Here are this month’s Farm to School news bites:
“Agriculture Secretary Supports Direct Certification as Way to Streamline School Meal Application Process” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently told a children's health conference that he supports "direct certification" for child nutrition programs, which would remove paperwork barriers for children receiving free and reduced-price school meals.
“Free Breakfast Program Enters Second Year in Michigan School District” Belding School District in Michigan began offering free breakfast to all students last year and is continuing the program for a second year because the program has proved itself to be successful as students were more eager to learn in the mornings, fewer discipline problems among the students, and better attendance
“Michigan School District Offers Free Breakfast Wins School Breakfast Challenge”
Manton Consolidated Schools in Michigan won a silver award (and $2,500) from the state's Department of Education in recognition of student participation in the school breakfast program from their over 700% increase in breakfast attendance from average of 75 students in May 2008 to 570 students in May 2009.
“Students Say It Best: ‘We Need Better School Food’ ” Check out this student made video calling for better food in schools!
“Lunch Ladies and School Lunch Programs” If you didn’t catch it, check out this interview with Jean Ronnei, Director of Nutrition Services for the St. Paul (MN) Public Schools, on The Splendid Table radio program this past week.
This is a reminder to all Food Service Directors attending the up-coming School Nutrition Association of Michigan conference in Lansing: if you are interested and available to attend the tour of MSU’s Student Organic Farm (SOF), please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by this Friday, October 9th. Please include your name, your school or district name, and your email address. Before the tour, I will send details and directions by email to all that RSVP.
The University of Minnesota Extension is looking for a full-time Farm to School Extension Coordinator. This position will provide facilitation, and statewide coordination, to leverage Farm to School-related efforts associated with the University of Minnesota Extension Family Development programs along with the University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships. Please see attachment for more the job description.
Hidden Valley Love Your Veggies Grant Program
This grant program seeks to increase access and consumption of fresh fruits and veggies in school lunchrooms. Applicants must be an elementary school; $10,000 awards will be based on need, innovation, and sustainable impact. The deadline for applications is 11/6/2009. For more info, go to www.loveyourveggies.com/guidelines.php.
Farm to School Specialist
CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
Michigan State University
303 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222