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This Week in farm to school: 11/29/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 29, 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. Voice for Healthy Kids Grant
The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are working to create a culture of health through Voices for Healthy Kids. The goal of the grant opportunities within this initiative is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Voices for Healthy Kids is focusing efforts in schools, community, and out-of-school time/early care and education. The deadline for application submission is Thursday, December 15, 2016. Learn more here

2. Lead2Feed Leadership Challenge Accepting Student Entries for Service Learning Projects
The Lead2Feed Challenge was created by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Foundation, to encourage middle and high school students to hone their leadership skills by completing a service-learning project that addresses a community need. Teams of students in 6th - 12th grades are invited to enter the challenge. Each team must complete the Lead2Feed lessons and create and execute a service-learning project designed to find and fill a need in their community. First-, second-, third- and honorable mention prizes of $20,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000, respectively, will be awarded, for a total of up to $275,000.  Up to 50 teams will be recognized as winners. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. National Farmers Union Beginning Farmers - Free Online Conference
December 5-8
National Farmers Union is gearing up to host "Growing for the Future,” a new, free, online conference that will focus on issues faced by beginning farmers and ranchers, including: mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, student loans, land tenure, food safety, women and veterans in farming, conservation, and much more! The virtual conference will be held December 5-8, from 5pm to 8pm EST, and will feature a number of top speakers in agriculture, farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q&A, a discussion board, a resource center and free giveaways. Registration is free: http://bit.ly/Growing4TheFuture


Research & Resources
1. New Resource: Reach for the Stars with Farm to Preschool
Developed by the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network, this resource has been created to help child care centers and family child care homes integrate farm to preschool activities into their curriculum while addressing the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS). The resource is organized by four farm to preschool activities (Edible Gardening with Young Children, Farm Field Trips/Farmer Visit with Young Children, Local Food Classroom Cooking/Taste Test with Young Children, and Local Food Served in Meals and/or Snacks). ECER sub-scale items and indicator are aligned with suggested farm to preschool activities. In addition to enriching the educational experience, this resource demonstrates how star ratings can be enhanced though farm to preschool programming. Learn more here

2. State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness - Framework for Action
This document focuses on supporting advocates who are interested in working with state-level policymakers to develop state ESSA plans. It provides practical resources and emphasizes several key areas with the greatest potential impact on student health. Learn more here

3. Research: Increasing Prevalence of US Elementary School Gardens, but Disparities Reduce Opportunities for Disadvantaged Students
This study examined the prevalence of school garden programs at US public elementary schools, as well as time trends, demographic and regional disparities, and associations with related programs such as farm-to-school. Conclusions from the study show that garden programs in elementary schools have increased over time, but there is room for wider implementation, particularly at schools serving lower-income students. Given the role of childhood in establishing food preferences and dietary consumption habits, such programs are important and can reinforce the messages imparted through nutrition education. Explore the study here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Policy Director, FoodCorps
FoodCorps is seeking a highly skilled and experienced Policy Director to lead government relations and federal and state policy initiatives at its fast-growing, entrepreneurial national nonprofit organization. As a key member of the Innovations & Strategic Partnerships Team, the Policy Director will develop and maintain enthusiastic relationships with all sectors of the Federal government, including robust relationships with USDA, CNCS, DoE, CDC, and key members of Congress. Learn more here

2. Farm to Institution Program Coordinator 
The Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC) of Lake County Community Development Corporation (Montana) is hiring a Program Coordinator to provide support to its food and agriculture programs. The Coordinator is primarily responsible for providing support to food and agriculture programs of MMFEC, including the Food and Agriculture Development Center (FADC), Cooperative Development program, and Farm to Institution program, through event planning, marketing and promotion, communication and outreach, social media, and program coordination. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Supporting Sustainability With Farm-to-School Food Programs
Since the National Farm to School Network was founded in 2007, the farm to school movement has grown leaps and bounds. Read how farm to school efforts, including the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, have helped transform school meals and educational opportunities for students across the country. U.S. News

Chicago students prepare farm-to-table Thanksgiving for seniors

High school students in Chicago prepared and served a farm-to-table Thanksgiving dinner to 300 senior citizens in their community. All of the food — from the eggs used in the cornbread to the 16 roasted turkeys — came from the school's 78-acre farm. Chicago Tribune 

Farm to School Teaches Kids About Food
Teaching kids where their food comes from is on the minds of farmers and teachers throughout Vermont. When Farmer Julie Walcott isn’t working on her farm, she’s helping teach kids about agriculture and introducing them to vegetable they might not ordinarily find or eat. My Champlain Valley

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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