Now that the school year is underway, get ready for National Farm to School Month in October by participating in one of the MI Farm to School Trainings in your area!
Through generous funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is offering MI Farm to School Training sessions around the state as part of the MI Farm to School Grant Program. To help bring local food into food service programs, this grant program provides Farm to School Planning and Implementation mini-grants to selected school food service professionals at schools/districts AND early child care and education programs with 50% free and reduced rates or greater (or equivalent). Seventeen MI Farm to School grants were awarded for the 2013/2014 school year (the application period is now closed), and all grantees will attend the training nearest them. Now, we would like to extend the invitation to all Michigan school food service and early child care program providers (regardless of the free and reduced rate of your program/school/district) who are interested beginning or expanding Farm to School programs!
The MI Farm to School training dates and locations are as follows:
· Tuesday, September 24th, 12:30 – 4:30 pm
Gratiot Isabella RESD (Regional Education Service District)
1131 East Center St.
Ithaca, MI 48847
· Wednesday, September 25th, 12:30 – 4:30pm
Odawa Casino & Resort
1760 Lears Rd.
Petoskey, MI 49770
· Friday, September 27th, 12:30 – 4:30pm
***with an optional Tour of Detroit Eastern Market at 10:30 am and lunch to follow!***
Detroit Eastern Market
Detroit, MI 48207
· Tuesday, October 1st, 12:30 – 4:30 pm
Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA) West Campus Site
4606 Croyden Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Training topics will include an overview of Michigan Farm to School, how and where to find and purchase Michigan products, developing a Farm to School team, meeting nutrition and program standards with locally-grown food, food safety, expanding Farm to School programs beyond produce and beyond lunch, and more! Time will also be dedicated for attendees to network with and learn from each to other. Light refreshments will be served at each training, and lunch will be included for those who wish to attend the optional tour of Detroit Eastern Market prior to the training there on September 27th.
RSVP for any one of these free trainings here - http://msucarrs.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6fLZ14SgxFPdMmF. RSVPs will be accepted on a first come first serve basis as space allows for each training location. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact Julia Smith (email@example.com or 517-432-4525), our new Farm to School Specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and manager of the MI Farm to School Grant Program.
Then, it’s time to celebrate National Farm to School Month, which kicks off on October 1st but schools, early care programs and organizations are making plans now! To celebrate and spotlight the many aspects of Farm to School, the National Farm to School Network put together a theme of the day calendar that you can use to plan your activities. During October, each theme day will be accompanied by a blog post containing information and activity ideas. To further aid your planning process, a preview of all of the blog posts will be available on farmtoschoolmonth.org starting in mid-August. The blog posts will be written by a variety of partner organizations throughout the month, providing unique perspectives and stories. Download this PDF version of the calendar, and check out our other resources as well as the items in our shop, such as these "I ate local food today!" stickers. As part of Farm to School Month:
- Farm to Pre-School Day will be celebrated on October 18th to highlight the local food activities in the full spectrum of child care programs: preschools, Head Starts, center-based, programs based in K-12 school districts, and family home care facilities.
- Food Day, "a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, sustainable food", is on October 24th. If you're interested in learning more about participating in food day, participate in:
- Food Day Webinar: Food Day in Schools: How to Get Involved (Center for Science in the Public Interest) on September 4, 2013, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT. (Register Here) This webinar will give you the tools to find out how your school can participate in Food Day and use the momentum to achieve your health and wellness goals. During the webinar you will learn about some of the available resources: Nourish: Food + Community curriculum, Food Day’s school curriculum created by the Columbia Teachers College, and technical tools for the implementation of the new nutrition standards for competitive foods in schools. Join the webinar to learn how Food Day can help your school advance towards the pillars established by the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award.
All the best for a great school year!
Farm to Institution Specialist
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
480 Wilson Rd | Rm 303 Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824