Throughout the City of Columbus, elementary age students are looking through mini magnifying glasses, eagerly watching sprouts grow, right in their own homes. This creative, hands-on learning approach has been taken by Ohio’s largest school district, Columbus City Schools (CCS), to keep students actively engaged this school year. As part of the district’s Farm to School initiative, CCS created and delivered 1,500 garden take home kits, all aligned with lesson plans. This project was led by CCS Farm to School Coordinator, Christine Weatherholtz. The kits include garden and science tools suggested by teachers, for the students to use with the lessons provided. There are 75 CCS elementary schools and 44 with gardens. Weatherholtz recognizes that each of the 44 schools […]
Ohio Farm to School News
COVID 19 Resources for Farm to School and ECE
These resources from the National Farm to School Network can be found here.
KX COVID 19 HUB
A new website with science-based information and research on COVID-19 from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences launched April 7th. The KX COVID-19 Hub is a collaboration between The Knowledge Exchange, Ohio State University Extension, and the CFAES statewide network of researchers and faculty. Visit kx.osu.edu/covid-19 for a collection of resources, tools, and links to help Ohio communities weather the crisis.
Founded in 2019, The Knowledge Exchange (KX) is a support platform in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences bringing research to the public in an unbiased and interactive way.
Grants and Funding
1. Food 4 Families Initiative: Youth Funding Opportunity
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) in partnership with Farm-Aid, Indian Land Tenure Foundation, and First Nations Development Institute is proud to announce the “Food 4 Families” initiative. While funds last, IAC is awarding coupons to cover processing fees of eligible show animals. Are you a Tribal youth that is an active 4H/FFA member in Indian Country? Did you have a recent COVID-19 related cancellation of your local live auction prevent you from marketing your 2020 4H/FFA Livestock Animal? If you answered YES to both questions, you qualify to apply! Learn more and apply.
2. Cigna Foundation's Healthier Kids For Our Future Grant Program
Deadline: September 30
Cigna Foundation is looking to partner with school systems and surrounding communities — including clinicians, local and national nonprofits — to supplement existing mental health programming and help close gaps both within and outside the school environment to address loneliness, anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention. To that end, it will fund programs that foster collaboration between various stakeholders, including school administrators and teachers, clinicians, and local and national nonprofits. The grants are up to $65,000 grants per year for two years. Learn more and apply.
3. Voices for Healthy Kids' Policy Campaign Grant
Short Form Application Deadline: September 30
The Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income. To learn more about the Voices for Healthy Kids policy areas - please review the descriptions in the policy lever agenda. Applications can be submitted for $50,000 - $200,000 for a duration of up to 18 months and can support non-lobbying and lobbying activities. Learn more and apply.
4. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Call for Proposals: Community Solutions for Health Equity
LOI deadline: October 7
With Community Solutions for Health Equity, RWJF seeks to make local health care systems more responsive to the needs of the community by elevating the voices, stories, priorities, and knowledge of people of color, and others who are left out of policy decisions. The Foundation's funding will provide community organizations with grant support to help increase their ability to organize members, build partnerships with other constituencies, and develop effective communication-all of which are critical to shared decisionmaking. Nine organizations will be given $300,000 each over the course of three years as part of the program. The Foundation is interested in engaging diverse groups and organizations, including those that have limited experience receiving grants of this size. Learn more and apply.
Webinars and Events
1. Webinar: Elections 2020: What's Food & Agriculture Got to Do With It? a Teach-in on Electoral Strategy to Reshape Our Food & Farm Systems
September 29 // 2pm ET
Join HEAL Food Alliance in what’s sure to be an energizing session where we’ll learn about how elections shape our food and farm systems - and how people who care about food and farm systems can shape the election. Participants will learn to build their individual or organizational voter mobilization strategy. Organizations will also receive a brief explainer on the limits and possibilities around electoral organizing as a 501c(3). Register here.
2. Webinar: Farm to Food Bank Projects in California & Arizona: The Impact on Farmers and Hunger Relief
September 29 // 3pm ET
Since the start of the pandemic, many social entrepreneurs have focused on linking surplus food from farmers with hunger relief efforts. New programs have begun, and existing ones have been expanded. In the second part of this webinar series, ECO Farm will host a panel to examine the practicalities and politics of these farm to food bank programs. Explore whether these are good markets for farmers, and ultimately whether they make for good nutrition assistance as well. Learn more and register.
3. Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Massachusetts' Virtual Seafood Throwdown
September 29 // 7pm ET
Join SBN for a virtual celebration of local seafood and ingredients! Joined by Chef Annabel Rabiyah of Awafi Kitchen and Chef Ricardo Monroy, the two chefs will face off against each other in a chef throwdown that will feature the use of fresh local seafood and local ingredients. Learn more and RSVP.
September 30, October 1, 7, & 8 // 11am ET
The fifth annual Louisiana Farm to School Conference will be held entirely online, free of cost. The theme for the 2020 conference is “Virtually Everywhere,” and will occur in 2-hour sessions from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7 and 8. The event will emphasize the three main components of farm to school — education, school gardens and local food procurement. Hear from speakers, Helen Dombalis with the National Farm to School Network and Sunny Baker with the Mississippi Farm to School Network. Learn more and register.
September 30 // 9pm ET
Are you a farmer, rancher, or urban farm in Illinois selling products to the local food market? Do you have concerns about crop insurance or ideas on how it should be reformed to meet your unique needs? Join USDA's Risk Management Agency's final listening session will focus on how existing crop insurance programs can be improved, as well as exploring the possibility of a new crop insurance program. The feedback received will help identify potential changes and/or additions to insurance options for producers supplying local markets. Learn more and access the Zoom link.6. Webinar: Financing and Land Access Inequities
October 1 // 12pm ET
Join Penn State Extension for the third part of four-part webinar series: Exploring Racial Equity and Access in Our Food System. The series will cover the many ways that racism and injustice impact farming and food systems in the United States. In this webinar we will examine the history of agricultural land ownership disparities and historical lockouts of financing with private institutions and the USDA. Panelists will speak on their own experiences with operating a farm project, funding, and financing a farm startup. Register here.
7. Webinar Training: Make Yourself Obsolete: Shifting Power from Non-Profit Leadership to Community Leadership
Oct. 1 & 8 // 3-4:30pm ET
Wondering what the right role for your community based nonprofit is? Or what it might look like to transfer power and ownership to the community you’re serving? Join the Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership Network and Kitchen Table Consulting, LLC for a two-part, interactive training on strategies that non-profit leaders can use to transfer decision making power and sovereignty to the communities in which they work. Register here.
8. Webinar: Get Out the Vote: Opportunities to Mobilize People
October 6 // 3pm ET
Join Coalition on Human Needs, Food Research & Action Center, National Low Income Housing Coalition, and NETWORK for a webinar focused on elevating ideas on how and why 501(c)(3) organizations can support -- in nonpartisan ways that are mission-aligned -- voter registration, voter mobilization, and voting. Identify strategies, tools, and resources that social justice organizations can use to support this vital work, especially in the time of COVID-19 when people and organizations are particularly stretched from responding to unprecedented needs. Register here.
9. Virtual 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium
Every Wednesday in October
In response to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium: Nourishing Cities in a Changing Climate, hosted by the Kansas State University and K-State Research and Extension, has been modified to an online format scheduled for each Wednesday in October from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT. Live keynote speakers will be featured each Wednesday accompanied by breakout discussions and poster sessions. Cost for access to all live and recorded presentations is $100 for professionals and $50 for students (includes AmeriCorps and FoodCorps members), with a price increase after September 18. Recorded sessions will become available next week. Learn more and register.
10. NFSN Food Justice is Racial Justice: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting
October 14, 1-3pm ET (Virtual)
How can we shift power in our communities to create a more just food system? What community capital and resources can help us create systemic change in the ways we grow, prepare and eat food? Join National Farm to School Network for a virtual Movement Meeting on Wednesday, Oct.14 from 1-3pm ET, featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist, for deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system. You’ll connect with fellow farm to school and food justice advocates from across the country, dig into conversations about what it means to shift power, and help shape the next steps of progress towards our vision of a just food system for all. This free, virtual Movement Meeting is open to everyone - no prior knowledge of farm to school needed. Register here.
