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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FW: PRESS RELEASE - USDA Announces Availability of $5 Million in Farm to School Grants to Increase Local Foods in Schools

Hi all,
Abby is on her way to the airport for some work travel so I thought I'd pass along this important news asap! Please see information below about the USDA Farm to School Grant opportunity for the coming year. Note that grant applications are due by December 8, 2016 and an informational webinar about the request for applications will be held on September 29th at 1 pm. Let us know if you plan to apply!

All the best for a great school year,
 

Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist | Michigan Lead for National Farm to School Network

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd | Rm 302B Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517.432.0310

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu


From: USDA Food and Nutrition Service <usda.fns@service.govdelivery.com>
Reply-To: "usda.fns@service.govdelivery.com" <usda.fns@service.govdelivery.com>
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 10:39 AM
To: "matts@msu.edu" <matts@msu.edu>
Subject: PRESS RELEASE - USDA Announces Availability of $5 Million in Farm to School Grants to Increase Local Foods in Schools

PRESS RELEASE - USDA Announces Availability of $5 Million in Farm to School Grants to Increase Local Foods in Schools

Release No.
FNS 0014.16

Contact:
FNS Office of the Chief Communications Officer (703) 305-2281

USDA Announces Availability of $5 Million in Farm to School Grants to Increase Local Foods in Schools 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 13, 2016 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Administered by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, these annual, competitive grants will help further USDA efforts to increase locally sourced foods in America's school meals.

"Bringing the bounty of America's farms into schools and onto breakfast and lunch trays is one of the best ways we can ensure students are receiving nutritious and delicious meals at school," said Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food Nutrition and Consumer Services. "Supporting these programs through the annual Farm to School Grants is a win-win for America's schools, farmers, producers, communities, and children."

Farm to school programs help form healthy habits and support local economies. The local foods offered through farm to school programs help school meal programs fulfill the updated school nutrition standards with appealing and diverse offerings. According to the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census, schools with robust farm to school programs report reductions in food waste, higher school meal participation rates, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables. In addition, in school year 2013-2014 alone, schools purchased more than $789 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers.

USDA's Farm to School Grants make these outcomes possible by funding school districts, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations in their efforts to increase local foods served through child nutrition programs, teach children about food and agriculture through garden and classroom education, and develop schools' and farmers' capacities to participate in farm to school. The funds may be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.

The Farm to School Grant Program was authorized in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. To date, USDA has funded 300 projects in all 50 states, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since its inception in FY2013, more than $20 million has been awarded through the Farm to School Grant Program. This 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 on grants.gov by December 8, 2016. On Thursday, September 29, at 1:00 p.m. EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Visit the grants homepage for more information and to register for the webinar.

Supporting farm to school programs is part of the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food  (KYF2) Initiative, which coordinates the Department's work to develop strong local and regional food systems. Over the course of the Obama Administration, USDA has invested close to $1 billion in 40,000 local food-related projects on farms and in communities across the country. You can find local and regional supply chain resources on the newly-revampedKYF2 website and use the KYF2 Compass  to locate USDA investments in your community. More information on how USDA investments are connecting producers with consumers, expanding rural economic opportunities, and increasing access to healthy food is available in Chapter IV of USDA Results on Medium.

For more information on how to apply for FY 2017 funding, visit the grant opportunities page. For lists of previously funded projects and summary reports of awards made in FY 2013-2016, visit the grant awards page. A full list of this year's grantees will be posted online once the selection is announced in spring 2017.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that include the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Summer Food Service Program. Together, these programs comprise America's nutrition safety net. For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov.

# # #

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

##


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Monday, September 12, 2016

Farm Dinner and Hops/Beer Tour

Hello,

A few typos in the last email I sent. Here is an updated version:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chelsea Community Kitchen in Chelsea, Michigan, is hosting two events this summer: Dinner and a Movie at Robin Hills Farm, and a Local Hops and Beer Tour of the Chelsea area.

The Dinner and Movie, 9/29/16, will include a farm to table, Mediterranean style menu with ingredients sourced onsite from Robin Hills. The film features ways humans cook and prepare food and will be followed by a panel of local food experts to answer questions and talk about their businesses.

The Hops and Beer Tour, 10/15/16, will showcase food and beer tastings at 3 businesses in Chelsea: The Groovy Hopster, Plow Point Brewery, and the Chelsea Alehouse. Transportation provided.

Each event is $45 with a discount if you sign up for both. Please visit www.chelseacommunitykitchen.org for details and registration. 

Farm Dinner and Hops/Beer Tour in Chelsea

Chelsea Community Kitchen in Chelsea, Michigan, is hosting two events this summer: Dinner and a Movie at Robin Hills Farm, and a Local Hops and Beer Tour of the Chelsea area.

