This Week in Farm to School
October 21, 2021

Farm to school connects local agriculture, schools, and partners to benefit students, educators, farmers, families, and communities.
Celebrating Our #FarmtoSchoolHeroes

This summer thirteen local education agencies and community organizations were awarded N.C. Farm to Summer rapid response funding. With this funding, these agriculture, education, and school and early care and education nutrition heroes were able to do amazing work for their communities. Follow along with us on Facebook as we recognize these #farmtoschoolheroes and thank them for all their efforts.
Tag us and let us know how you are celebrating the #farmtoschoolheroes in your community! 🎉
Webinars & Events
Multicultural Children’s Literature in the Garden
Today! October 21, 2021 // 3:30 - 5pm EST 
Discover great multicultural children’s literature with the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Farm to Institution New York State, and the American Farmland Trust. Learn to use multicultural children’s literature to enhance your garden-based instruction and teach concepts in social studies, science, and nutrition during this participatory workshop. Practice developing engaging learning activities that meet the goals of your program or school. Poughkeepsie Farm Project educators will share tips, a book list, and best practices for using literature to center your instruction, and participants will be able to begin using these tools during workshop activities.

Voices of Sustainable Agriculture
Tomorrow! October 22, 2021 // 11am - 12:30pm EST
The Voices of Sustainable Agriculture is hosted by Michigan State University. What does on-farm sustainability look like? How can farmers implement practices that support their personal, community, and environmental well-being? In this special, virtual speaker series, farmers and other participants will learn from farmers, researchers, and educators about healthy soil and water, successful farming practices, seed sovereignty, resilience, and more.

Measuring Food Insecurity
October 26, 2021 // 9:30 am EST
Join the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center for this event. Measuring food insecurity is critical for developing food assistance programs; evaluating nutrition, health, and development initiatives; and informing food policy across sectors. This panel will discuss how food insecurity is measured. They will speak with experts to explore how food insecurity has been measured and if new tools are needed to accurately assess food insecurity following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Racial Equity in Farm to School Training 2021 Sessions V: Community Praxis Sharing in Farm to School 
October 26, 2021 // 3 - 5 pm EST
Join the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and the Farm to School Coalition of NC for our final Racial Equity in Farm to School Virtual Training. Together, we will discuss how to utilize our power in our local context and how to collaborate to bring about change. This two-hour workshop series will be led by the team from we are.

Strategies for Farm to School Resilient Local Food Systems
October 28, 2021 // 3 - 4 pm EST
In observance of National Farm to School Month, the October School Nutrition Strategies Training Action Plans Resources (STAR) webinar will feature the USDA Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS). OCFS will promote the Farm to School Grant Program and share some current resources that are available to help child nutrition operators incorporate local foods in their programs. The webinar will highlight the strength and resiliency of local food systems by providing insight into how communities are responding and adapting to current challenges while having strong local food infrastructure and relationships in place. Join the webinar to also hear strategies and tips on what works best for getting meals to students and families while supporting local producers.

Recorded Webinar: Shifting Towards the Next Generation: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting
Last Thursday, the National Farm to School Network held a virtual movement meeting. This webinar featured young leaders of color working to transform their community. There was deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on how the next generation is working to intersect the food movement with racial justice, environmental justice, economic justice, and other key justice-centered movements.
Still Time to Participate N.C. Crunch 2021!
There is still time to participate in the #NCCrunch to recognize National Farm to School Month and our #farmtoschoolheroes. Offer youth and adults with your school, early care and education center, group, organization, or family an opportunity to taste and learn about North Carolina grown fruits and vegetables. 
Sign up for the 2021 N.C. Crunch to receive a free guide with tips and resources. Share how you are celebrating by using #NCCrunch and tagging @F2sCoalitionNC on Facebook. Registration here.
Farm to School Resource Hub
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's Growing Garden Classroom Curriculum
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is excited to share their Growing School Gardens curriculum with K-5 teachers! This curriculum is designed to share garden responsibilities across elementary school grade levels and get every grade level engaged in the garden! The hope being, if each grade level does one lesson a month in the garden, then the garden will be well maintained while simultaneously giving students different outlets for applying what they learn in the classroom. Every lesson is 30 minutes or less, with state education standards highlighted to make it a little easier to transition from indoor classroom to outdoor learning environment. All lessons and related resources can be found in this google folder, which will be updated with each month's collection of lessons. If you try out the lessons, please lettuce know how it goes! Use this survey to share your feedback, or contact Ayn Corrigan, Agriculture Education Manager,

The School Garden Sustainability Survey
The School Garden Sustainability Survey was developed in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin, Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation and the School Garden Support Organization Network to collect data that will help determine why some school gardens succeed and become sustainable, while others struggle and have consistent challenges. They plan to compile data and share outcomes throughout the country to help improve school garden programs!