Research and Resources
To better understand and capture capital needs of current operators in the agricultural value chain during the pandemic, Croatan Institute conducted original research focused on the regenerative livestock and grain sectors. The latest Croatan Institute White Paper, Regenerative Agriculture and COVID-19 Capital Needs, presents an analysis of the survey results, combined with findings from in-depth interviews with individuals representing farming to processing to distributions interests. It highlights the greatest needs in the regenerative meat and grain sectors to direct the capital flows required to support the growth of these emerging sectors. Learn more.3. COVID-19 Considerations for Outdoor Learning Gardens and Community Gardens
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges across the United States. Access to healthy food options and nutrition are an important part of health and well-being. Outdoor learning and community gardens help fill nutritional gaps in places where access to healthy food may be limited, provide recreation and stress reduction opportunities, and provide a safe outdoor learning environment, external icon especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden managers should consider the recommendations to help ensure a safe learning environment and access to healthy food, while helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
4. Documentary: Kiss the Ground
Recently released on Netflix, Kiss the Ground is an optimistic climate documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that argues for the healing power of soil, which could offer a solution to the climate crisis. Read a review from The New York Times and view the trailer. You can view this recently released film on Netflix.
Across the globe, the shift has begun. Crops forgotten over the past half-century are being reawakened. Farmers are learning that many of these undervalued crops have the power to combat hunger, respond to climate change, promote biodiversity, provide women with livelihoods, and support healthier and more secure food systems. To share this story, the Lexicon formed the REAWAKENED FOOD INITIATIVE (RFI) with support from dozens of companies, government agencies and NGOs including Crop Trust, Crops for the Future, Food Forever, Bioversity International, GFAR, and Slow Food.
6. 2021 Northeast Farm to Institution Summit Call for Proposals Now Open
Deadline: November 23
The biennial Farm to Institution Summit gathers hundreds of stakeholders working across the food chain to transform our regional food system. The Summit is a place to share innovative ideas, strengthen relationships, create collective action, brainstorm solutions, and nourish the network. Submit a proposal idea that brings the Northeast together to build a just and sustainable food system with the power of our institutions. All kinds of sessions are welcome: traditional workshops, roundtable conversations, lightning talks, stories, cooking demos, tours, recreational and healing activities (games, yoga, meditation!). Learn more.
7. Application open for 2020 REGENERATE Conference HERD Fellowship Program!
Deadline: September 30
The Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and American Grassfed Association are pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2020 REGENERATE HERD Fellowship, which provides scholarships for beginning agrarians, land stewards, and students in related fields to attend the virtual 2020 REGENERATE Conference from October 26-November 20! Learn more and apply.
8. The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Launches New Online Climate Change and Food System Innovation Hub
On this website, you’ll find information about how CEFS initiatives and research programs are working to address climate change, specific strategies to increase the resiliency of farms and food systems, and a list of other organizations working on climate change in the food system. Learn more.
1. COVID-19 NFSN Sign-On To Endorse NFSN's COVID-19 Federal Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Please add your voice by endorsing our federal COVID-19 policy platform, and help us advocate for key food systems priorities on Capitol Hill. Sign on here.
In June 2020, U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which will break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices. Stakeholders around the nation have come together to draft a sign on letter and factsheet to address some of the limitations of the Act and how it could wind up being more harmful than helpful.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT), which provides families an EBT card to purchase food to replace the school meals their children are missing while learning remotely, has been extended through Fiscal Year 2021. The Continuing Resolution makes a number of improvements to P-EBT including: providing benefits to children who have a reduction in the number of days or hours they are physically in school or child care; allowing Puerto Rico and other territories to implement P-EBT; and providing funding to cover states’ administrative costs. Read more.
The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday passed the 2021 state budget and included expansion of 10 Cents a Meal so that it is available for grant applicants statewide! It included $2 million in funding for the program and also made it available to early child care centers for the first time. The bill is waiting for the Governor's signature. Learn more.
1. NFSN Program Manager, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
The Program Manager will manage a portfolio of farm to school projects and ensure the project goals align with National Farm to School Network's mission and strategic priorities. The current portfolio program areas include Native Communities and agricultural producers. This is a full-time (40 hours per week), exempt position that includes benefits. Open until filled. Learn more and apply here.
