April 20, 2023

This Week in Farm to School 

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

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Earth Day Jam

April 22, 2023 // 11 am - 10 pm ET

Earth Day Jam is a benefit for Happy Roots, a non-profit organization that manages and assists with school and community garden programs in Rowan County. Enjoy music, food, art, and education at Earth Day Jam. The Farm to School Coalition of NC will be tabling so come say hi!

Learn more here.

Celebrating National Garden Month with USDA

April 26, 2023 // 3 pm ET

Join the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service for the inaugural People’s Garden Initiative webinar to kick off National Garden Month. They will have a special message from Mrs. Christie Vilsack, learn about our country’s rich gardening history, and feature success stories from the Food and Nutrition Service Farm to School grantees. 

Register here.

Economic Impact Assessment of Public Incentives to Support Farm to School Food Purchases

May 18, 2023 // 1 pm - 2 pm ET

Farm to school projects have widely been supported by policymakers with funding provided at state and federal levels. Still, many of the economic outcomes of this inflow of policy and funding remain unclear. In 2018, New York State announced the 30% NY Initiative that substantially increases school lunch reimbursements if School Food Authorities purchase at least 30% of their lunch ingredients as New York food products. With detailed food purchasing data from Buffalo Public Schools, the second-largest school district in the state, and the largest School Food Authority to qualify for enhanced reimbursement, we estimate the gross and net economic impacts of the policy through a customized input-output model. Join the webinar to hear results from the study, which was led by Professor Todd Schmit, Cornell Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and supported by Shayna Krasnoff, MS, ’22, and Cheryl Bilinski, Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY.

Register here.

District Community Engagement

May 24, 2023 // 4 pm - 5:15 pm ET

This is part two of a webinar series hosted by the School Garden Support Organization Network. This webinar will cover how district offices engage their district community in their school gardens, including how to run peer learning communities for teachers across a district and establish community partnerships. 

Register here.

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Highlighting Farm to ECE Across NC

A new initiative is celebrating childcare programs that go above and beyond to support children's nutrition, physical activity, and other aspects of health. REACH has recently recognized ECE programs in Buncombe, Chatham, Onslow, Randolph, Wake, and Wilkes counties for their excellence in Farm to ECE. Recognized programs meet key evidence-based practices in gardening, cooking/taste test activities, and serving local produce. Check out recognized programs, get your program recognized, and spread the great news!

FoodCorps Lesson Plans

The FoodCorps Lessons include hands-on experiential activities to engage kids in learning about healthy food. These 96 lessons are for grades K-5, and are organized through this learning progression by grade, season, and theme. These lessons are tied to national academic standards and were developed following Culturally Responsive Teaching, Place-Based Learning, and Social and Emotional Learning best practices and frameworks.

Learn more here.

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Indigenous Farmworkers Can Show How to Heal Our Burning Planet

Grape harvesters share traditional ecological knowledge to right our relationship with the land–and each other.

Learn more here.

Reclaiming Native Truths

The Reclaiming Native Truth project carried out an unprecedented research campaign designed to increase our understanding of the dominant narrative about Native Americans in the United States. The research included literature reviews and environmental scans, focus groups with a variety of populations across the country, countless interviews with a range of audiences, a deep-dive social listening exploration, and more.

Learn more here.

USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program RFA

Deadline: April 27, 2023

The primary goal of the BFRDP is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories enter and/or improve their successes in farming, ranching, and management of nonindustrial private forest lands, through support for projects that provide education, mentoring, and technical assistance to give beginning farmers and ranchers the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations and enhance their sustainability. Applications from partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and school-based agricultural education organizations (SAEOs) with expertise in agricultural training and outreach for beginning producers will be given priority in funding. Awards may range from $49,000 - $750,000.

Learn more and apply here.

School Nutrition Foundation Equipment Grants

Deadline: April 30, 2023

The School Nutrition Foundation is teaming up with industry partners to provide new kitchen equipment to districts. Apply now for the 2023 SNF Equipment Grant Program, featuring applications for 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. There is a submission cap of 30 applications for each grant. 

Learn more here.

Cooperative Agreements for School-Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth

Deadline: May 8, 2023

The purpose of this program is to increase student access to evidence-based and culturally relevant trauma support services and mental health care by developing innovative initiatives, activities, and programs to link local school systems with local trauma-informed support and mental health systems, including those under the Indian Health Service. With this program, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) aims to further enhance and improve trauma-informed support and mental health services for children and youth. Eligibility is statutorily limited to State Education Agencies, Local Educational Agencies, and Indian Tribes (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act) or their Tribal Educational Agencies, a school operated by the Bureau of Indian Education, a Regional Corporation, or a Native Hawaiian Educational Organization.

Learn more here.

Healthy School Meals for All Toolkit

This toolkit from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSP) provides resources for advocates to improve school meals. The focus of this toolkit is advocacy at the state and local levels, but many of the resources provided can be used for federal advocacy as well. Topics covered include strengthening nutrition standards, increasing access to free meals, and funding for training, technical assistance, and kitchen equipment for operators. 

Learn more here.

How to Communicate the Benefits of Values-Aligned Universal Meals: Tested Narratives and Messaging from National Farm to School Network’s “Who’s At the Table?” Campaign

The National Farm to School Network conducted a series of message and narrative testing with various audiences–the results from this message testing were used to inform the strategy for our Who’s at the Table? school meals campaign, which provides tools to communicate how our shared community values have the potential to radically transform our food system for the better. 

Learn more here.

Child Nutrition Programs: Revision to Meal Patterns Consistent with the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

USDA has extended the deadline to May 10, 2023 for public comment on the proposed rule, “Child Nutrition Programs: Revisions to Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”. The proposed rule contains new Child Nutrition regulations regarding the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program. USDA proposes allowing schools to include locally grown, raised, or caught as a requirement for vendors bidding to provide food for their school meal programs. In addition, USDA proposes updating the Buy American provision by setting a limit of 5% of total food costs on non-domestic food purchases. USDA is also proposing to make nutrition standards more stringent by reducing sodium, increasing whole grains, and decreasing added sugar (which will impact the ability of elementary and middle schools to offer flavored milk) among other suggested changes. School Nutrition professionals and other stakeholders are encouraged to review the proposed rule and related materials and submit comments regarding the impact of the proposed rule on students, School Nutrition Programs, schools, and districts.

Learn more here.

Farm to School Coalition of NC | www.farmtoschoolcoalitionnc.org
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