October 2012: News from the National Farm to School Network!
Farm to School Month starts now! 
F2S Month logo red



October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the country between schools and local food. Over the past decade, the Farm to School movement has exploded across the United States. According to the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), an estimated 5.7 million students in 12,429 schools benefited from Farm to School during the 2011-2012 school year, and close to $13 million was spent on local products in schools.


This year NFSN is asking schools across the country to participate in "Farm to School Counts" by pledging to serve local food and participate in Farm to School activities during October. Participants will be entered into a drawing for one of three, $500 cash prizes. Visit farmtoschoolmonth.org to sign up and find more information.


Also new this year are the Theme of the Day calendar and our blog. Each theme will feature information about the daily topic, links to our Theme of the Day partners, reflections or activity ideas, and suggested social media messages. Our blog will expand on the Theme of the Day messages and share stories of Farm to School success from all over the country! 


Help us kick off Farm to School Month by sharing these social media messages:



Kids + real food from local farms = a healthy nation on the right track! Celebrate at www.farmtoschoolmonth.org #F2SMonth


Last year @FarmtoSchool programs spent an estimated $13 million on local food. Be counted: http://bit.ly/LWX5Dj #F2SMonth



Last year Farm to School programs spent an estimated $13 million on local food. How much will your school spend during Farm to School Month this October? http://www.farmtoschoolmonth.org/farm-to-school-counts-pledge/


Kids + real food from local farms = a healthy nation on the right track! Happy Farm to School Month! www.farmtoschoolmonth.org






Explore the Farm to School Month website, and check out our resources!


 We re-designed the National Farm to School Month website for 2012 so we could fit in more features and tell more Farm to School stories. Here are just a few of the things you can do on the website: 



Farm Bill Update and FAQ 


As of September 30 at midnight, the current farm bill has expired and Congress has not adopted a new farm bill or a short-term extension of the current bill. No vote is expected until after the November elections. What does this mean for the country? What programs will be affected? How will Congress move forward? For answers to those questions and others, we recommend reading the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's latest blog post, "Path to the 2012 Farm Bill: Farm Bill Expires on Monday - What Does It Mean and What Happens Now?"



In This Issue
Farm to School Month
Explore the Website
Farm Bill Update
New Resources
In the News
Will you donate today to help us expand our reach? Your contribution will help us increase access to local, healthy foods and education opportunities that connect children to healthy, locally grown foods in schools throughout the nation. Together we are creating Farm to School programs that are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, and we are ensuring the health of school children, farms, communities, the environment and the economy.
Oct. 9, 12 - 12:20 CDT

This webinar will release the results of an internal survey conducted by the National Farm to School Network that demonstrates the growth of Farm to School across the country. The webinar will also highlight past research that demonstrates the important role Farm to School plays in supporting healthy children and healthy communities. Use this webinar to gain the information you need to be an effective advocate for Farm to School in your community!

Register Here



Farm to Preschool: Resources and success stories for a growing movement
Nov. 13, 12 - 12:20 CST

Come learn about the National Farm to School Network's exciting Farm to Preschool initiative (all early childcare settings included). Participants will be introduced to the Farm to Preschool movement and resources, find out how to get involved, and get a closer look at some example programs from across the country. Presenters: Emily Jackson, ASAP; Zoe Phillips, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute; and Stacey Sobell, Ecotrust

Register Here



New Resources
Nutritional Standards updated Q&A from USDA

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service recently released a revised Q&A on the new nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. 

Snapshot: Farm to Preschool 2012
This beautiful graphic illustration summarizes the findings from the Farm to Preschool survey conducted by NFSN.   
Topics include: 

In the News
The director of food services in a Massachusetts school district has partnered with a community-supported agriculture group to provide fresh, locally grown produce for schools. Nutrition professionals say they will introduce salad bars in schools as one way to give students a greater selection of vegetables


A new survey from New Hampshire Farm to School found that the number of New Hampshire farmers providing food to local schools has tripled in the past three years and the variety of food they're offering has increased. 

Read on...


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