Blog Archive

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Supporting our Michigan farm to school community through COVID-19

April 2020
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges and concerns to our tables. Our work at MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is evolving in response to the effects of COVID-19 but the goal of creating a food system that is equitable, accessible, healthy, fair, diverse, and sustainable remains. 

We have compiled a list of resources that may be helpful for early care and K-12 education sites looking for food-related resources related to COVID-19, including food assistance, local producer resources, food safety, and guidance on managing stress and anxiety.

Thank you for your continued work for children and families in Michigan. We will continue to stay in communication and provide whatever support we can. Please email us if you have a need that we may be able to help with.
Planning and Planting a Garden Can Help Children Manage COVID-19 Stress
Planning and then planting a garden can help children and their families address some of the challenges of schools being closed. Learning opportunities abound when planning a garden, with the benefit of not feeling like traditional school work. As children plant seeds and care for plants, they can contribute to their family’s food supply as well.

How Districts are Feeding Students During School Closures
Creative and hard-working school leaders, food service personnel, and community members are working to make sure children across the U.S. are receiving meals despite school closures.

Read more to find out the different ways communities are making sure kids don’t miss a meal.
Battle Creek School Closures Not Shutting Down Meals
Thanks to food service personnel and school leaders, many school districts in the Battle Creek area are serving students at least two meals a day despite school closures. Partnering with FireKeepers, food pantries, and businesses, the local community is collaborating to make sure families have access to food.

Addressing Food Security in Warren Through Nutrition Education
Knowing how to cook healthy foods on a budget is an important aspect of a nutrition-education program in Warren. Covering nutrition, food, and safety, Gleaner’s Cooking Matters class teaches students and their families lasting skills to improve nutrition and health.

Read more about the systems change taking place in this local Michigan community.
Quality of School Lunches Depends on Who Makes Them
The Labor of Lunch by Jennifer E. Gaddis illustrates the importance of school food service personnel in making and serving quality school lunches. The value of these workers has been made even clearer as nearly 30 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program are at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Join the 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 (you can still sign up even though the challenge has started)! The Challenge is a great way to learn about the history and impacts of racism on our current food system. It also offers participants helpful resources and tools for integrating racial equity into their work and daily lives.

Racial Equity in the Food System: Perceptions, Reality, and the Road Ahead
April 15
3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT

This webinar, led by the Racial Equity in the Food System (REFS) workgroup, will involve a discussion based on the findings from a national survey of REFS webinar registrants. Learn how food system educators are making progress towards equity goals and how to overcome limitations in utilizing an equity lens in your work.

Resources for Food Systems Challenges Related to COVID-19
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is compiling an ongoing list of resources that may be helpful for early care and K-12 education sites looking for food-related resources related to COVID-19, including food assistance, local producer resources, food safety, and guidance on managing stress and anxiety.

Resources for Unanticipated School Closures Summer Food Service Program
The Michigan Department of Education has an updated list of resources for sites serving meals through this program. Resources include COVID-19 food safety recommendations, outreach materials, and contact information for food vendors, including a list of local food suppliers from Cultivate Michigan.
COVID-19 Resources for Farm to School and Early Care and Education from National Farm to School Network
The National Farm to School Network is compiling resources from across the nation related to COVID-19 that will be relevant to the farm to school and farm to early care and education community. Their page is being updated on a regular basis. 

Food Access, COVID-19, and Equity: Questions for Your Community
For government officials, employers, community leaders, and even businesses, thinking about access to food in the coming months for the nearly 40 million Americans who struggle with food insecurity will be even more important. The Rockefeller Foundation has four questions to help guide responses as we face the disruption in the food system and address critical challenges to ensure equity in our response together.

Farm to Summer Planning Guide Available
The Center for Ecoliteracy's summer planning guide is now available with tips and best practices to support farm to summer planning.

Check out the Farm to Summer Planning Guide.
Webinar Series: Food Literacy for All
Food Literacy for All is a community-academic partnership course at the University of Michigan. Using an evening lecture series format, it features different weekly guest speakers to address challenges and opportunities of diverse food systems.

Small Bites Storytime Videos
Looking for some educational activities at home for your young ones? Small Bites Adventure Club has storytime videos available for children to learn about seasonal produce. The vegetable featured this month is carrots.

No Kid Hungry Grants Available to Support Coronavirus Response
No Kid Hungry is offering emergency grants to support local school districts and nonprofit organizations in their efforts to ensure kids get the nutritious food they need. Complete their grant request form to find out if your organization is eligible for funding.

Funding Opportunities Related to COVID-19
Grant Station has a list of funding opportunities for non-profits related to COVID-19, updated daily. Funding sources in this listing are not limited to hunger relief, health, and schools.

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.

You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to the MIFARMTOSCHOOL listserv. Please note that if you unsubscribe from this mailing, you will be removed from the listserv as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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