This Week in Farm to School
February 3, 2022

Farm to school connects local agriculture, schools, and partners to benefit students, educators, farmers, families, and communities.
Farm to School Coalition of NC Listserv Submissions
Do you have awards, resources, job openings, grant opportunities, events, or other highlights you'd like to share with other farm to school friends around the state? Let us know through our submission form! We’d love to share and celebrate all the farm to school activities happening in North Carolina!
Cooking Matters for Kids
Today! February 3 - March 10, 2022 // 7 pm EST
Join the Carolina Hunger Initiative for free online nutrition and cooking education lessons! Their first 6-week Cooking Matters for Kids series will be held weekly on Thursdays via Zoom. These classes are geared toward 3rd - 5th graders, but all children are welcome to sign up. Participants are eligible to receive a $10 grocery store gift card provided by the Interfaith Food Shuttle and an apron provided by the Carolina Hunger Initiative. 

Finding Your Future in Food Systems
February 8, 2022 // 6 pm - 7 pm EST
With this series, the North American Food System Network (NAFSN) aims to provide participants with connections and insights that will help them identify the next steps for their careers. The four-part series will highlight job creators from throughout the food systems profession. NAFSN is a professional development association connecting people to opportunities and resources to promote resilient local and regional food systems in the advancement of equity and healthful food access for all. 

Virtual Transplant Training Workshop
February 14, 2022 // 1 pm - 4 pm EST
Join the Center for Environmental Farming Systems for a free virtual transplant workshop. Learn how to correctly transplant your plants and about general transplant production information. Their presenters and researchers will also introduce new seeds for planting specialty fruits and vegetables. These new crops will be showcased through fun, exciting recipes, and cooking tips. The afternoon will end with a Q&A session so bring your questions!

2022 North Carolina Child Hunger Leaders Conference
February 17, 2022 // 9:30 am - 4 pm EST
This year's conference is once again hosted by the Carolina Hunger Initiative, a part of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The conference was started by No Kid Hungry NC, which is a partnership between UNC and Share Our Strength supported by the same team as the Carolina Hunger Initiative. This conference will be a chance for North Carolinians to celebrate each other, share stories of their success and innovations, and look to what the future might be for Child Nutrition in our state.

Navigating the GAP Audit: Food Safety Best Practices for Produce Farms
February 21 - March 7, 2022 // 4 pm - 5:30 pm EST
If you plan to get GAP certified under the USDA Harmonized GAP Standard in 2022, then this free training series provided by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is for you! They will take each section of the GAP audit in 1.5-hour chunks and break down, step-by-step, what you need to do to get GAP certified this year. They will cover all the changes that became effective last May, and what they learned from helping farms get GAP certified throughout 2021.
North Carolina Youth Institute (NCYI)
Registration due: March 4, 2022
Event date: April 1, 2022
The NCYI is hosted by NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and is a part of the World Food Prize's Global Youth Institute. This program provides a platform for youth to research and give recommendations to solve key global challenges that range from food insecurity, access to potable water, poverty, human rights, engineering issues, and more. Students research issues they care about and propose their ideas to solve these grand challenges. There is no registration cost to participate in the Institute and meals will be provided during the event. However, both student and teacher/mentor participants must organize their own transportation to and from the event in North Carolina.
School Gardens: Using Gardens to Grow Healthy Habits in Cafeterias, Classrooms, and Communities
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service created a resource that explores the benefits of school gardens. Learn more about gardens and summer meals, funding your garden, staffing your garden, and more!
What’s in Our Library?: A Compilation of City Blossoms’ Favorite Books for Kids and Their Educators
What’s in Our Library is a free resource of over 200 garden, nature, and food-themed books for children ages two to ten curated by City Blossoms.
North Carolina Food and Nutrition Resource Programs Guide
The NC Food and Nutrition Resource Programs Guide was curated by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and provides information on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service programs available in North Carolina.
GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant
Tomorrow! Deadline: February 4, 2022
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening are excited to announce the launch of the 2022 GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant! This grant will award a total of 150 programs $500 in funding to start or expand their youth gardens or greenspaces. The Grassroots Grants are part of Scotts Miracle-Gro’s larger GroMoreGood initiative, which aims to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens and greenspaces to 10 million children by 2023.

