Blog Archive

Monday, May 7, 2018

May Michigan Farm to School Newsletter

Hoping the latest Michigan Farm to School news and resources finds you all well as spring weather finally finds its way to Michigan!





Michigan Resource recognized at National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

At last month's National Farm to Cafeteria conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, educators, nutrition professionals, farmers, and food systems advocates gathered to learn, share, and engage in field trips and targeted discussions about the food system in the nation's institutions. A Michigan resource was highlighted as part of those discussions, noting how it helps farmers get their products into cafeterias by informing the procedures they use for bidding, pricing, and negotiation of contracts.


Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture


Read more on how the Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program has saved the life of one veteran. In turn he is now supporting farm to school and the program that saved him to provide support to fellow veterans. 


Women's History Month and Farm to School

If today's students are taught about local food "sheroes" past and present, a more complete, equitable history of our nation's food system can be shared.  In the garden, classroom, and cafeteria, it is important to educate students and adults about the women whose work has built and continues our food system toward a more healthy, equitable future.


South Carolina Shakes Up School Lunch


Four school districts in South Carolina are shaking up the lunchroom and transforming school meals by using innovative techniques. Using strategies such as developing a unique distribution process, running the cafeteria like a restaurant, creating "worm food", and harvesting rooftop garden produce, has enabled South Carolina to put farm to school on the map. Check out their story and read how one Farm School Grantee, Spartanburg District 6, implements Farm to School in ways that work.


Chickasaw Nation SNAP-Ed

Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services SNAP-Ed and other partner organizations have created Eagle Adventure to provide culturally relevant in-class education, family-based, and take-home health homework. One unique aspect of Eagle Adventure is the inclusion of school news announcements and a news and radio program to enable consistent social marketing messages and a multi-generational approach.


Farm – to – Institution Programs Help Farms of All Sizes

Farm Flavor

Michigan farms of all sizes are benefiting from the farm to institution programs by delivering Michigan grown foods to local schools and other organizations. By helping food service buyers source and promote Michigan grown foods, locally grown food gets to Michigan residents.


Montana is Planting Seeds of a Movement

Flathead Beacon

Innovative programs are taking hold in Montana's schools to equip children with the knowledge and desire to shape our food systems in the coming generations and re-crafting our notions of the food systems through a broad network of people and institutions. One example of the program is Harvest of the Month, which began three years ago as a pilot project and is now a fully formed statewide program with 143 participating K-12 schools. 


Iowa School's Greenhouse is Cultivating an Interest in Gardening

Clayton County Register

Thanks to a growing interest in gardening and the availability of a greenhouse, Central students have been able to stock their school salad bar with leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes during the winter months.


Washington Students Enjoy Food Performance

PT Leader

Quilcene High School students were treated to a food performance from Chef Arran Stark. He shared with them the importance of eating seasonally, offered cooking tips and tricks, and shared the story of his journey to becoming a chef.


Nutrition: Gardening Interventions to Increase Vegetable Consumption Among Children

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends school-based gardening interventions in combination with nutrition education to increase vegetable consumption among children. The interventions will provide children with hands-on experience with planting and harvesting healthy produce and through these experiences could increase their willingness to consume both fruits and vegetables, leading to a healthier life.


Gardening with Minnesota Class

University of MN Extension- Youtube

Master Gardeners help Minnesota students at Crossroads grow and donate 13,000 pounds of vegetables to food shelves in a single season. This not only helps the community but helps educate the students on growing healthy produce.


California Students Run their own Food Business out of a Classroom


The Growing Leaders class at Willard Middle School prepares about 300 meals every two weeks, often with produce they've grown themselves, even packaging online orders for customers who've pre-ordered meals. This students are learning many lessons from this class from how to be on time and working together to the process of growing and preparing food.


10 Cents a Meal: New Michigan Department of Education Legislative Report

Learn about Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal program in the new Michigan Department of Education's 2017-2018 Legislative Report. The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms pilot program provides grant- winning school districts with up to 10 Cents a Meal in matching funds to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans. 



2018 MDE-SNAM Michigan June Nutrition Conference

"Nourishing the Whole Person the Whole Year"

Deadline: June 8th // Hotel Registration Deadline: May 17th

Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) Office of Health and Nutrition Services (OHNS) and the School Nutrition Association of Michigan (SNAM) will host the June Nutrition Conference professionals of food distribution programs, child and adult feeding programs, school nutrition, other professionals, and people interested in the fields of nutrition, food programming, school management, government, and public health. The conference will be held at the Amway Grand Place, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 18 to 20. 




National Garden Month

May is National Garden Month! Gardening is a perfect activity to engage children and students of all ages. From discovering how food grows, to understanding nutrition and agriculture-related concepts, check out the links below to help connect children and students to gardening:


School's Out… And We're Already Thinking About Next Year's School Lunch

Here are five great tools for School Nutrition Professionals!

1.      Visit the Professional Standards Training Database to find trainings on a number of school meal topics.

2.      Check out the new CN Label Manufacturers Report and CN Label Verification Report.

3.      Try fun new USDA Standardized Recipes that the kids would love.

4.      Find USDA-approved software for nutrient analysis in the school meals programs.

5.      Use the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs to help plan amounts of food needed for school meals


Western Region States Launch Farm to Summer Week

Summer is fast approaching and that means the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is getting ready. This summer, several states in the Western region are taking Farm to Summer one step further with Farm to Summer Week. Summer is the perfect time to source local food for your summer meals program. Click here for resources to grow your SFSP.


Building Healthy Communities Step Up for School Wellness Grant

Due: September 30th, 2018

Want to create a marketing program designed to increase meal participation, fruit and vegetable selections for your students? Applications are open for schools to be selected to receive $1000 for grant activities. For further information visit the Request for Applications.


Webinar: Food Service Directors

Learn and hear about successful stories about district-wide farm to school education initiatives from three 10 Cents a Meal grantees from Michigan. Learn tips on how to engage parent volunteers, teachers, and administrators in activities as well as taste test and information about school garden participation. 


Webinar: Educators and Administrators

Learn practical strategies for implementing hands-on-farm to school learning activities designed by curriculum specialists here in Michigan. Hear about the how farm to school positively impacts student success, health, and behavior. 


Food Buying Guide Mobile App

The Food Buying Guide (FBG) is the essential resource for food yield information for all Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). This app can help with searching and locating information for foods typically served in CNP. Compare information to determine the foods that best meet your program needs and create a favorites list of food item, email and print search results, and food comparisons.


CACFP Training Tools

These colorful and engaging materials can be used to empower Child and Adult Care Food Program providers and operators with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to implement the updated CACFP meal pattern requirements in their program.


Million for Farm to School included in Funding Bill 

Great news and big victory for Farm to School Movement! The final bill, which was signed by the President, includes $5 million in discretionary funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles the current available funding for this highly impact program for one year.



Enjoy the week,




Meagan K. Shedd, PhD
Assistant Professor, Farm to Early Care and K-12 Education
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
Department of Community Sustainability | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
480 Wilson Rd, Room 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
517.432.4525 | |



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.