Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Nutrition education resources, farm to school grants and curricula, and more

March 2021
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

March is Michigan Food and Agriculture Month! Did you know that there are approximately 47,000 farms in Michigan, making up over 10 million acres of farmland in our state? We celebrate the farmers that work to provide us with good food year-round. All of these farms make it even easier to celebrate National Nutrition Month, which is also in March!

As we gear up for warmer weather and sow the seeds for spring and summer gardens, we hope the resources below will support your efforts to incorporate farm to school and farm to ECE in your work.
New Urban Farming Effort Developing in Port Huron
The Port Huron Urban Farming Initiative is preparing to bloom this spring and summer. The initiative aims to provide public access to healthy homegrown foods and education based on nutrition, food preparation, and benefits of healthy eating.

Freedom Farmers: Black Agriculture and the Origins of Food Justice
Monica M. White, associate professor of environmental justice at University of Wisconsin-Madison, writes about the history of Black agriculture and food justice, especially in Detroit.

March is National Nutrition Month
Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month is a time to learn more about making informed food choices and developing eating habits that can last a lifetime. The 2021 theme, “Personalize your Plate,” promotes creating nutritious meals to meet individuals’ cultural and personal food preferences.

National School Breakfast Week
March 8-12

Promote school breakfast by celebrating National School Breakfast Week! The School Nutrition Association has put together a tool kit that will help you with your promotion.

InTents: The Farmers Market Conference
March 15-18

The 5th Annual Farmers Market Conference will be virtual and free. Including resources and best practices, the conference is intended to expand revenue streams, reduce stress, and improve business for farmers markets and farm or food businesses.

National Children & Youth Garden Symposium
July 7-9

The National Children & Youth Garden Symposium brings together educators from around the country who are working to engage children with gardens and the natural world. The 2021 symposium will take place virtually with live, interactive sessions and prerecorded sessions.

Drive up meal distribution illustration
New CDC COVID-19 School Nutrition Resources
The resource Safely Distributing School Meals During COVID-19 highlights meal practices such as the drive-through, walk-up, home delivery, mobile route delivery, bus route delivery, meals in the classroom, and meals in the cafeteria.

The Checklist for School Nutrition Professionals Serving Meals Eaten at School provides a printable overview of key mitigation strategies for staff who are preparing and serving meals that will be eaten at school.
Lessons to Grow By
Lessons to Grow By is a free, 15-week program of weekly garden themed lessons and activities for parents teaching at home, or for educators instructing in-person or distance learning. These activities are aimed at learners in grades 3-5, but the activities can easily be adapted for younger or older audiences.

Steps to Growing a Successful School Garden
Growing a school garden can be an exciting, but challenging, initiative. The LSU AgCenter recently released a publication detailing what to be aware of as you start a school garden that meets your unique needs.

Penn State Better Kid Care Module: New Professional Development Option for ECE
Penn State Better Kid Care released a new professional development module to help providers navigate information about CDC guidelines specific to child care programs. The 4-hour training includes information specific to trauma-informed approaches for both children and caregivers.

Fresh from the Farm: Farm to School and Out-of-School Time Programs Training
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation created a self-paced on-demand module to help out-of-school time staff adapt farm to school strategies used in schools in out-of-school time programming. Intended to share knowledge and resources, the module also includes examples of best practices.

Bulk Meal Pack Ideas
Available as part of ongoing emergency feeding support for school food teams serving during COVID-19, The Lunch Box from the Chef Ann Foundation has new bulk meal pack ideas and home recipe cards.

Cynthia Hayes Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 8

This scholarship was created to honor and celebrate the work of Cynthia Hayes - the founder of SAAFON and an advocate for Black farmers and agricultural communities across the diaspora. The scholarship is open to Black and/or Indigenous MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences) students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Students should have an interest in grassroots organizing, movement building, or agricultural policy and a commitment to promoting racial equity in our food and farm system.

The Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grants
Deadline: March 31

The Garden Grant can help schools and nonprofit organizations turn outdoor spaces into hands-on learning gardens that connect kids with food and support classroom curriculum. Grants are focused on those serving K-12 kids, although ECE sites operating as nonprofits that serve a minimum of ten K-12 kids are eligible to apply.

Seeking 2021-2022 FoodCorps Service Members
Deadline: Mid-April

Applications are now open for the 2021-2022 school year with FoodCorps. FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members spend a year teaching kids about healthy food, which can be done virtually or in person. For more information on applying to serve in Michigan, contact FoodCorps MI Program Coordinator Quan Blunt -

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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