The Dinner and Movie, 9/29/16, will include a farm to table, Mediterranean style menu with ingredients sources onsite from Robin Hills. The dinner features ways humans cook and prepare food and will be followed by a panel of local food experts to answer questions and talk about their businesses.

The Hops and Beer Tour, 10/15/16, will showcase food and beer tastings at 3 businesses in Chelsea: The Groovy Hopster, Plow Point Brewery, and the Chelsea Alehouse. Transportation provided.

Each event is $45 with a discount if you sign up for both. Please visit www.chelseacommunitykitchen.org for details and registration. Or see the attached flier. Thank you!

Cultivate Michigan Featured Food Tour

Please Join the Michigan Farm to Institution Network as we host the next Cultivate Michigan Featured Foods Tour.

 

See details below (apologies for cross-posting):

 

2016 Cultivate Michigan Carrot/Potato Tour Invite

You're invited to an exciting opportunity to visit two farms and packing facilities growing two of the 2016 Cultivate Michigan featured foods, carrots and potatoes! Each farm tour will also include a stop in the fields to see product being harvested and a look inside the farm's packing facilities, so you can learn firsthand how Michigan produce makes it from field to your institution. This tour is open to anyone looking to learn more about farm to institution and specifically to network with Michigan farmers and other Farm to Institution supply chain partners. Additionally, the bus ride portion of the tour will feature presentations from MSU Extension Educators working on Farm to Institution programs and with vegetable production in west Michigan.

 

Cost: $20

Registration: http://events.anr.msu.edu/CMCarrotPotato/

 

The two farm hosts for the tour are:

Malburg Farms (Carrots)

1107 W. Jackson Rd

Hart, MI 49420

 

Cedar Valley Packing/Bouwkamp Farms (Potatoes)

www.cedarvalleypacking.com

11800 Gordon Ave

Grant, MI 49327

 

See tour itinerary below:

09:15 a.m.:      Meet at Muskegon ISD Facility to load bus (630 Harvey St, Muskegon, MI 49442)

10:00 a.m.:      Depart for Hart, MI and Malburg

10:45 a.m.:      Tour Malburg Farms

11:45 a.m.:      Depart for Grant

12:45 p.m.:      Lunch in Grant (Provided)

01:30 p.m.:      Tour Cedar Valley Packing and Bouwkamp Farms

02:30 p.m.:      Depart Grant and Return to Muskegon

03:15 p.m.:      Tour Ends at Muskegon ISD

 

Transportation will be provided by Michigan State University Charter Service and will be a 36 passenger bio-diesel bus with wifi. A lite breakfast and boxed lunch is also included in the tour which will highlight several local Michigan foods and will be provided by the Muskegon ISD Culinary Program.

 

This local food tour is offered by MSU Extension, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and the Ecology Center as part of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network and is co-sponsored by the Michigan Potato Commission and the Michigan Carrot Commission.

 

 

 

Garrett Ziegler

Extension Educator, Community Food Systems

MSU Extension Greening Michigan Institute

 

MSU Extension at the Downtown Market

109 Logan St. SW

Suite B102

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Office: 616.608.7436

Cell: 814.777.3562

zieglerg@anr.msu.edu

www.msue.msu.edu

 

Michigan State University Extension programs and

materials are open to all withought regard to race,

color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion,

age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual

orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status

 

Re: MI Farm to School News

Apologies for sending the news before it was complete! See below for more news from the last couple weeks and updates:

 

What better way to celebrate the first Monday of school than with MI Farm to School News! (Unless you started many weeks ago, in which case keep celebrating!)

 

Two upcoming opportunities. The first is the Farm to School Month and Apple Crunch webinar happening TODAY at 2:30 pm. This webinar will feature yours truly in addition to Kelly Lively from Cherry Capital Foods and Dan Gorman from Montague Area and Whitehall Public School Districts. Sign up to receive the registration link.

 

Additionally, the first of the regional Farm to School Trainings are next week! We'll be in Boyne Falls on Tuesday September 20, Grand Rapids on Thursday September 24, and Detroit on Tuesday September 27. Make sure to register for this opportunity.

 

Also, our MI Farm to School Grant Program is off for the 2016-2017 school year. I'm excited to see what this amazing group of grantees does this year, and will look forward to sharing all these stories with you all.

 

News

 

·         Laker, O-G food service receive training from French chefHuron Daily Tribune

o   Great article on a recent farm to school training hosted at USDA Farm to School Grantee Elkton-Pigeon-Bayport School.

·         Back to school with farm to school: tips for nutrition staffMSU Extension

o   No better time to celebrate back to school than with farm to school! This article highlights all the ways you can talk to students about your local purchasing.

