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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Michigan Farm to School August Newsletter

This morning my youngest started back to school, his lunchbox filled with produce from our farm share. While it feels too early for back-to-school, here we are at nearly the end of August already. Hopefully this month's newsletter finds you ready for the return to school, in the middle of the bounty of a school garden if you have one, integrating the AMAZING Michigan produce into your menus, and thinking about the Michigan Apple Crunch (see below) later this fall.


Thanks for all that you do for children!




10 Cents a Meal Expanding in Michigan

The nationally-recognized Michigan 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms matching grant program is expanding in its third year. The innovative program that enables schools additional funds to buy and serve fruits, vegetables, and dry beans grown in Michigan in school lunches provides up to 10 cents a meal in match funding for school. For the 2019 fiscal year, schools in 43 of Michigan's 83 counties will be eligible to apply for grants to purchase and serve Michigan-grown produce, connecting farmers with schools—a triple win for local community farmers, schools, and students.


Students Learn Food Business and form Friendships in Project Salsa

Columbia Tribune 

High school students are learning a variety of skills as part of a partnership with their local high school and Missouri University Extension. Through a project to develop and market salsa, students are learning valuable skills they will take with them beyond graduation, including gardening, knife skills, entrepreneurial skills, and how to work together as a team.


Nutrition Graduate Student Brings Farm to Preschool

Georgia State University News Hub

A nutrition graduate student introduces nutrition concepts to children in an early care and education setting as part of her community nutrition practical learning experience. Her lessons are part of nutrition and garden education already incorporated into the children's learning experiences, but Diana Myers, a former farm to school intern with Georgia Organics, shares with the children the process of how food grows from seeds, how worms and bees are utilized by plants, and the formation of fruits and vegetables. Children also have a chance to taste fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the garden on site.


Town Talk: Spencer-Van Etten Sixth-Graders Renovate School Garden

Ithaca Journal 

A group of sixth graders carried out a service project renovating a school garden in need of maintenance. With community support to purchase mulch, gravel, landscaping cloth, and plantings, the middle schoolers spent nearly two months overhauling the garden originally installed 15 years before, including installing wheelchair-accessible walkways. Even more important, the garden has a maintenance plan that will be part of the incoming sixth grade curriculum.


Quakertown High School Offers a Summer Chef Camp for Kids


Students at a Pennsylvania high school now have a weeklong summer camp to learn how prepare a four-course meal. The engineering teacher who is also a pastry chef teaches a chef class at the high school and started a weeklong camp for teams of students to compete in a different cooking challenges that are later shared with district administrators.


Queensbury Schools to Improve Lunches with Local Farm Produce 

The Post Star

A New York school district is enhancing its school lunch menu with the addition of local farm produce and through its food provider. The state is offering a reimbursement to add local food products, which helps to increase the amount of local products but also improve the menu.


Fishburn Park Elementary Offers Fresh Produce from its Vegetable Garden to Community

WSLS 10 News

Students at a Roanoke, Virginia elementary school have a school garden that has its own produce stand as well. Children are learning not only how to garden, but the different aspects of learning associated with growing and selling vegetables as part and in support of their science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) program.


School Food: Making it Healthier, Making it Regional

Food Corps

A new report from FoodCorps, School Food Focus, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shares how six school districts from across the nation have adopted creative strategies to overcome common school food challenges in serving healthy local foods such as limited equipment or staffing shortages.


Farm to School in Indiana: The local politics of feeding children

Taylor and Francis Online 

This article from the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition summarizes interviews with 10 school district foodservice directors in Indiana focusing on farm to school policies to identify what influences their decisions about where to purchase vegetables and fruits. Explanations for the state support of farm to school and the creation of experiential learning experiences about food by districts are also included.


Process evaluation of a farm to school preschool program in New York City

Taylor and Francis Online 

This article in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition describes the program model, shares process evaluation data, and summarizes lessons learned from a farm to preschool pilot program with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for low-income Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-eligible children and their families at nine childcare centers in New York City.




Healthy Eating in Practice Conference: Special offer for National Farm to School Network

August 26th-29th // Asheville, NC

Healthy Eating in Practice is a hands-on conference for healthcare professionals and advocates to better support healthy eating. In addition to presentations by leading practitioners, researchers, and policy experts, attendees will visit area farms and participate in cooking workshops.


