Blog Archive

Friday, March 25, 2016

MI Farm to School News

Greetings all!

Lots of different grant opportunities coming out this time of year, so be sure to take a close look if you're looking for funding! Our MI Farm to School Grant will be open for applications in just a couple weeks, so be on the look out for news about that as well!

And also a reminder: Early Bird Registration for the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will be in Madison June 2-4, closes next Thursday, March 31! If you've been putting off registering, make sure to get in by the deadline to secure a great rate and three days chock full of learning! And if you need another reason to go, they just added an optional field trip to Growing Power in Milwaukee.  Don't miss out!

  • USDA Farm to School Census  USDA Community Food Systems
    • Results are in! Check them out, and see how Michigan (and your district) measures up! There's also an opportunity to vote for your district in the One in a Melon Contest, which aims to lift up farm to school programs from all over the country
  • School gardens becoming more popular Eden Prairie News
    • Michigan's Betti Wiggins gets a shout out on her work to expand production and education gardens for Detroit Public Schools in this article highlighting the growth of school gardens
  • Food Waste Resources
    • Check out this great webinar series on reducing food waste in grocers, universities, hospitals, and other institutions
    • Safe Food Handling Videos  -these videos go over food safety along the food recovery transportation change, especially useful for anyone working with food donations or food recovery. 
    • There is also a great video,  "Love Letter to Food", on the impacts of food waste
  • Economic Impact of Local Foods Toolkit USDA & Colorado State University
    • This toolkit can help assess investments in local and regional food systems to see the economic impact on communities
  • Healthy Eating Research Grants Available – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    • Grant funding is available for research around healthy eating in different childhood environments, with awards available up to $190,000 for up to 18 months. Deadline is May 11, 2016.
  • Job: Eastern Market – Deadline Thursday April 7, 8:00 am EST
    • Eastern Market in Detroit is searching for Food and Health Fellows to provide operational support to farm stands, tasting sessions, and food assistance programs. See attached posting for more details. Sent a letter of interest and resume to
  • Mini Seed-Grants – Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network Deadline May 18
    • These mini grants are designed to provide NW Michigan Food and Farming Network participants with an opportunity to support creative projects that help the network accomplish its goals. See below for more details.
  • Seeds of Change Grants – Seeds of Change, Deadline March 28
    • If you missed the memo about this this week, the deadline is closing in for these grants to support schools and communities in building gardens or farms – grants are available for $10,000 and $20,000
  • CACFP Mini Grant Opportunity – T&L Foundation, Deadline April 13
    • Specific opportunity for licensed Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Family Child Care Providers and CACFP Sponsor Organizations to use grant funding to "create a healthier environment for children in child care.
Abby Harper
Farm to School Specialist
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
480 Wilson Rd Rm 309 | East Lansing, MI 48824
(p) 517-432-4525 (f) 517-353-3834



The NW Mi Food and Farming Network

 is accepting applications for collaborative projects

 within its10-county area

 through Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at noon. 


Apply via this Google Form.

Counties include: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford.




Welcome to our first round of Mini Seed-Grants administered by the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network (FFN). Funds for this program have been provided by our partners at the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities via Networks Northwest and the Regional Prosperity Initiative.


These mini grants are designed to provide NW Michigan Food & Farming Network participants with an opportunity to support creative projects that help the network accomplish its goals. Grants will be awarded to teams to use as they require. The application is short and simple.



* Participation of 3+ Network Members (we can help you find them and they cannot be from one organization)

* Projects should show the ability to progress with or without funds (2 tiered proposal - "If we get funding we'll do this. If we don't get funding we'll do this.")

* Measurable outcomes, with completion by 2017 Summit (February 2017)

* Direct impact on (and participation of) the community being served (within Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and/or Wexford counties)

- We are interested in benefiting people or issues in need, not necessarilly the organizations doing the work
* Match potential (not mandatory but, display of investment will encourage the distribution of funds)
* Relationship to at least one network action area (See below)
* New and innovative approaches to solve problems are encouraged



* Proposals are due by the May 18th business meeting of the FFN

* Grant applications will be judged by a panel appointed by the FFN leadership team

* Grants will be awarded at the June (end of year) potluck

* FFN will work with project leaders to help find additional funding if available

* Projects should be completed by the 2017 Summit in February

* Project leaders should be prepared to report on the progress of the project at the Summit


* LOCAL FOOD SALES - Increasing Direct and Indirect Sales
* FARM TO INSTITUTION - Institutionalizing Local Procurement
* AGRI-BUSINESS GENERATION - Building Local Production & Processing Capacity
* FOOD ACCESS - Healthful Food For All
* FARMLAND RESOURCES - Preservation of Farming and Farmland


* Complete the project summary.
* Complete the project narrative.
* Submit by 12:00 Noon on Wednesday May 18, 2016.


You may also deliver your application in person at the May 18, 2016 FFN business meeting or via email to:


Apply via this Google Form.

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