Blog Archive

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

FW: Farm to Institution Meet & Greet in St. Clair County on 3/27/12


My apologies, but we had the wrong day of the week listed on previous emails for this Farm to Institution Meet & Greet event next week. The date was correct, however. Please see below and revised attached postcard for details on this Meet & Greet on TUESDAY, March 27th.

Apologies for cross posting as well.




Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, formerly the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems



From: Matts, Colleen [mailto:matts@ANR.MSU.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:28 PM
Subject: Farm to Institution Meet & Greet in St. Clair County on 3/27/12


Hi all,
See below for details for an up-coming Farm to Institution Meet & Greet in St. Clair County next week! (See attached for flyer.)


At this event, local farmers can Identify new market opportunities with institutional food buyers, and institutional food buyers can find sources for local food products. All participants can meet new partners and build connections within the local food system!


Blue Water Meet & Greet for Food Growers and Buyers

Hosted by: St Clair County School Food Service Directors, MSU Extension and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (formerly the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems)


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

9 am for farmers, including overview of marketing to institutions

10 am for Meet & Greet with farmers and institutions

East China Schools Administrative Building

1585 Meisner Rd.

China Township, MI 48054


RSVP to Kathe Hale, MSU Extension, at or 586.469.6088.


Please share with farmers in the area who might be interested in expanding their local markets, and institutional buyers interested in purchasing local food!





Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, formerly the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems



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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Forum for a Fair Farm Bill in Lansing 3/21

Hello Farm to School Folks, 

Please spread the word and come out to the Forum for a Fair Farm Bill happening at 6:30 pm on Wednesday March 21st at Perspective 2 in Old Town---Lansing. 

This event is being put on by Food and Water Watch in partnership with many other food and farming organizations. We are talking with Senator Stabenow's office, as she is the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, about sending a representative to the forum. A new draft of the Farm Bill is being prepared soon so the timing of the event is key to making your voices heard! I hope to see you there. 

Melissa Hornaday, Great Lakes Organizer
Organic Farming Research Foundation

Join the OFRF Action Network Today!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breakfast Grant Available to Your Schools


The Food Family Farming Foundation has launched the Healthy Breakfast 4 Kids Grant Program and we need your help to reach potential applicants.

We thank you in advance for helping to spread the word to schools you are connected to.

About the grant:

Food Family Farming Foundation (F3) and Walmart Foundation are partnering to grant 117, $2500 equipment grants to rural high needs schools for the purpose of implementing universal breakfast in the classroom programs. Grant awardees will be able to order $2500 worth of food service smallwares or equipment for establishing universal breakfast programs.

Deadline to apply: March 31, 2011

Please consider sharing information about this grant on your blog, facebook page, twitter account, newsletter or website as soon as possible so that we may reach schools that may need this opportunity to help improve their nutrition programs! 

Click here to learn more about the grant:  


We appreciate your support of our efforts!

Ann Cooper              &       Beth Collins

Board President                 Executive Director

Food Family Farming Foundation

For more information contact us at: 

Sample posts:


Don't miss the chance to apply for this simple Healthy Breakfast 4 Kids (equipment) grant! Find out more and apply here: - thanks for reposting and spreading the word!

"Breakfasts are a slam dunk in terms of effectiveness..." Need support for your school breakfast program? Apply for the Healthy Breakfast 4 Kids Grant here:!


Money for your school breakfast program! Please retweet and apply before the deadline: March 31st!

Sunny Young

Food Family Farming Foundation &

Mobile: 303.304.9539

Join us on twitter @LunchBoxProject and Facebook @ The Lunch Box


Monday, March 12, 2012

Michigan Farm to School News


Hi all,

It’s been a busy start to the new year so I’m a little late in getting out this newsletter. There are plenty of news items, resources, opportunities and events here to enjoy!





As we shared earlier this year, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 new nutrition standards for school meals standards mark “the first major changes in school meals in 15 years”, according to the USDA, by increasing offerings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limiting amounts of sodium, saturated fat and trans fats among other changes. The new standards will be phased into school meals programs over three years, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.

·         See the final rule here and the USDA press release here.

·         Click on the links to see articles about the nutrition standards from The New York Times and The Washington Post.

·         See the attachment for a resource by Alyssa Moles at the Food Trust in Philadelphia which offers a condensed version of the final rule with comparisons to the current regulations and the proposed regulations.