2. NFSN Program Associate, National Farm to School Network (Remote, Part-Time)
The Program Associate will implement National Farm to School Network'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. The Program Associate will work at the local level to expand farm to school activities: Procurement of local and traditional foods, school gardens, and agriculture and nutrition education. This is nonexempt, part-time (20 hours/week) position with a limited term ending 3/31/22. Learn more and apply here.
3. CDC Food Insecurity - Nutrition and Obesity Fellowship (Atlanta, GA)
A fellowship opportunity is currently available with the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, Georgia. This fellow will receive training and gain experience in DNPAO’s policy, systems, and environmental approach to promoting healthy food access and reducing food and nutrition insecurity. The application deadline is Sept. 25 at 3pm ET. Learn more and apply here.
4. Policy Specialist, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (Michigan)
Deadline: September 30
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities in Michigan is seeking a Policy Specialist to carry out its 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms outreach and advocacy initiative. The ideal candidate will be passionate and knowledgeable about the value of getting locally grown food to children in school and early childcare settings; experienced in public policy advocacy, networking, and facilitation; and wake up every day thinking about how to embed 10 Cents a Meal and the value of investing in healthy, locally grown food for children in school and early child care into Michigan’s identity. Learn more and apply here.
5. Advisors for Institutional Investment Accelerator Program, Wallace Center
Deadline: Oct. 12, 6pm 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. At the core of this initiative is a cohort of six teams doing this work in their communities. As part of this program, Wallace Center is seeking advisors to support the development of the program and work with cohort team. 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. Engagement for this project is November 2020 - July 2022. Applications are open through Oct. 12. Learn more here.
6. Local Foods Specialist, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) (Butte, Montana)
NCAT is seeking a Local Foods Specialist to work on local food projects with partners around Montana. NCAT works to foster and promote sustainable technologies and systems, especially for the benefit of economically disadvantaged individuals and communities. NCAT’s work includes nationally recognized projects in food, agriculture, and energy. The Local Foods Specialist will be a regular, full-time position based at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana. The position will be working to grow Montana’s farm-to-institution movement by collaborating with a statewide network of foodservice professionals, farmers and ranchers, and leaders in the local food movement. Apply here.
In the News
Marion Nestle Imagines an ‘Enlightened’ Approach to National Food Policy
In her latest book, ‘Let’s Ask Marion,’ Nestle answers all your burning food policy questions—and makes a case for a singular national food policy agency. (Civil Eats)
Food insecurity is not an acute emergency, but rather a chronic condition for low-income Americans that existed long before the current public health emergency. (The Appeal)
Neftalí Durán is Using Indigenous Wisdom to Educate Eaters and Address Inequity
The food activist and co-founder of the I-Collective sees the work of his elders as the foundation for promoting economic, racial, and environmental justice. (Civil Eats)
Farm to Early Care and Education Implementation Grant (FIG) Will Expand Efforts in 10 States and the District of Columbia Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) programs enrich young children’s health and lives through greater access to nutritious foods and a hands-on approach to food, health and agriculture education. The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) is pleased to announce that 10 states and the District of Columbia have been awarded $90,900 each to strengthen their state-level Farm to ECE initiatives for a one-year project period. These impactful plans were competitively selected from a pool of 21 applicants and include: Colorado, District of Columbia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington. According to […]
The 2021 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now available! The solicitation officially opened October 16th, 2020, and will remain open until 11:59pm ET on January 8th, 2021. FNS seeks to award up to $10 million this fiscal year. Eligible schools, State and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to medium-sized agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations are eligible for Farm to School grants. New for FY 2021, institutions operating the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program at non-school based sites are included in the definition of eligible schools and may apply for funding. Priority scoring incentives return for applicants who meet certain criteria, […]
