Greetings and Happy National Farm to School Month! Here’s the latest farm to school update:
October is National Farm to School Month!
Updated State by State Farm to School Legislation document now available
This updated document (attached) provides summaries and links to legislation regarding farm to school, now passed in 35 states!
NFSN receives CDC Community Transformation Grant
The National Farm to School Network at Occidental College has received a CDC Community Transformation Dissemination Grant to support access to and interest in healthy food and farm to school initiatives in low-income communities and communities of color nationwide.
Fresh Produce for Schools
As announced in July, the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service and Food and Nutrition Service is preparing for a pilot program to bring more fresh produce into schools in Michigan and Florida with entitlement dollars. Information about the program, including an info sheet and a chart of the process, is now available online.
USDA Farm to School Website Updates
· A new interactive map has been added to guide you to farm to school contacts at state government agencies and Cooperative Extension offices across the country.
· Resources on local meat, eggs and dairy, including grading and inspection of meat and poultry and availability of slaughterhouses, have been added to the Food Safety section of the website found here.
Census Releases State-by-State Poverty Data
U.S. Census Bureau released new data that show the extent of poverty, including child poverty, in every state in 2010. Visit FRAC’s website for state-by-state charts on poverty and child poverty.
September MarketMaker Newsletter highlights Farm to School
Check it out here.
Governor Draws Health, Wellness Lessons from MI Good Food Charter
In mid-September, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder shared his ideas for improving health and wellness, including farm to school and healthier nutrition standards at schools. Full text of Governor Snyder’s address is available here. On a related note, Keith Creagh, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, spoke about food access in this piece from Lansing’s Channel 6 news.
Montague Area Public Schools and Whitehall District Schools attempt to set world record for the “most people eating apples at one time" – with Michigan apples! See attachment for press release.
Washtenaw County: Farm to School programs recognized nationally in October
Schools all over the nation are celebrating the first National Farm to School Month thanks to a resolution passed by Congress last year. Click here to read more about what's happening with Farm to School in Michigan.
Flint and Detroit schools are participating the USDA Community Eligibility Option Program, a pilot program that provides all students, regardless of economic status, with two free meals and snacks each school day if 40% or more of the children in a school/district qualify for free lunch. Click here to read the full story about Flint School District, and read more about Detroit Public Schools here.
Federal government requirements force some schools to increase lunch prices, possibly for multiple years to come
A new rule, “Paid Lunch Price Equity,”which is based on how much the government reimburses schools for free lunches has led to increases in the cost of lunch in at least 12 Genesee County area school districts. Read the full story here.
Scaling-up Connections between Regional Ohio Specialty Crop Producers and Local Markets: Distribution as the Missing Link
This Ohio State University report explores the opportunities for scaling up distribution of local fruits and vegetables in Ohio through conventional distribution and retail methods. Read the full report here.
The Michigan Junior Chef 2011 Cookbook, with a food service edition, and videos are now available online.
MIFFS has released online a project report titled "Maximizing Engagement To Minimize Food Safety Risk: Improving Training and Regulatory Impacts for Small Processors, Producers, and Food Entrepreneurs".
Iowa Farm to School Toolkit to Celebrate Farm-to-School Month
This toolkit (attached) is a template for other locations to use to celebrate the month!
Michigan Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Michigan State University and Michigan Department of Agriculture is offering financial support to farmers, non-profit organizations and educational facilities to construct hoop houses, high tunnels, unheated greenhouses or other passive solar system in Michigan. See flyer attached for more information about the Farm to Food Program.
Submit your original video that shows creative ways students are tackling the problem of childhood hunger to USDA's Ending Childhood Hunger Video Contest. Click here for more information on how to enter.
The Culinary Trust announced a grant program for culinary professionals to help implement Michelle Obama's Chefs Move to Schools initiative. Small grants may be used for gardens, curriculum, cooking classes, cafeteria, etc. Information and application can be found here.
Small Grant Program for Schools Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health has a small grant program for schools interested in promoting health eating and physical activity. To be eligible, 80% or more of students must qualify for federal food programs. Grant funds are to be used to help schools meet the requirements of the Healthier U.S. School Challenge, the USDA’s recognition program. Five grants of $5,000 each will be awarded. Click here for more details.
USDA and the School Nutrition Foundation are offering a webinar titled “Applying Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to Farm-to-School and School Gardens”
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
2-3:15 pm EST
· Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Putting the Act into Action Webinar
School Year 2011-2012 - New Opportunities to Increase Nutrition Resources for Low-Income School-Age Children
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
1 – 2 pm EST
Click here to register
· Afterschool Meals Matter Conference Calls: Reducing Administrative Barriers
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
1:00 pm EST
Click here to register
· Afterschool Meals Matter Conference Calls: Building School Participation
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
1:00 pm EST
Michigan Nutrition Standards Toolkit Training
November 7 – 11, 2011 from 8 am – 3 pm at sites around Michigan
· Monday, November 7th – Kent County Health Department, Grand Rapids
· Tuesday, November 8th – Oakland Intermediate School District, Waterford
· Wednesday, November 9th – Winding Brook Conference Center, Shepherd
· Thursday, November 10th – Marquette-Alger RESA, Marquette
· Friday, November 11th – Grand Traverse Resort, Acme
See attached flyers for details and a link to register.
School Nutrition Association of Michigan Conference
November 11-13, 2011
Grand Traverse Resort
Traverse City, MI
Farm to Institution Specialist
CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
Michigan State University
303 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222