·         Click here to see a news video from UpNorthLive about school food service director Renee DeWindt’s on-going efforts to meet nutrition standards and buy local.


Also in February, the USDA announced that Deborah Kane will serve as National Director of the USDA’s Farm to School Program. Read more in the blog post titled Moving Forward for Healthy Kids by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.


The USDA also recently introduced the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, a new online, multimedia resource and interactive map about USDA’s support for local and regional food systems, including Farm to Institution!


Helene York from Bon Appetit Management Company contributed to the Civil Eats blog to explain Bon Appetit’s decision to “Go Humane” for their pork and shell eggs supplies. Read more here.


The Michigan League for Human Services has released the annual Michigan Kids Count Book for 2011, a comprehensive resource on the well-being of children which includes state and county level data.


In a related story from the Public News Service, The Kids Count Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that Michigan ranks 44th out of the 50 states for the percentage of kids living in areas in concentrated poverty, with the Detroit having the highest percentage of any large US city.


Michigan FoodCorps member Kirsten Gerbatsch shares her service experience as she seeks to expose Northern Michigan kids to healthy, locally-grown foods. Click here to get a glimpse of a day in the life as a FoodCorps member.





Three new videos on farm to school best practices and innovations are now available from Michigan Farm to School! Visit to watch school food service directors touring Veges from the Ledges farm, Country Dairy showing us how they bring milk to local schools, and Bear Lake Schools sharing how they use local food in the Summer Food Service Program.


One page Agenda Briefs covering 10 of the Michigan Good Food Charter’s 25 priorities are now available, including a brief on the “10 Cent Solution” which would offer additional reimbursements for local fruits and vegetables to be purchased and served in school meals. The briefs put Charter recommendations in the context of on-the-ground work across Michigan and are designed for printing and distributing so you can use them to introduce ideas and organize next steps.


The newly published elementary curriculum Nutritious, Delicious, Wisconsin: Connecting Nutrition Education and Local Foods focuses on using Wisconsin foods with a connection to Wisconsin’s history, culture, and people. Find this resource online here.


The New York City Health Department has developed a new online resource, A+ Fundraisers for High School Guide, to help promote healthier school environments. The guide contains healthy food and non-food fundraiser ideas with tips for organizing and implementing. Check it out here!





2012 FoodCorps applications are open for its next class of school food changemakers! FoodCorps is looking for people to serve in Michigan who are passionate about the mitten state and who are committed to improving food landscapes across the state. See attachment for more information on how to become a FoodCorps member, or go to  In this current service year in Michigan:

·         FoodCorps members have served over 5028 kids.

·         FoodCorps has energized 31 new volunteers. 

·         FoodCorps members have helped build and revitalize 5 school and community gardens, totaling over 1350 sq feet of garden space.


The journal Childhood Obesity is seeking submissions for a special issue on school food. Click here for more details. Manuscripts are due April 1, 2012.

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) in northwestern Lower Michigan is taking applications for a new food service director for its approximately 10,000-student school system. The job description includes making farm to school purchasing—purchasing and serving food grown by local farmers—a priority. Please click here for more information and to fill out the application - click on "view our open positions" and then click on "non-affiliated positions.”




Food Safety: Tackling Traceability Workshops offered by MIFFS & MDARD

One workshop remains on Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 at Jackson County MSU Extension.
See PDF flyer for more details and to RSVP.


Detroit Local Food Sourcing Meet & Greet hosted by FSEP and FoodLab Detroit

Wednesday March 14th from 4-6 pm

COLORS Restaurant in Downtown Detroit

The Virgil Carr Building, 311 E Grand River, Detroit

To RSVP, fill out an online survey form here or call 734.222.3817.


Blue Water Meet & Greet for Food Growers and Buyers

Hosted by St. Clair County School Food Service Directors, MSU Extension, and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

Wednesday, March 27, 2012

9 am for farmers, 10 am for institutions & farmers

East China Schools Admin Building

1585 Meisner Rd.

China Township, MI 48054

RSVP to Kathe Hale, MSUE, at or 586.469.6088.

See attached postcard for more details!


2012 Michigan Good Food Summit
June 14, 2012
Lansing Center, Lansing, MI
See attachment or for more information.

6th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Digging In!
August 2-5, 2012
Burlington, Vermont
Click here for more information.




Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, formerly the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems