This Week in farm to school: 8/2/16
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.
Grants & Funding
1. Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation Accepting Applications for Toolbox for Education Grants
The Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation has announced the opening of its Fall 2016 Toolbox for Education, which supports projects that encourage parent involvement in local schools and build stronger community spirit. One-year grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to projects with the potential to have a permanent impact on a school community, such as facility enhancement (indoor or outdoor) or landscaping/clean-up projects. In addition, Toolbox grants can be used as part of a large-scale project like a playground, as long as the grant will be used to complete a phase of the project that can be completed within twelve months of the award. Learn more and apply here.
Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Explore the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census
August 11, 3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network and USDA FNS Office of Community Food Systems on Thursday, August 11 at 3pm ET for an in-depth review of the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. Presenters will provide an overview of the Farm to School Census website, including the recently posted raw data files and soon to be released data explorer tool. Presenters will also describe ways in which Census data can be used at the local, state, and national levels in support of farm to school. Register for the webinar here.
2. Webinar: Make Healthy Food the Easy Choice - Best Practices for Healthy Food Promotion
August 8, 10am-12pm ET
You’re invited to join Ecology Center, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, and Taste the Local Difference as they explore ways to promote healthy, local, and sustainable food efforts at your business, school, hospital, or food pantry. Register here.
3. Three Perspectives on Food: A Conversation between Will Allen, Ron Finley and Alice Waters
November 18 // Milwaukee, WI
Join Leaders in the food world as they come together to share their perspective on how farming, social justice and the culinary arts can be powerful tools for equity, locally, nationally, and internationally. How can we scale up from small school gardens to school farms that can nourish a community? How do we connect and support permanent land use by the community for food production as well as economic and cultural development? This event also coincides with Growing Power's National-International Urban and Small Farms Conference. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. Institutional Food Networks Survey
A Seattle based researcher is developing recommendations for a network of service providers that assist institutions (schools, hospitals, corporate campuses, corrections, sporting centers, and others) in locating and purchasing local and regional food - both direct through farmers and food hubs, but also through traditional supply chains. She seeks information about networks that are established and support similar Farm 2 Institution/Farm 2 Cafeteria efforts. If you have information about networks like this, please fill out this survey by Friday, August 12.
Farm to school in the news
Educators embrace school gardens as multidisciplinary teaching tool
Teachers in Oregon are learning how school gardens can be used to engage students in fun, outdoor, hands-on science lessons. Students “actually learn to garden — they learn how to grow their own food and make a connection with it and start to see how they fit into the web of the world. It’s so comprehensive.” (via The Register-Guard)
Schools nurture students’ agriculture interests
Agriculture offers a hands-on way to study STEM, and provides an avenue to hundreds of potential careers in biology, chemistry, veterinary science, environmental policy, food science and nutrition, entrepreneurship and more. Penn Manor High School (Pa.) and Schurz High School (Ill.) explain their programs. (via USA Today)
Another Reason To Buy Directly From Farmers: You Could Help the Local Economy More
A new study from UC Davis took a look at the way buying directly from farmers affects the economy in the Sacramento, Calif. At its core, the study (coauthored by NFSN’s Policy Director, Erin McGuire) found that a dollar spent buying directly from a farmer has about twice the impact on the local economy as spending a dollar on food that goes through a middleman. (via Modern Farmer)
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.