·         Returning to scratch cooking in schools: Part threeMSU Extension

o   The third in a series highlighting the Making Michigan Recipes Work training being offered four more times this year in downstate Michigan. This one highlights school-specific tips and techniques to assists in preparing more food from scratch with local ingredients. Catch parts 1 and 2 as well.

·         K-12 Foodservice: Six questions for Kymm MutchLocal Orbit

o   Pioneer of farm-to-school sourcing Kymm Mutch of Milwaukee Public Schools talks about challenges and opportunities in local procurement for K-12 schools.

 

Resources

·         Farm to School Census Webinar RecordingUSDA Food and Nutrition Services

o   This recorded webinar provides an in-depth review of the results from last year's census., including ways the data can be used at the local, state, and national levels to support farm to school efforts

·         MyPlate Guide to School LunchUSDA Food and Nutrition Services

o   This infographic helps highlight ways for families to help children make healthy food and beverage choices at school

 

Opportunities

·         Meet the Buyers Workshop and ReceptionTuesday December 6, Grand Rapids, MI

o   This event hosted by Michigan Food and Farming Systems is part of the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo. This event helps by connecting buyers to regional fruit, vegetable, and other specialty crop producers looking to sell their products.

·           2016 Michigan Apple CrunchOctober 13, 2016

o   It's time to start planning for your annual Michigan Apple Crunch! Decide on a time, find your apples, and CRUNCH! Register at miapplecrunch.com and follow on facebook for inspiration and new ideas.

·         Regional Farm to School TrainingsOctober 20 – 27, 2016

o   Register for one of three trainings hosted in Boyne Falls, Grand Rapids, and Detroit. Trainings will be an opportunity to identify concrete and practical steps for increasing local purchasing in K-12 schools and early childhood programs.

·         Making MI Recipes Work: A Culinary Training for School Nutrition ProfessionalsOctober

o   This series of hands-on trainings will help school nutrition professionals better utilize Michigan farm fresh produce. Register now

·         Cherry Capital Foods 2016 Food ShowSeptember 28, Detroit, MI

o   This will be a space for you to connect with the vendors who grow and make the Michigan foods Cherry Capital offers.

·         Webinar: Transforming School Food by Green Teacher – September 27, 7:30 – 8:30 pm

o   Presenters will share different approaches to transforming school food – California Tuesdays and Slow Cookers for Kids projects.

 

Best,

 

Abby Harper

Farm to School Specialist

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

480 Wilson Rd Rm 309 | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517-432-4525 (f) 517-353-3834

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu

MI Farm to School News

What better way to celebrate the first Monday of school than with MI Farm to School News! (Unless you started many weeks ago, in which case keep celebrating!)

 

Two upcoming opportunities. The first is the Farm to School Month and Apple Crunch webinar happening TODAY at 2:30 pm. This webinar will feature yours truly in addition to Kelly Lively from Cherry Capital Foods and Dan Gorman from Montague Area and Whitehall Public School Districts. Sign up to receive the registration link.

 

Additionally, the first of the regional Farm to School Trainings are next week! We'll be in Boyne Falls on Tuesday September 20, Grand Rapids on Thursday September 24, and Detroit on Tuesday September 27. Make sure to register for this opportunity.

 

Also, our MI Farm to School Grant Program is off for the 2016-2017 school year. I'm excited to see what this amazing group of grantees does this year, and will look forward to sharing all these stories with you all.

 

 

Abby Harper

Farm to School Specialist

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

480 Wilson Rd Rm 309 | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517-432-4525 (f) 517-353-3834

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Farm to School Month and Apple Crunch Webinar Monday at 2:30 pm

October is Farm to School Month! Join us for a webinar this Monday at 2:30 pm to learn more about Farm to School month and how to host your own events, including hosting an Apple Crunch.

 

All throughout October, schools and early childhood programs throughout the country will be celebrating their efforts to increase local food purchasing. This year, the theme of "One Small Step" will highlight all the ways that schools and early childhood programs are building their farm to school programs, brick by brick.

 

One amazing way to celebrate farm to school is through hosting an Apple Crunch! This is a one-day event where everyone is encouraged to crunch into a Michigan grown apple to create an echo of support for local food.

 

This webinar will highlight Farm to School Month activities and resources, the Michigan Apple Crunch including how to register and organize your own, and feature the annual Apple Crunch at Montague and Whitehall Public School districts.  Speakers include:

·         Kelly Lively, Cherry Capital Foods

·         Dan Gorman, Montague Area and Whitehall Public Schools

·         Abby Harper, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

 

See attached flyer for more details on the Michigan Apple Crunch. Please register to receive the link to participate in this webinar.

 

Best,

 

Abby Harper

Farm to School Specialist

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

480 Wilson Rd Rm 309 | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517-432-4525 (f) 517-353-3834

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu