Blog Archive

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



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