Blog Archive

Monday, February 3, 2020

Improving School Cafeterias, Preventing Food Waste, and Job Opportunities

February 2020
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

This month, we are sharing news and resources to invigorate your farm to school efforts. Learn what programs are doing to reinvent the school cafeteria, support Native American communities, and reduce food waste.

We hope you will join us in celebrating local food this month by hosting a Michigan Cherry Slurp event. What better way to spend Valentine's Day?
FoodCorps Pilots School Cafeteria Improvement Program in Michigan
Michigan is one of 15 states with a school participating in a FoodCorps pilot program called “Reimagining School Cafeterias.” Findings from the first year will help expand the project to 50 schools across the U.S. during the 2020-21 school year with additional activities to help students learn about healthy food choices.

Michigan Farmers Market Association Awarded USDA Grant
The Michigan Farmer's Market Association (MIFMA) was awarded a USDA grant to help more people know about and are encouraged to shop at farmers markets. Early care and education settings and schools can shop at farmers markets to purchase local products and support local farmers.

More Schools are Using Scratch Cooking - Because Kids Like It
Schools are hiring more staff to cook from scratch, and kids and staff are responding favorably. “It saves us money, and when you cook things from scratch, you control the components,” said executive chef Isaiah Ruffin. “Most importantly for the kids, it’s delicious.”

Michigan Cherry Slurp
February 14 or anytime in February!

Celebrate Michigan cherries during National Cherry Month by taking part in the Michigan Cherry Slurp! Check out the Event Organizing Toolkit for steps and tips to help you organize a fun and successful event. 

Vermont’s Farm to School Conference
April 8
Brattleboro, VT

Hear from regional farm to school experts from the Northeast and harness inspiration for your school’s farm to school programming. The agenda will include a keynote speech by Joseph Kiefer, Food Justice Educational Consultant, as well as three breakout sessions and a locally-sourced lunch.

California Farm to School and School Garden Conference
March 26-27
San Diego, CA

This conference will focus on empathy and coalition building, with an emphasis on establishing "complete" farm to school programs that coordinate student voice and the three core elements of farm to school. 

Questions can be sent to Nick Anicich, Farm to School Program Lead with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Afterschool Meals in Michigan Matter
With almost one in six Michigan children use school nutrition programs to avoid hunger, the importance of afterschool programs cannot be understated. This report, published by the Center for Civil Justice, takes a closer look at Michigan-specific data and provides suggestions for improving our state’s afterschool meal coverage.

What You Can Do To Help Prevent Wasted Food in Schools and ECE Programs
Integrate ideas for your school or ECE setting from nutrition professionals, teachers, parents, students, and administrators to reduce, recover, and recycle food to reduce food waste.

Seventh Edition of the Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System
The annotated bibliography from the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems offers a foundation for learning and communicating about structural racism in the U.S. food system. This updated edition includes 250 publications and 29 videos that explore structural racism across the national system and in specific food system sectors.

Reaching Native American and Rural Kindergarteners with Nutrition Info
Young children living on American Indian reservations, and children living in rural areas adjacent to them, often have limited access to nutritious fruits and vegetables, as well as to nutrition education. This article, published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, explores the Veggies for Kids Program and its results.

Southeast MI School Garden Mini-Grants Available
Deadline: February 24

If your school or early care and education site is in Oakland, Wayne or Macomb county, this opportunity is for you! The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program is now accepting applications for the 2020 grant year. Approximately 15 grants will be awarded for schools or ECE sites that are planning or implementing school garden programming.

Equity Consultant, National Farm to School Network
Deadline: February 12

National Farm to School Network is seeking an Equity Consultant to support initiatives aimed at advancing equity at the organizational and programmatic levels. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

For more information, email Jenileigh Harris.
FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Deadline: March 13

Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria.

About Michigan Farm to School

Farm to School centers around efforts to serve local foods in school and early care and education settings. We share ideas, tools and resources to support a range of efforts, from school garden programming to farmer visits and field trips.

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