This Week in farm to school: 2/9/16
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.
USDA Grants Available for Food Service Equipment
Can your farm to school program benefit from new kitchen equipment? There’s a grant for that! Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $35 million in grants to help schools upgrade kitchen equipment and infrastructure. These grants provide schools with funds to purchase equipment to help meet national nutrition standards and serve healthy meals with more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and less sodium and fat.Schools can apply for USDA funding through their state or for funds from Fuel Up to Play 60 directly. Learn more here.
USDA Farm to School Grant Program Schedule Update
Exciting change is underway with the USDA Farm to School Grant Program! The Child Nutrition Act, the authorizing legislation for the grant program, is currently in the reauthorization process in Congress. The most recent version passed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry includes changes that impact the scope of the grant program. In anticipation of change, there will be a delay in the release of the FY2017 request for applications from February to September. The anticipate schedule is as follows:
September 2016: Release FY2017 request for Farm to School Grant applications
November 2016: FY2017 Farm to School Grant applications due
May 2017: Announce awards
Check the USDA Farm to School website for updates.
Webinars & Events
Webinar: Food Research & Action Center
USDA Community Eligibility Provision Webinar Series: Messaging and Outreach in Your Community
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1-2:15pm ET
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was established by Congress in 2010 as part of the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs. Today, CEP is reaching over 8 million children nationwide, but many eligible schools and districts that stand to benefit are not yet electing. Sharing success stories about streamlined meal service, increased participation, and enhanced food security are effective strategies to encourage eligible districts and schools to elect CEP. This webinar will help State and local officials launch an effective and well-rounded effort to promote CEP and address common barriers to implementation. Join here.
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.
The Edible Schoolyard Project Summer 2016 Trainings
The Edible Schoolyard Project trains educators to create powerful and sustainable edible education programs in their schools and communities. Learn and experience first-hand the core principles and practical tools for bringing academic subjects to life in the kitchen, garden, and lunchroom. This summer, two trainings will be offered for teachers, administrators, food service professionals, and advocates on site at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley in California. The application deadline for both programs is March 13, 2016. Learn more and apply here.
Vermont FEED Training: A Dairy for Every Classroom, July 2016
A Dairy for Every Classroom is a professional development course intended for middle, high school, and career and technical education teachers who are looking to deepen or expand their personal knowledge, curricular connections, and project-based learning opportunities related to dairy agriculture and the contributions the industry makes to the health of people and their communities. This course has been developed with the needs of teachers in mind and will provide teachers the time and ability to focus on projects of their choice, as well as opportunities to learn from colleagues and experts from the field. Utilizing a unique learning format, the course includes a three-day residential intensive at Vermont Technical College in July; an independent work project period; and a two-day curriculum retreat at Shelburne Farms in late September. Learn more and apply here.
Jobs & Opportunities
AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator, Green Mountain Farm-to-School
Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) is a nonprofit organization promoting the health and wellbeing of Vermont's children, farms and communities by providing programs to connect schools and farms through food and education. The primary responsibilities of the AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator will be to develop, grow, present, and evaluate GMFTS’ Farm-to-School Programs and provide general operational and administrative support. This is a full-time year-long AmeriCorps position. Learn more here.