Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The history of school lunch, preparing for your school garden, and more

March 2020
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

With spring around the corner, thoughts of gardens, trips to farms, or new menus are on the minds of many. A few days of warmer temperatures here and there offer a nice preview to spring, just like the March edition of our newsletter.
Kid-Friendly, Farm Fresh Food in Kent County
Pairing nutrition education with food access programming has worked for this pilot farm project run by Kids’ Food Basket. “The Kent County pilot farm is so successful, the children are enthusiastic about it, and the schools are enthusiastic about what kids are learning and how it is changing the fabric of their food choices,” says Afton DeVos of Kids’ Food Basket.

Podcast: The Way We Eat: Where We Went Wrong With School Lunches
The Way We Eat takes a look at the history of America’s school lunch program: from it’s earliest days in the late 1800’s as one of the main policy platforms of the anti-child labor movement, all the way through to the modern-day rollback of lunch programs.

Year-Round Michigan Fruits and Veggies from Michigan Farm to Freezer
Michigan Farm to Freezer founders Brandon Seng and Mark Coe share their unexpected journey from a northern Michigan farmer's market and school lunch program to their move to Detroit's historic Eastern Market.

Watch the video, listen to the podcast, or read the article to learn more about their business.
Two Proposed SNAP Changes Could Impact School Lunch
Tightening state SNAP enrollment standards and reducing SNAP enrollment of noncitizens could impact the number of students participating in free and reduced-price lunch programs. NPR reports that these changes could limit access to free school meals for children and impact schools’ bottom lines.

21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
March 30 - April 19

Sign up for Food Solutions New England's annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge! This is a great way to learn about the history and impacts of racism on our food system and get inspired with resources and tools to build racial equity in your work and life.

National Calendar of Farm to School Events
The National Farm to School Network hosts a national calendar of farm to school events, conferences and networking opportunities. Submit your farm to school event to the calendar by clicking the "Submit Event" button. To be considered, events should be open to the public and specifically related to farm to school content.

10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23
Albuquerque, NM

Join the National Farm to School Network and more than 800 attendees from across the country! Dig into 40 skill-building workshops, inspiring keynote addresses, 10 experiential field trips, poster presentations, open space talks, and great networking opportunities that will help you bring real food solutions to your community. Registration is open through April 3. 

Action For Healthy Kids Events
Check out Action for Healthy Kids's calendar for educational webinars, local trainings and conferences. To learn more about nutrition at schools, check out their upcoming event series on Optimal Nutrition:
  • School Meals: Support Students Health and Learning on March 4
  • Healthy Food at School: Social and Emotional Learning Opportunities on March 12
  • Parents and School Nutrition: How to Engage Support on March 18

SNAP-Ed Connection Gardening Page
Wondering how to use SNAP-Ed funds for gardening? Section 3 in the SNAP-Ed Guidance document has the information you need. The SNAP-Ed Library is also a great resource for gardening basics, nutrition education tools for use in the garden, and SNAP-Ed gardening success stories. Find additional resources, such as evaluation tools, and curricula as well! 

A Policy Analysis of Current Farm to Early Childhood Education Legislation in the United States
This analysis, published by the Law Review of Johns Hopkins, provides an overview of the promising impacts of state farm to school legislation. The authors offer suggestions, like developing research to understand associations between current laws and farm to early care and education to improve the effectiveness of future legislation.

The Roots of Injustice in Our Agricultural System (Webinar Recording)
Key leaders in the farm workers movement share how and why farm worker issues have historically been left out of U.S. labor law protections, and how farm workers are building powerful movements that integrate an analysis toward climate, migrant, food, and worker justice.

Action for Healthy Kids Game On and Parents for Healthy Kids Grants
Deadline: April 2, 2020

Action for Healthy Kids is accepting applications for Game On Grants and Parents for Healthy Kids Grants! If you’re a school, district, or parent looking to increase physical activity and nutrition initiatives at your Pre-K-12 school, these grants are for you. 

Team Nutrition Training Grants: School Meal Recipe Development
Deadline: April 3, 2020

The Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Meal Recipe Development is now available through Using grant funds, state agencies will be able to develop nutritious and tasty recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences.

Food Systems Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
Deadline: March 11, 2020

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems in East Lansing, MI is seeking a full-time Food Systems Specialist to support capacity-building among and facilitate technical assistance to Michigan local food councils, Michigan food and health organizations, and countrywide grantees in the federal Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP).

FoodCorps Service Member 
Deadline: March 13, 2020

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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