Michigan Apple Crunch

The Michigan Apple Crunch will be Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Join others from around Michigan crunching a local Michigan apple. Participation is simple—register as an organization, school, or family by clicking on the link, and enjoying a Michigan apple of your choice. For more information about where to find Michigan apples, check out the new Cultivate Michigan sourcing guide.


School Nutrition Association of Michigan (SNAM) Trainings

Visit the School Nutrition Association of Michigan calendar page to see upcoming trainings, especially if you are looking for culinary skills trainings. A statewide ServSafe training is available August 30 and the annual SNAM conference is planned for October 25 through October 28.




Greenworks Grants

Deadline: September 30th 

Up to $1,000 in GreenWorks! grants are available for schools and youth organizations from Project Learning Tree for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world. Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood's environment.


Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant

Deadline: October 1st 

The Herb Society of America will select ten (10) schools/classrooms with a minimum of 15 students serving grades 3 through 6 to receive $200 in "Seed Money" to establish an indoor or outdoor herb garden. The funds may be used for supplies such as soil, plant trays, containers, and child or youth sized tools. 


Deutsche Bank's Native Community Capital Access Program: Request for Proposals

Deadline: August 31st

Deutsche Bank is issuing an RFP for their Native Community Capital Access Program last. Any mission-driven financial institution that is primarily serving underserved or low-income Native communities (half or more of activities must be focused on this population) are welcome to apply. This can include CDFIs, banks, credit unions, social enterprises, or other organizations. 


Funding Opportunities for Farm to Cafeteria Programs


LiveWell Colorado recently collaborated with the Colorado Community College System on a webinar that reviews funding sources available to support farm to cafeteria programs. The webinar focuses on high schools and community colleges that a have Agriculture Technology Programs, such as Future Farmers of America, and how they can partner with school nutrition services to implement farm to cafeteria programs.


Call for Applications: 2019 RWJF Culture of Health Prize

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize recognizes communities that have come together around a commitment to health, opportunity, and equity through collaboration and inclusion. Through the RWJF Culture of Health Prize application process, a community comes together to tell their inspiring stories of collaboration, action, and results. Communities should understand they are applying for a prize and not a grant. The Prize recognizes work that has already been accomplished so there is no required workplan or budget. Phase 1 applications are due Nov. 1, 2018. Learn more here.


NCR-SARE Call for Research and Education Preproposals

The 2019 North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Research and Education Grant Program Call for Preproposals is now available. Upto $400,000 (limit of $200,000 per project) of the Research and Education grant pool fund is available for projects focused on developing sustainable agriculture curriculum for youth in grades 4-12. The curriculum should address environmental, social and economic aspects of agricultural practices and systems, and should include a farmer/rancher component. SARE is looking for modular lesson plans that include experiential and discovery-based learning as well as classroom instruction. The deadline for Research and Education Program preproposals is October 18, 2018. Learn more here


National Education Association Grants

Student Achievement Grants, offered by the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation, are for projects that help students learn how to think critically and solve problems in order to improve student learning. Learning & Leadership Grants, offered by the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation, are for professional development opportunities for individuals or groups. Grants are available to current members of the National Education Association who are educators in public schools or public institutions of higher education. Preference is given to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global learning into projects, which can include farm to school activities. Two levels of funding are available: $2,000 and $5,000. The next deadline for applications is October 15. 



Sr. Research Program Coordinator

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) is seeking a Senior Research Program Coordinator (SRPC) for its Seafood, Public Health & Food Systems Project to coordinate and support a range of activities designed to bridge and address issues surrounding seafood, the public's health, and food systems. Working under the supervision of CLF's Project Director of Seafood, Public Health & Food Systems, and closely with the entire project team, the SRPC works directly with a diverse portfolio of projects and activities. Areas of focus include aquaculture, fisheries, public health, global resource use, food security, and relevant private and public policies. The Seafood, Public Health & Food Systems Project aims to increase awareness, expand the relevant evidence base, and advance policy goals in support of a healthy, equitable, and sustainable supply of farmed and wild seafood products.




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 | |





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