In Spring 2022, they will be providing each school with a synthesis of their surveys in the form of a scorecard, which will showcase areas that are strong and areas that can be improved - complete with resources, guidance and advice on how to do so. We hope you will be a part of this revolutionary research that may shift school gardens into more, and hopefully all, schools in America. This is for teachers, administrators, and staff that are working in a school that has a garden of any kind.
Grant Opportunities
John Kinsman Beginning Farmer Food Sovereignty Prize
Tomorrow! Deadline: October 22, 2021
In memory of legendary organic pioneer and food sovereignty advocate, John Kinsman (who passed away in Jan. 2014), Family Farm Defenders has now awarded over a dozen prizes in his honor, and you can be part of this amazing celebration effort! Anyone can submit a beginning farmer nomination! To submit a nomination and/or inquire about sponsorship, please contact: or call 608-260-0900

2022 Budding Botanist Grant
Deadline: October 29, 2021
The 2022 Budding Botanist grant is now open! In partnership with the @kloraneusa Botanical Foundation, Kids Gardening will award $1,000 to eighteen high schools across the United States to support their youth garden programs.

Pandemic Response and Safety Grants
Deadline: November 8, 2021
The Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides grants to food processors, distributors, farmers markets, and producers to respond to coronavirus, including for measures to protect workers against COVID-19.

EJ4Climate: Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience 
Deadline: November 14, 2021
The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is launching a $2 million grant program, EJ4Climate, to support environmental justice and climate resilience for underserved, vulnerable communities, and Indigenous communities across North America. This program will provide funding directly to Indigenous communities and community-based organizations to prepare for climate-related impacts.

2021 HFFI Funding
Deadline: December 7, 2021
Reinvestment Fund is inviting applications for the 2021 round of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants program. The 2021 HFFI round is offering at least $4 million in grant funds for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill and Reinvestment Fund, which serves as the national fund manager for the HFFI program at USDA.
The National Farm to School Network
Values-Aligned Universal School Meals

The National Farm to School Network has been exploring a movement toward values-aligned universal meals focused on equity for the most impacted stakeholders across the food system. Universal meals embedded with the core values of farm to school have the potential to radically transform our food system for the better. Six key values, put into action, get us closer to a just, equitable food system that promotes the health of all school children and benefits producers, workers, educators, and their communities.
Policy News
National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program
Deadline: November 2
The School Meals Programs already requires schools to procure American grown and processed food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is seeking feedback from a broad range of stakeholders about how the Buy American provision and guidance are currently implemented, changes FNS should make to current regulations, and on how FNS can better support schools and School Nutrition authorities as they strive to purchase domestic foods and food products. The feedback FNS receives will help to inform future rule making and guidance on Buy American requirements in the school meals programs.

School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study II
Deadline: November 15
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is seeking comments on its planned data collection on the cost, nutrition standards, and operations of school meals. The first study of this information (2014-2015) provided key insight into the implementation of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, and this new round of data will provide further info on the current successes and challenges of school meal programs. If you are involved with these activities, please note the opportunity to give "ground truth" feedback for USDA on who they will collect data from and how. Stakeholders have until November 15 to submit comments.
Racial Equity Resources
Four Farmers Markets Let by Indigenous Communities
In celebration of Indigenous People’s Day, Farmers Market Coalition made a list of a few farmer’s markets founded and led by Indigenous organizations that are working to support Indigenous food sovereignty in their communities. Traditional ecological knowledge and Indigenous sciences have shaped so many of our current farming practices and Native farmers, producers and makers have been fostering sustainable local food systems for centuries.

Additional Racial Equity Resources
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), one of our Farm to School Coalition of NC partners, has created a document of current webinars as well as resources to facilitate engagement and learning around Racial Equity, both in general and especially as it relates to food systems and education.
Follow us on Facebook!
Check out the #farmtoschoolheroes we've been highlighting on our Facebook page (@F2SCoalitionNC)

  • Duplin County #farmtoschoolhereos were able to grow and harvest seasonal fruit on site and purchased fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, students were able to process the food for consumption and tasting. 🌱

  • With mini-grant support, our Edgecombe County #farmtoschoolheroes purchased produce from a local farm called, Conetoe Family Life. They served watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, blueberries, and blackberries in their summer feeding program.

  • Our Halifax County #farmtoschoolheroes were able to support their farming program this summer with the mini-grant funding.

Tag us and let us know who you are celebrating! 🎉