We are SO excited to share these interactive and fun Apple Crunch Experiences to celebrate National Farm to School Month! Here is the link to the Facebook live Virtual Crunch Day Event! This 15-minute virtual Crunch is hosted at Quarry Hill Orchards, where Farmers Ben and Brooke answer most asked apple questions in the orchard! Crunchers will learn where apples are grown, how they grow, and how they to their plates! Here is the link to an Apple Crunch event from SNAP-Ed Program Assistants in Wood, Seneca, Ottawa, Lucas, and Sandusky counties! This interactive Apple Crunch event includes apple facts, jokes, physical activity (picking apples in an orchard), reading Apple Farmer Annie and of course, a big CRUNCH! Now that […]
Register for the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch! Thursday, October 8, 2020 Join the 2020 Great Apple Crunch to celebrate Ohio farmers, healthy kids, and strong communities this October. Participating in the Crunch is simple: buy, serve, and Crunch into locally grown apples! Since 2014, we have highlighted National Farm to School Month and our local farmers with MILLIONS of Crunches across the region. We know the Crunch will look different this year AND we are still excited to creatively Crunch together. Register your Crunch to make it official, add to the Crunch count, get the scoop on serving local apples during COVID-19, and receive the Crunch Guide and lesson plans. Everyone is invited to Crunch to reach our goal of TWO MILLION […]
OHIO STRONG: VIRTUAL FOOD SERVICE CONFERENCE JULY 22, 2020 9:00 A.M. – 2:30 P.M. Register here to receive your FREE entrance to this virtual seminar. Registration Deadline July 21, 2020 The conference is designed for: School Cafeteria Staff, Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Technicians, Registered School Wellness Teams, Parents, PTA/PTO • Pending for 4 SNS CEU’s • Pending for 4 RD/DTR For Questions, please contact Ohio State University Extension at: Trumbull County: 330-638-6783 Marie Economos: firstname.lastname@example.org Mahoning County: 330-533-5538 Beth Stefura: email@example.com Find more information here!
Since 2013, the USDA Farm to School Grant Program has offered annual grants to schools, school districts, nonprofits, state agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian Tribal Organizations to plan, implement, or provide training on farm to school activities. FNS is committed to working with schools and agricultural partners to ensure healthy habits take root in early childhood. Congratulations to all Ohio recipients! 1. Community Roots – $47,885 Mount Vernon, Ohio Grant Type: Planning Mount Vernon City School District is home to almost 4,000 students in six elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. The main objective of the Farm to MV Project is to build a sustainable, comprehensive Farm to School Program focused on local food procurement, agricultural education […]
An online talk show hosted by Whitney Gherman and featuring agriculturalists from around Ohio. Join for honest talk and healthy food access solutions featuring: -Brittany Jones | Urban Agriculture Alliance of Lucas County -Sophia Buggs | Lady Buggs Farm -Sediah Hamzah | Meals Made Easy -Walter Bonham, Justin Ocheltree | NECIC -Shawn Jackson | Mayes Temple While it is essential to address food security and food access, that work alone does not address systematic racism that permeates America’s food system. Driving Indigenous people off their land, enslaving Africans, the legacy of redlining, the plight of farm workers, and even more recently, racial discrimination against African American farmers in its allocation of farm loans and assistance, has caused Majority Melonated People to […]
CFAES Community Reflection and Action on Racial Issues CFAES Community: It’s hard to find the words to describe what the past two weeks have generated for all of us in our college, university, and country. The unjust death of George Floyd is the latest example of a historical pattern where we must do better. I’ve listened to many within our community expressing their anger, fear, and outrage. I’ve read emails from members of our college and articles from many colleagues and others. I’ve heard some expressing their discomfort with the topic, or even how to talk about it. Some have suggested that racial injustice and current social events aren’t directly in our wheelhouse. I disagree. Truthfully, we’ve struggled with how […]
Ohio State Students Create School Garden Outreach Program Across degree program at Ohio State, students want to help people improve their health and improve their lives. Ohio State medical students Ryan Poland, Brandon Rodgers, and Nicole Hurwitz will provide health care to treat patients’ illnesses. However, they are even more interested in preventing illnesses from arising before individuals need to visit a doctor. To this end, these dedicated medical students organized the Ohio State School Garden Outreach and Engagement group to help implement and maintain school gardens within the Columbus City Schools (CCS) district. “In our day, we see people being treated in the hospital instead of …starting with a good foundation. What you eat and what you do at […]