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This Week in farm to school: 11/01/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 01, 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. 



Grants & Funding
1. USDA Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. Safer® Brand School Garden Grant 
Safer® Brand is starting an annual school garden grant to help kids build healthy habits through gardening. The $500 grant will be awarded to a school in the United States to start a school garden in 2017. Applications are due December 1. Learn more here

3. School Food Support Initiative 
Chef Ann Foundation is currently accepting applications for an 18-month technical assistance program, which can help districts improve their meal programs and transition to scratch cook operations. Their goal is to provide up to seven school districts with technical assistance, strategic planning and funding opportunities to improve their operations. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2016 and more details about program services and eligibility criteria, as well as a link to the online application can be found on the School Food Support Initiative Webpage. To learn more, attend an informational webinar on Nov. 2 at 2pm ET. Register here


Webinars & Events
1. Healthy and Ready to Learn: State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness Webinar
Nov. 17, 11am-12pm CT
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of student health and wellness. To help school health advocates and others take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to integrate health and wellness into education policy and practice, Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for Healthier Generation will be releasing Healthy and Ready to Learn: ESSA State Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about this important resource and connect with other advocates working to advance student health and school wellness through ESSA state plans. Register here

2. School Food Focus 2016 National Gathering
Dec. 6-8, 2016 // Braselton, Ga. 
School Food Focus is the national collaborative that ignites change in our food system by working on both the demand and supply sides of school food. Now in its sixth year, the National Gathering is a unique space for attendees to share innovative procurement strategies, connect with supply chain leaders and strengthen the school food movement. Learn more here

3. Registration Open: California Farm to School and Garden Conference
March 27-29, 2017 // Modesto, Calif. 
Registration is now open for the 2017 CA Farm to School and Garden Conference which takes place March 27 - 29, 2017 in Modesto, Calif. Register now and join this gathering of movers and shakers in the farm to school and garden movement, including farmers, distributors, government representatives, procurement officers, educators, garden practitioners, food program administrators and others from around the state. Early bird registration is available now through December 2. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Montana Beef to School Case Study
The Montana Beef to School Project has written a case study report to help Montana beef producers, meat processors, schools and communities explore what factors make beef to school programs successful and encourage the use of local beef in every Montana school. The case study report features: (1) an overview of findings, (2) amazing graphics that describe our findings, (3) stories that feature the efforts of schools, beef producers, and meat processors across Montana. These lessons learned contribute to an understanding of how to make beef to school and farm to school generally more feasible in Montana. See the full case study report here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Senior Director of Programs, Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network seeks an outstanding leader in program design, implementation, and evaluation to join the organization during a period of exciting growth. The Senior Director of Programs will provide leadership and unity to its programs to increase its impact nation-wide. The Senior Director will oversee the integration and growth of flagship programs such as Double Up Food Bucks and the Michigan Good Food Fund, in addition to growing pilot programs and leading the strategic expansion of FFN’s programs across the country. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Small steps, big impacts - Farm to School Month 2016 highlights
For the past 31 days, millions of schools, farmers and communities across the country have been celebrating the movement that’s connecting kids to fresh, healthy food and supporting local economies. From governors signing Farm to School Month proclamations in their states to Apple Crunches, Farm to School Month celebrations took place in all 50 states! Check out highlights of this year’s celebrations here

Farm to school program is good for students, schools, and farmers alike
"The nearly year-round nature of the school year means a longer, more dependable market for smaller suppliers, not just at harvest time,” says Abby Harper, Farm to School Specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. “Schools build stronger relationships with farmers and the farmers then see themselves as part of the community. This adds a new level of marketing and name recognition, depending on the relationship that’s been built." Second Wave Media

Does Your Kid’s School Have One of These Amazing Learning Labs?
Gardens are springing up in schools across the nation, as educators and parents look for ways to connect kids with natural, healthy, local food. Emily Jackson, Director and founder of ASAP’s Growing Minds program, and Anupama Joshi, NFSN Executive Director and Co-Founder, share the benefits and how-to’s of school gardens. Toca Boca

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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