Save the Date! 2016 Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will be held June 1-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, the conference is a biennial event that convenes stakeholders engaged in farm to cafeteria activities who are working to source local food and promote a culture of food and agricultural literacy across the country. Keep checking www.farmtoschool.org for more information.
The Food Trust’s Kindergarten Initiative
The Food Trust, a nonprofit based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has developed a toolkit (thefoodtrust.org/uploads/media_items/the-knidergarten-initiative.original.pdf) for its Kindergarten Initiative, a program focused on teaching kindergarteners about farm fresh foods through cooking in the classroom and farm field trips.
National Farm to School Network
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) (www.farmtoschool.org/) is an information, advocacy, and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing and food and agricultural education into school systems. NFSN has a resource database with hundreds of resources available, including both NFSN publications and resources created by other organizations. These resources are searchable by setting (K-12 schools, On the Farm, etc.) as well as by topic (school gardens, procurement, fundraising, etc.).
NFSN’s Farm to School Month Resources
National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food. NFSN is the lead organization in promoting Farm to School Month and offers resources (www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/farm-to-school-month) for schools and communities to get involved.
USDA Farm to School Program (www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/fact-sheets)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm to School website is a repository of information for schools and farm to school advocates, including fact sheets, videos and webinars, and state and program staff contacts, as well as links to resources for procuring local foods, Farm to Preschool, and Farm to Summer.
USDA Farm to School Census
The Farm to School Census (www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/census#/) was conducted by the USDA to help them improve access to local foods in schools. The census was sent to all U.S. public schools and gathered data on 2011-2012 farm to school activities. The website gives a national overview of the results, as well as allows visitors to search by state and school district.
USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit
The USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit (www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/census#/toolkit) contains tips, examples, insights, and resources for schools, school districts, and community partners looking to start or grow a farm to school program.
USDA Growing Roots in Farm to School 2015 Webinar Series
This 11-part webinar series (www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/videos-and-webinars) helps schools and school districts build their farm to school skills and develop new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom.
Nature Conservancy’s Nature Works Everywhere Garden Grants
The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Works Everywhere program is accepting applications from schools for garden grants (www.natureworkseverywhere.org/#grants). Grant funding ranges from $1,000-$2,000 depending on the needs of the project. The deadline to apply is October 28, 2015.
USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative: Grants, Loans, and Support
The USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative offers a listing of funding sources for scaling up local and regional food systems and strengthening economies. This website (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=KYF_GRANTS) lists over two dozen programs at USDA that can help build local and regional food systems, including funding for farm to school programs.
Whole Kids Foundation U.S. School Garden Grants
Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Whole Kids Foundation U.S. School Garden Grants program (www.wholekidsfoundation.org/schools/programs/school-garden-grant-program) provides $2,000 monetary grants to K-12 schools, or non-profits working with K-12 schools, to support a new or existing edible garden on school grounds. Applications are due October 31, 2015 at 5:00pm CST.