This week has been especially exciting here at Michigan Farm to School. Earlier this week, we joined food service directors from across the state at the annual School Nutrition Programs conference in Lansing. Colleen, myself, and our fabulous colleagues from the Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Fitness Foundation kicked off the week as team "Lettuce Turnip the Beet" and highlighted the incredible impact that could come from combining programs that aim to increase good food access for children. I was so excited to see the number of hands that went up representing those involved in Farm to School in Michigan – you all are such an inspiration!
As Farm to Summer kicks off in these coming weeks, its exciting to see the number of programs aiming to make connections with local food. Summer is a perfect time to start building connections with local farmers and take advantage of the height of Michigan Farm to Summer. How are you bringing Farm to Summer to your Meet Up and Eat Up program? Be sure to celebrate by sharing on Facebook or Twitter. If you're new to it, check out our recent Farm to Summer Webinar, highlighting some of the awesome work around the state and providing ideas for getting started.
Here's updates from the past two weeks:
· Detroit Public Schools launches Friday farmers markets at two schools – The Detroit News
o DPS' Office of School Nutrition and Eastern Market are joining forces to bring small farmers markets selling fresh produce that sell produce grown by the students at the schools
· CDC reports increase in teen obesity – Journal of the American Medical Association
o An investigation into obesity trends showed an increase in obesity in adolescents aged 12-19 years. What can we do to address this?
· As more gardens sprout, schools find new way to reach students – Boston Globe
o Highlighting school garden successes in Massachusetts
· Garden Grants:
o The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation provides fruit trees to establish an orchard at a school through their Fruit Tree 101 program
o The Herb Society of America provides grants of $200 for seed money to establish an herb garden
o Home Depot Community Impact Grants offer up to $5000 in gift cards to Home Depot that could be used for school gardens
o Discover the secret sauce here! This new website from School Food Focus provides tools to help shift school food purchasing and connect folks to increase local purchasing.
· Farmer Conversation Guide – South Carolina Farm to Preschool
o Simple and straightforward tool for guiding conversations with farmers that you're interested in sourcing from.
· 2015 USDA Farm to School Census: Raw Data Released – United States Department of Agriculture
o Explore all the findings from the 2015 Farm to School Survey
o The new website features finding on the impacts of Farm to School in Oregon. Spoiler alert: It's really fun to navigate.
I hope you all have fabulous weekend plans! I'll be doing rain dances while I spent the entire weekend watering my garden.
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