Blog Archive

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Don’t forget farm to school in your back to school plans!

August 2021
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

This month, preparations for back-to-school are gearing up. Farm to ECE and farm to school can be part of that planning.

Check out this month’s newsletter for information about expanded funding for 10 Cents a Meal and how you can apply, how farm to school is being implemented in settings across Michigan, and resources to help plan for the upcoming school year.
Increase in Funding for 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms 
On July 13, HB4411 was signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, which includes funding for 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms. With $5 million funding for this program to increase purchases of Michigan fruits, vegetables, and legumes in schools and early care and education centers, the funding is now more than doubled from the $2 million in 2020-21.

Farm to School Grants Awarded to Four Michigan Programs
Farm to school grants awarded by the USDA were announced to 176 grantees, totaling $12 million in funding. Grantees in Michigan include: Montague Area Public Schools, Bethany Housing Ministries, Inc. (partnering with Muskegon Schools), Crim Fitness Foundation, and YWCA Kalamazoo Children’s Center. Congratulations to the Michigan grantees!

Farm to School is Growing in the United States
New farm to school census data released from the USDA shows farm to school efforts are growing across the nation! Between 2018-19, 65% of school districts and other local entities responsible for school meals are reporting participation in farm to school activities, and more than half report starting those activities within the last three years.

Cultivate Michigan Marketplace: Growing Connections in Early Care and Education
Join fellow food suppliers and childcare providers for a virtual meet-the-buyers style event in your region! This series of exciting networking events provides an opportunity for local and regional food suppliers and early care and education sites to connect around local food. Childcare providers and food suppliers will receive a gift card for their participation in one event.

Register for your regional event:

  • Monday, August 16 – Upper Peninsula 
  • Tuesday, August 17 - Southwest Michigan
  • Wednesday, August 18 – West Michigan
  • Thursday, August 19 - Northern Lower Peninsula 
  • Monday, August 23 - East Michigan 
  • Tuesday, August 24 - Mid-Michigan 
  • Wednesday, August 25 - Southeast Michigan 
  • Thursday, August 26 – Southeast Michigan (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties) 
The Power of Food: Cultivating Equitable Policies through Collective Action
September 20-22
Kansas City, MO

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is organizing an in-person national forum for food policy councils to strengthen relationships, establish new skill sets, and energize participants for action.

Michigan Good Food Charter Gathering
October 13-15

Join us as we wrap up the Michigan Good Food Charter update process and plan for the future of good food in Michigan! The gathering's interactive agenda will bring together food systems advocates and practitioners to preview components of the updated Michigan Good Food Charter, share feedback, and plan for collaboration and next steps.

Garden-Based Learning Guide for Early Childhood Settings
Keep Growing Detroit has released a new guide called "Garden-Based Learning for Early Childhood Settings!" With guidance for preparing the garden throughout all four seasons, planting tips, and helpful suggestions for engaging families and children, this new tool is a valuable resource for educators and caregivers.

Lessons from COVID-19: Innovations and Strategies for Farm to ECE Implementation
The Policy Equity Group and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) released this new resource that shares farm to ECE efforts at the beginning of the pandemic and how organizations in five states adapted. The brief includes recommendations for sustaining successful strategies identified during the pandemic.

Read more about this new resource in the NFSN blog and check out the full resource.
Food Sovereignty in the USA: A Selection of Stories
The Narrative Collective of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance recently released this multimedia publication. The publication highlights a series of stories that explore the concept of food sovereignty - a vision for democratic control over food and agricultural systems. The videos and text in this resource are intended to raise awareness and inspire conversations within and beyond the food sovereignty movement.

Northeast Farm to School Institute Model Webinar Recording
The National Farm to School Network hosted a special webinar to share examples of adaptations of the innovative Northeast Farm to School Institute Model from across the country.

10 Cents a Meal Applications Open
Deadline: August 16

The application for 10 Cents a Meal is now open for the 2021-22 school year! 10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms is a state-funded grant providing matching incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes. 

The program is open to school districts (public, public school academies, or private), residential childcare institutions (RCCIs), and child care centers that participate in the USDA child nutrition programs of Extended Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) during the school year, National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

USDA Requests Public Input on Racial Justice and Equity
Deadline: August 14, 11:59 p.m. EST

USDA is requesting input from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity for underserved communities as part of its implementation of Executive Order 13985, “Identifying Barriers in USDA Programs and Services; Advancing Racial Justice and Equity and Support for Underserved Communities at USDA.” The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to Saturday, August 14.

2021 Native Youth and Culture Fund Grants
Deadline: August 19

First Nations Development Institute announced that it is accepting proposals for the Native Youth and Culture Fund for programs that focus on youth and that support the perpetuation of traditional ecological knowledge, spirituality, and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems, resulting in compassion, respect, dignity, reverence for nature, and care for each other and the Earth. First Nations expects to award approximately 30 grants of $5,000 to $25,000 each for general operating support.

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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