. Each webinar will feature a guest speaker who will share tips, stories and best practices for keeping local food traditions alive in child nutrition programs that serve tribal populations. The third webinar is coming up: Community Food Systems in Native Communities: Engaging Students on May 4, at 3pm EDT. Learn more and register here

3. Webinar: New Healthier CACFP Meal Standards: What you need to know

Food Research & Action Center
Monday, May 9, 1-2:30pm ET
USDA has issued the new healthier meal pattern for the Child and Adult Care Food Program and related programs. Join the Food Research and Action Center and USDA for a webinar on the new rules and USDA’s implementation plans. Learn what you need to know about USDA's recently issued healthier CACFP meal pattern and nutrition standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program in Head Start, child care centers, family child care homes, afterschool programs, emergency shelters and adult day care and school meal programs in school-based PreK. Register here

4. Webinar: School Garden Education for Children Experiencing Behavioral and Mental Health Challenges

Slow Food USA
Tuesday, May 17, 2pm ET
School Gardens for students with behavioral and mental health challenges provide interesting opportunities to develop positive and empowering life skills. The Creeks School Garden in Portland Oregon integrates practical education theory and methods into tangible, thoughtful teaching exercises that results in dynamic behavioral changes. The Creeks School Garden team will describe: the learning characteristics of these special children, their school settings, the importance of community partnerships, and specific activities that help these student’s gain confidence and develop productive collaborative relationships. Learn more here

Research & Resources
1. Film: Food Frontiers
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has released a short film that tells a half-dozen stories about projects around the country that are aimed at increasing access to healthy food. One of the stories covers farm to school programs in Riverside, Calif., and Claremont, Calif., including extensive material on farm to school pioneer Rodney Taylor and his farmer collaborator Bob Knight. Watch the film here

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Executive Director, Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network
The Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network has re-opened its search for a new Executive Director. WSFFN’s Executive Director will lead The Network into a new decade, providing both vision and action to strengthen sustainable food and farming systems. The position will remain open until filled. Learn more here.

2. Wellness Dietitian, Burke County Public Schools
Burke County Public Schools (Georgia) seeks a Wellness Dietitian to join is School Nutrition team. The position is heavily involved with the district’s farm to school and Early Head Start work. Learn more and apply here

Farm to school in the news

Trying To Alleviate Food Deserts In Arizona's Desert - shout out to Cindy Gentry, NFSN Arizona State Lead!
There are a number of food deserts in and around Maricopa County, Ariz. - areas in which residents have little-to-no access to healthy food. In this radio interview, Cindy Gentry, food systems coordinator for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, speaks about the role schools play in trying to alleviate food deserts. Listen here.

Local Food Learning Lab Sparks Growth - shout out to ASAP, NFSN Southeast Regional Lead Agency! 
Preschoolers at ASAP's new Growing Minds Learning Lab are getting their hands dirty this summer. Hear them talk about their gardening experiment and find out how the Child Care Center of First Presbyterian Church of Asheville, N.C. is bringing local food into the lives of its littlest learners. Listen here.

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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