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.
Grants & Funding
1. Braitmayer Foundation Seeks Proposals for Innovative K-12 Education Programs
Braitmayer Foundation is inviting proposals from K-12 education programs in the United States that have adopted innovative practices. Priority will be given to curricular and school reform initiatives and the preparation of and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those which encourage people of high ability and diverse background to enter and stay in K-12 teaching. In 2016, the foundation will consider grant requests of up to $35,000. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. Register Now! Early Bird Prices for 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. Early bird registration is open now, including pre-conference short courses and field trips. Event organizers expect more than 1,500 attendees, and the last event sold out before the registration deadline, so don’t wait. Register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.
2. Call for Proposals: 5th Annual UVM Food Systems Summit
The University of Vermont Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue on the pressing food systems issues facing our world. The 2016 Summit will feature several rounds of concurrent sessions organized by Summit participants. We invite you to propose ideas for concurrent sessions in response to the 2016 Summit theme: "What Makes Food Good?" The Summit will be held June 14-15, 2016 in Burlington, VT. Submit and view proposals here.
3. International School Meals Day, March 3, 2016
Since March 2013, schools across the world have celebrated International School Meals Day. This annual event celebrates food and promotes healthy living through the education environment. The fourth International School Meals Day theme is fresh and healthy local foods. Schools, organizations, government bodies, catering companies and anyone with an interest or involvement in promoting healthy eating are encouraged to get involved. Learn more here.
4. School Garden Teacher Training, Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
OAEC’s School Garden Teacher Training supports your school in creating and sustaining garden-based ecological literacy programs and helps you build a strong cohort of colleagues. Our residential training is for individuals or teams of teachers, garden educators, administrators and core parent volunteers. Two trainings will be held: June 20-24, 2016 and July 11-15, 2016. Learn more here.
5. Webinar: USDA Planning for Farm to School Success, Food Safety
Thursday, March 3, 2pm EST
How can we ensure the safety of farm fresh food? We’ll share local food safety best practices, including identifying safety measures for school gardens and school salad bars. Joining us is Londa Nwadike, PhD, who serves as Extension Food Safety Specialist for both Kansas State University and the University of Missouri. She works with small-scale produce farmers, farmers market vendors, as well as schools and consumers on food safety-related issues. Register here.
6. Webinar Series: Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living through Partnerships and the National Prevention Strategy
The National Prevention Strategy (NPS) is a guide for improving the health and well-being of every American by shifting the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. This webinar series will highlight ways various partner groups are successfully addressing two key NPS priorities, Healthy Eating and Active Living, in their communities. The target audience for the series is staff from Federal, State and local governments; Tribal organizations and communities; community and faith-based organizations and groups; health care organizations; academia; advocacy groups, and the general public. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. Report: The Double Up Experience in Rural Michigan
Fair Food Network works at the intersection of food systems, sustainability, and social equity to develop solutions that support farmers, strengthen local economies, and increase access to healthy food – especially in underserved communities. Double Up Food Bucks (Double Up), a project of Fair Food Network, matches SNAP (formerly food stamps) benefits spent at participating retail locations with additional funds for the purchase of fresh Michigan grown fruits and vegetables. The Double Up program began in five Detroit farmers’ markets in 2009 and has expanded to more than 150 farmers’ markets, mobile markets, food share programs, and grocery stores around the state. This is the second of a series of papers that will look at three years of program data through a variety of lenses and discuss their implications for policy. Read the report here.
2. EXPIRED! Film release
The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, in collaboration with Racing Horse Productions, has just released a short film about food waste and expiration dates. Expired? Food Waste in America profiles the waste of milk in Montana to illustrate the issue of misleading food labels as a leading cause of food waste in America and calls for a unified labeling system as a solution. The film and more resources on the problem of food waste are featured here.
Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Leads, USDA Farm to School
USDA is looking for Farm to School Regional Leads in the following USDA Food and Nutrition Service locations: Southwest Regional Office: Dallas, TX; Western Regional Office: San Francisco, CA; Mountain Plains Regional Office: Denver, CO. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program, including grants, training and technical assistance, and actively participate in driving the program’s growth and evolution. Application are due March 10. Learn more here.
2. Executive Director, Academy for Global Citizenship
Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) seeks an Executive Director to lead the school, building on its groundbreaking success inspiring change at both the local and systems level. The ED is responsible for the educational outcomes and operation of the school and serves as a critical external representative for AGC's work. Learn more here.
3. Kid Chefs: Join the Fifth Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge!
First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation. The challenge invites kids ages 8-12 to join a parent or guardian in creating an original recipe that is healthy, affordable, and delicious. One winner from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia will be selected and have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House where a selection of the winning recipes will be served. Learn more submit your recipe by April 4 here.
Farm to school in the news
The local food movement could be coming to NY schools
A proposal to pay schools to bring more local foods into their cafeterias has gained broad support across New York. The idea would be a pilot program whereby the state would give additional school lunch reimbursement to districts that buy a certain percentage of their food from producers in New York. (via Democrat & Chronicle)
Farm to School In Indiana - From Fencerows to Foodsheds
This excerpt from the documentary From Fencerows to Foodsheds highlights several of the innovative Farm to School initiatives in Batesville, Indiana. The film shares the inspiring stories of two Indiana communities as they work to rebuild their local food system. View the segment here.
Local school lunches entirely California grown
This year, all San Diego Unified School District schools are taking part in “California Thursdays,” a program where meals on Thursdays are entire sourced locally. Last year, only 20 school participated. The district says buying poultry and other protein sources in-state boosts the economy and ensures students eat the freshest foods. (via KGTV San Diego)
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.