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This Week in farm to school: 9/13/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 13, 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 Open
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.  OnThursday, September 29, at 1pm EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Learn more here

2. Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program
The Whole Kids Foundation, in partnership with FoodCorps, is accepting applications for its School Garden Grant Program, an annual grantmaking program that supports school garden projects designed to help students learn about topics such as nutrition and health, sustainability and conservation, food systems, and community awareness. Grants will be in the amount of $2,000 for year-long projects. Applications dueOctober 31. Learn more here

3. 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


Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. Save the Date: National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference
March 5-7, 2017 // Washington, D.C.
Join 1,000+ anti-hunger advocates in Washington, D.C., for two days of “can’t miss” networking opportunities, content-rich sessions, interactive training, followed by a day on Capitol Hill. You’ll go home with an arsenal of best practices, innovative advocacy methods and personal connections to help you better fight hunger in your community, your state, and at the national level. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Join the Movement: America’s Healthiest Schools
National Farm to School Network is proud to join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to celebrate America’s Healthiest Schools and shine a light on the importance of creating a culture of health at school nationwide. You, too, can make a difference in helping kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Join the movement at www.healthiergeneration.org and add your voice to the conversation on social media using #HealthiestSchools.
 

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA Food and Nutrition Services
USDA Food and Nutrition Services seeks a  Farm to School Regional Lead in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Western Regional Office in San Francisco, CA. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program; provide on the ground training, technical assistance, and support to a wide variety of farm to school stakeholders; and, be a resident expert on key local and regional procurement issues. Applications are due September 22. Learn more here

2. Farm to School Coordinator, Alaska Department of Natural Resources
The primary purpose of this position is managing the Farm to School program which includes encouraging schools to utilize Alaska Grown/harvested products in their school lunch program, developing tools to facilitate communication between schools and producers of Alaska Grown/harvested products, supporting and enhancing curriculum-based projects that increase students awareness of healthy food choices as they relate to Alaska Grown/harvested foods, and helping producers to understand the requirements for selling their Alaska Grown/harvested foods to schools. Application closes September 21. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Ricketts Proclaims October Farm to School Month in Nebraska - shout out to Sarah Smith, NFSN Nebraska State Lead!
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has proclaimed October as Nebraska Farm to School Month in recognition of the growing importance and role of Farm to School programs in the state as a means to improve child nutrition, support local farming and ranching economies, spur job growth and educate children about agriculture and the origins of their food. (via KTIC)

School districts purchasing more Wisconsin food
What happens when three school districts collectively buy Wisconsin local food for school meals? Students and school staff benefit by eating fresh food packed with more nutrients, a smaller carbon footprint which results in less carbon in our atmosphere, and area institutions are supporting community local food growers and producers. (via The Star)

Stayton students dig education
In just the first week of classes at Stayton/Intermediate Middle School, members of the students' Green Team will be reaping what they sowed last spring as part of their garden project. What was originally the Greenhouse and Garden elective class for seventh- and eighth-graders grew into the Green Team as they have begun growing food directly for their school cafeteria. The new class also incorporates basic landscaping, recycling and grounds beautification. (via Statesman Journal)

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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