Blog Archive

Monday, November 2, 2020

Exciting opportunities that support farm to school this fall

November 2020
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

As the days shorten and we prepare for the colder temperatures ahead, we hope you are able to take a few moments to reflect on all of the ways you have helped connect farms and local producers with children to increase access to local, healthy, affordable products.

We are grateful for all that you do and hope you enjoy the bounty of fall produce this season!
Michigan Expands 10 Cents a Meal Program
Funding for Michigan’s 10 Cents a Meal program recently increased from $575,000 to $2 million for the 2020-2021 school year. The program is now available to schools statewide and for early childhood education centers participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Community Food Champion from Michigan Announced
During Farm to School Month, the National Farm to School Network recognized 13 community food champions who go above and beyond to keep their communities fed. Debra Wade of the Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids was nominated and selected for her work in farm to ECE. Congratulations, Debra!

Edible Flint’s Educational Farm Offers Opportunities for Youth
Once it is safe to reopen their educational farm space, Edible Flint is excited to partner with community organizations that offer youth programming. School groups and other organizations have used the farm's teaching and demonstration area to learn about gardening, produce, and more.

USDA Announces Fourth Round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program
Between November 1 and December 31, the fourth round of USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program will distribute an additional $500 million worth of agricultural products to families across the country.

MIFMA’s 2020 Food Access Year End Meeting
November 9-10

Each year, the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) gathers with farmers market managers and partners who work to increase healthy food access through Michigan farmers markets. Program partners, market managers and staff, and supporters of farmers markets that accept food assistance benefits can learn what is on the horizon for food access initiatives at farmers markets in 2021.

Annual CACFP Virtual Conference
November 17-18

Over 20 interactive sessions are available during the Annual Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Conference. Learn how to navigate pandemic challenges with CACFP, including changing waivers, closing facilities, socially-distanced meal service, and supporting staff remotely. Follow the Child Care Food Program Roundtable on Facebook to get daily updates about CACFP policy, resources, and the Annual CACFP Conference.

Local Food Purchasing at Michigan Schools: 2019-2020 Survey Results
Since the 2014-2015 school year, Michigan Department of Education has included two optional questions in School Nutrition Programs online application to survey school food service directors about local food purchasing. Of those who applied in the 2019-2020 school year, 58% of school food service directors responded that they purchased local foods for school food programs!

Webinar Recording: Food Justice is Racial Justice
During the National Farm to School Network’s recent movement meeting, they announced a new call to action for the farm to school community: By 2025, 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system.

Check out the webinar recording to learn more about the call to action and to hear from Karen Washington!
Recommended Reading and Resource List for Food Justice
This reading list was generated and compiled by National Farm to School Network and Equity Learning Lab. These resources can help those who are getting started on their food justice journey as well as those interested in digging deeper and expanding their knowledge.

CACFP and SFSP area eligibility map
2021 CACFP and SFSP Area Eligibility Data Now Available
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service recently shared participant area eligibility data for the 2021 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The data set is available for download on the USDA’s open data site. You can also use the updated mapping tools to view area eligibility for these programs.
Bite-Sized Farm to School Tips for Families and Educators
Karen Spangler of the National Farm to School Network joined Jennifer Anderson of Kids Eat in Color and Chef Asata Reid of Life Chef, on Facebook Live to share tips educators and families can use for introducing kids to a wide range of foods and farm to school activities this fall.

Illustration of a child holding an apple
Resources for Hands on Education During COVID-19
Two resources developed by the Georgia Farm to ECE Coalition and Georgia Farm to School Alliance can help your early care and education site or school as you develop and implement gardening education, food education, and tasting demonstrations.

Considerations for Outdoor Learning Gardens and Community Gardens During COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer recommendations for outdoor learning gardens and community gardens during COVID-19. As communities increase learning options to provide healthy food, recreation, and stress reduction, these guidelines can help garden managers provide a safer outdoor learning environment.

State Licensing Scorecards on Obesity Prevention in Early Care and Education
State licensing scorecards for all 50 states and the District of Columbia include current regulations regarding obesity prevention standards identified by health organizations. The identified best practices can help states identify and implement strategies that increase access to healthy food in early care and education settings.

Funding for Student Meal Negative Balance Forgiveness 
Deadline: December 1, 2020

Only for the 2020-2021 School Year, the Michigan Department of Education is offering $1 million in total for reimbursement payments to public school districts, charter schools, and public-school academies who forgive all outstanding current student-meal negative balances. The application will go live by early November.

Questions regarding this grant opportunity can be sent to the Fiscal and Administrative Services Monitoring Team at or 517-241-5380.
2021 Farm to School Grant Program Applications Open
Deadline: January 8, 2021

The 2021 USDA Farm to School Grant application is now open for eligible schools, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- to medium-sized agricultural producers, and nonprofits. New for 2021, institutions operating the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program at non-school based sites may apply for funding.

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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