School Nutrition Foundation Equipment Grants
Deadline: March 31, 2022
The School Nutrition Foundation is teaming up with industry partners to provide new kitchen equipment to deserving districts. Apply now for the 2022 SNF Equipment Grant Program, featuring applications for not one but FIVE grants! Eligible applicants have the opportunity to win equipment grants, each worth between $20,000 to $100,000 of equipment. Applications and photos must be submitted by a School Nutrition Director. This year, only finalists will be asked to submit a 2-3-minute video. They will announce the recipients in May of 2022.

WNC Farm to School Jumpstart Grant
Deadline: August 2022
The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Growing Minds Jumpstart Grant is now open! Eligible schools and organizations can apply for funding in the amount of $500 to $1,000 to support their farm to school project. Funding can be used to start new projects or to expand upon existing activities. Pre-k through 12 schools, homeschool groups, teacher and nutrition education programs, and community-based organizations serving children and families are eligible to apply (see below for more details). Schools/organizations must be located within the 23 westernmost counties of North Carolina (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey) or the Qualla Boundary. Applications are due on the 15th of each month through August 2022.  
Farm Bill Guide
Check out this resource from the Food Policy Networks for food councils on the upcoming Farm Bill. This guide explains the Farm Bill’s legislative process, funding practices, and influence on our food system. Additionally, the guide provides examples of how food councils have engaged in Farm Bill advocacy.

2022 Census of Agriculture
Every five years, the Census of Agriculture counts the number of U.S. farms and ranches, as well as the people who operated them. As long as you’ve raised or sold $1,000 or more of fruits, vegetables, or livestock, you can be counted. The Census looks at land use, ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, and expenditures. The data that the Census of Agriculture collects is used to shape future policy decisions, funding opportunities, and more, so it is vitally important that smaller, BIPOC-owned, and other historically under-represented producers, are counted. If you did not receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire and should have, or if you are operating a new farm or ranch, please sign up here to receive your survey code, and encourage others to as well!

The Native Farm Bill Coalition Planning Policy Roundtables for 2022
The Native Farm Bill Coalition is currently planning its 2022 policy roundtables. These in-person roundtables are an excellent opportunity to hear from Tribal producers, leaders, and stakeholders, and the feedback collected will help shape the Coalition’s policy priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill. The locations and dates are still currently being decided, so if your Tribe or organization would like to host a policy roundtable in your region, reach out to Lexie Holden at Native Farm Bill Coalition will also be offering a series of virtual listening sessions. 
Black Farmers Are Rebuilding Agriculture in Coal Country
While most people associate West Virginia with coal mining, the hills and valleys are also suited for agriculture. And as coal production wanes, farmers are seeing growing opportunities to expand their sector. Jason Tartt, a farmer in West Virginia, says the Mountain State is fertile territory for honey production and maple and fruit orchards in the flood plains. Tartt, who is Black, sees his role as both developing economic opportunity through farming and supporting other Black farmers in West Virginia.

Racial equity in local food incentive programs: Examining gaps in data and evaluation 
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)
In the past 18 years, over 60 local food procurement incentive bills for schools and early care sites have been introduced in state legislatures and 23 have passed. While these bills promise benefits to children, schools, and producers, limited data collection and evaluation make it difficult to assess the true impacts of policy implementation. Data and evaluation focused on the equity impacts of these bills are especially sparse. In a new JAFSCD commentary, authors Kristin Gimobi, Research Economist, RTI International, and Lacy Stephens, Programs Director, National Farm to School Network, provide recommendations for improving data collection and evaluation of these local food incentive bills in order to inform and advance more equitable farm to school policy and programs. 

28-Days of Black History
Curated by Black artists, educators, curators, and visionaries, subscribe to Anti-Racism Daily's free, daily email series to celebrate Black History Month this February. Each email will include a cultural artifact, action steps, and discussion questions!