Blog Archive

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Happy Farm to School and Apple Crunch Month!

October 2020
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

As the weather starts to get cooler this October, we are celebrating National Farm to School Month and preparing for the Michigan Apple Crunch! October is an exciting time for farm to school - what are you planning this month?

Read on to learn what others are doing to integrate food and farming learning opportunities into their programs.
"Lunch Ladies" Share What We Need to Know About School Food
The work of feeding hundreds or thousands of children every day, especially during a pandemic, is no easy task. Not only are culinary skills and nutrition knowledge essential, stamina for the job is a requirement.

Read more to learn what school food service personnel believe are important considerations for everyone to know about this important role in America’s schools.
Battle Creek’s Devon Wilson Farms to Protest and Educate the Youth
Devon Wilson is an urban farmer in Battle Creek who knows how empowering it is to grow his own food. Wilson says, “It’s a way to reclaim our power. Self-sustainability is the revolution.” Partnering with Lori Rodriguez Geiger of Puddingstone Farm, Wilson is planning to establish a youth gardening club in the city.

Caledonia School District Partners with Local Farmers
In addition to the traditional school lunch menu that includes products from over 80 local farmers, Caledonia School District distributed 1,300 boxes of produce to school community members this past May. Each 20-pound box included locally grown potatoes, apples, carrots, strawberries, cucumbers, and celery.

School Garden Tours Highlight Farm to School Program
Comparing store-bought to school garden-grown carrots is just one nutrition education activity conducted by Northern Michigan University students working with local farms and Ishpeming students. Students can also help grow their own carrots, as well as beans, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, peas, and yellow squash.

October is National Farm to School Month
Celebrate all month!

Join educators, families, children, and those in community food systems around the nation to recognize and appreciate the connections between and among one another, remembering that “It takes a community to feed a community.” Share what your school or ECE site is doing for National Farm to School Month on social media using the hashtags #F2SMonth and #farmtoschool.

2020 Michigan Good Food Virtual Summit
October - November

This series of virtual gatherings will bring together people from across Michigan to celebrate achievements and launch a renewed effort to advance a good food system in Michigan that promotes equity, health, sustainability, and thriving economies. Webinars at this year’s summit will highlight eight priority areas, including the role of education in food systems.

2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium
Every Wednesday in October
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM CDT

Hosted by Kansas State University and K-State Research and Extension, the 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium: Nourishing Cities in a Changing Climate, will be held virtually this year! Live keynote speakers will be featured each Wednesday accompanied by breakout discussions and poster sessions.

Join the Great Lakes Apple Crunch
October 8 (or any time in October!)

Last year 1.8 million students, children, teachers, and more participated in the Great Lakes Apple Crunch. Celebrate National Farm to School Month this October by crunching into locally and regionally grown apples!

Food Justice is Racial Justice: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting
October 14, 1:00 - 3:00 PM EST

Join National Farm to School Network for deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system, featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist.

Advancing Racial Equity Webinar Series 
The American Public Health Association's Advancing Racial Equity webinar series and companion discussion guide take an in-depth look at racism as it impacts social determinants of health and equity in the United States. Although the guide is primarily for public health students and professionals, others may find it helpful for meaningful conversations about racism and racial equity.
How Schools Can Utilize USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes: Webinar Recording
Featuring one of the only districts operating USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program, the California Dairy Council hosted a webinar to help school districts learn how to leverage this program. The webinar includes information about the application process and benefits and challenges.

Vision and Key Strategies to Advance Farm to Early Care and Education
This new resource from National Farm to School Network’s Farm to Early Care and Education Working Group shares the vision for long-term impacts of farm to early care and education along with a set of strategies and activities intended to increase access to fresh, local foods through local procurement, gardening opportunities, and food and agriculture education.

SNAP-Ed Resources to Stay Safe and Healthy at Home
Check out the Stay Safe and Healthy at Home page from SNAP-Ed for helpful tips and information about pantry stocking, menu planning, food safety, and special quarantine recipes.
Local Purchasing in ECE Settings Blog
A new blog called, "Making it Work: Why Local Purchasing is Still Important and How to Make it Work in ECE Settings," highlights the importance and benefits of farm to ECE and local food purchasing.

Read the blog from National Farm to School Network's Farm to ECE Working Group - Procurement Subgroup.
Advisors for Institutional Investment Accelerator Program, Wallace Center
Deadline: October 12, 6:00 PM ET

The Wallace Center is launching a new initiative aimed at catalyzing and increasing institutional investment to accelerate the development of more equitable food systems. They are seeking advisors to support the development of the program. Advisors should have deep experience working with teams and knowledge of one or more of the following areas: institutional procurement, value chain coordination, financing food businesses and infrastructure, and developing cross-sector partnerships. The advisors would bring an anti-racist lens to their work, with a demonstrated track record of working with leaders of color and centering racial equity.

National Farm to School Network logo
Program Manager and Program Associate, National Farm to School Network
Deadline: Open Until Filled

National Farm to School network is hiring for two positions!

The Program Manager is a full time, remote position that will manage a portfolio of farm to school projects and ensure the project goals align with NFSN’s mission and strategic priorities. The Program Associate is a part time, remote position that will implement NFSN’s Seed Change in Native Communities project to scale up and institutionalize culturally significant farm to school programs throughout the entire school environment and ultimately improve the nutritional health and wellness of Native youth.

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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