Here are the latest Farm to School news bites.
New USDA Rule Encourages Purchase of Local Agricultural Products for Critical Nutrition Assistance Programs
The new rule implemented as a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 will let schools and other providers give preference to unprocessed locally grown and raised products that are purchased for the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, and Summer Food Service programs. See attachment for final rule, and click here for the USDA press release.
In addition to this new rule, the USDA is allocating teams to selected school districts to work on farm to school including nutrition-based studies and food literacy opportunities. Click here to read the article from Food Safety News.
USDA Seeks Public Comment to Improve Access to Critical USDA Programs
Under a directive from President Obama, the USDA is asking for public comment as it reviews existing program rules and seeks to improve access to USDA programs in the Rural Development, the Risk Management Agency, the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service areas. USDA is seeking input from the public through May 20, 2011. Click here for the USDA press release, which includes a link where comments can be offered.
USDA Funds Food Safety Research Center
Kansas State University will host a new USDA research effort that focuses on food safety in schools and child care centers. Click here for the full story from The Packer.
This month's National MarketMaker newsletter focuses of Farm to School! Check out how MarketMaker can be used to open more opportunities to Farm to School programs here. You can access Michigan MarketMaker at http://mi.marketmaker.uiuc.edu/.
Michigan Hospital Association Healthy Food Hospitals Campaign
The Healthy Food Hospitals program, coordinated by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association with the Ecology Center, joins together fifty Michigan hospitals as a part of an initiative to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits by offering more nutritious food choices for hospital patients, visitors, and workers. Read full story here. This effort supports one of the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter - that institutions like hospitals purchase 20% locally grown and produced food by 2020. In Washtenaw County, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan Health System are at the forefront of these efforts. Click here to read more.
Michigan Junior Chef Competition held on May 11th
Sponsored by Michigan Team Nutrition, the Michigan Department of Education, the C.S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at MSU, and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the second Michigan Junior Chef Competition held on Wednesday was a great success! Congratulations to all eight teams that participated in the cook-off competition, and special congratulations to the winning teams: Eight is Enough from St. Brigid Catholic School, Brown City Good for You Girls from Brown City Community Schools, and Small Town Chefs from Hopkins Public Schools. Thanks to our team of judges - Ian Diem, Deb Grischke, Sharon Martin, and Adam Montri - and to MSU's Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski for providing a cooking demonstration. Photos and video from this year's competition will be coming soon! You can look for them, and details about the next Michigan Junior Chef Competition, at our website - www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu/chef.
2011 MSU Student Organic Farm Workshops announced
The Student Organic Farm at MSU has set its workshop dates and topics. See flyer attached for the schedule and details.
8 Breakfast on the Farm events to take place in 2011
Breakfast on the Farm is opportunity to learn about the agriculture industry from the experts themselves, the farmers. Click here to see the full list of farm breakfast events and how to register.
Lunch Bites is a short 20 minute webinar series offered by the National Farm to School Network. Lunch Bites webinars are held at 1 pm EST on the second Tuesday of every month. Register for a future webinar and check out recordings and resources from past webinars here.
Check out the new Farm to School Toolkit by the Washingston State Department of Agriculture. The toolkit is designed to provide farms, schools, families, and communities with resources to help them meet their farm-to-school goals. Click here to learn more.
Home Depot Foundation Announces 2011 Community Impact Grants Program
Up to $5,000 grants, offered as Home Depot gift cards, will be awarded to nonprofits, public schools and public service agencies working on volunteer-driven community improvement projects.
Deadline: October 31, 2011
Click here for more details
Farm to Institution Specialist
CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
Michigan State University
303 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222