November 2012: News from the National Farm to School Network!
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Farm to School Month success!

The second annual National Farm to School Month was a resounding success! More than 200 schools pledged to host Farm to School activities as part of our Farm to School Counts contest. We are still collecting final numbers from participants, but based on pledges, we estimate that more than 84,000 students participated in a wide range of activities including local food taste tests, nutrition education and gardening. Schools also pledged to spend $186,155 on local food during October. 
Farm to School Month was successful because you spread the word on social media, you shared our resources with your community and you took the time to enter Farm to School Counts pledges and more than 250 events on our website. Thank you for celebrating with us! 




It's now or never for the 2012 Farm Bill: Speak out today! 

As of this month, our nation's food and farm policy in the form of the 2008 Farm Bill has officially expired, with no workable replacement moving forward in Congress. This has left critical programs high and dry with no funding - and means Congress dodged the chance to make real reforms and an investment in an equitable, sustainable future for food and farms in America. 


With no new farm bill or extension, the programs that address rural and urban job creation, training opportunities for beginning farmers, natural resource conservation, and access to healthy food are in big trouble.


Can Congress still finish a farm bill this year? YES!   

Farm bill

There is a shortwindow of time for Congress to finish the bill when they return to DC after Election Day. So when Congress returns to the Hill, we'll need YOU and other farmers and advocates across the country to tell them loud and clear:  We need an equitable, sustainable 2012 Farm Bill! 


The National Farm to School Network is collaborating with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and allies across the nation to make our voices heard. Sign onto the citizen's petition today and mark your calendar for a national day of action on November 15!


Sign your name and tell Congress we need a 2012 Farm Bill that:

Invests in the future of healthy farms, food, and people!

Protects our precious air, soil, and water!

Reforms farm subsidies and levels the playing field!




Resources for success with Farm to School and the new meal pattern


Schools across the country are still adjusting to the new meal patterns that took effect this year as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Many school nutrition directors are asking what role Farm to School plays when it comes to implementing the new guidelines. How can Farm to School help ease the transition to new foods? The National Farm to School Network and USDA Farm to School have new resources to address these questions.

This fact sheet from NFSN offers six Farm to School practices that can increase students' interest in trying new foods and eating more fruits and vegetables.


The USDA Farm to School team will be hosting a webinar  at 1 p.m. EST on November 29 titled "F2S + New Meal Pattern." The webinar will address early feedback from the field  regarding how school districts are responding to the new meal pattern and its impact on Farm to School. In addition to USDA Farm to School personnel, FNS Child Nutrition Program staff will also be on hand to answer any questions you might have about the new meal pattern in general and local and regional products specifically. In order to make the webinar as productive as possible, USDA is requesting feedback and questions be sent in advance. To submit a comment or question or to register for the webinar, send an email to Laura Brown at Laura.Brown@fns.usda.gov



NFSN receives $150,000 grant from the Newman's Own Foundation


The National Farm to School Network received a $150,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman.


The award to NFSN was made by Newman's Own Foundation as part of its nutrition focused funding initative. Through this initiative, the Foundation is donating a total of nearly $4 million to 40 organizations over two years with the aim of supporting new approaches and expanding model programs. This commitment is in addition to $1 million Newman's Own Foundation already granted to organizations with nutrition programs earlier this year.


NFSN will use the grant funding to host training sessions and develop peer-learning networks across the country to build capacity for Farm to School implementation at the local level. Tapping into its existing multi-tiered network, NFSN will utilize experts from specific sectors and content areas to lead learning networks and training.





In This Issue
Farm to School Month
Farm Bill: Take Action!
Resources for the New Meal Pattern
Newman's Own Foundation Grant
New Resources
In the News
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.

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



Profesional development for school food service: Cooking classes with seasonal ingredients and global flavor profiles
DEC. 11, 12 - 12:20 CST

Participants will be introduced to the methodology used to increase the confidence and expertise in cooking with fresh foods, multiple herbs and spices, and how that impacts the purchasing of fresh ingredients and helps to create a sustainable Farm to School lunch. Presenters: Georgeanne Brennan and Ann M. Evans, Evans & Brennan, LLC school lunch consultants and  authors of Cooking with California Foods, K-12 (Center for Ecoliteracy, 2011)

Register Here



New Resources
Results of the 2011-2012 Farm to school snapshot survey

That National Farm to School Network (NFSN) developed and administered a brief, web-based, nine-question survey in April 2012 to obtain basic information about Farm to School activities by state. The results in this fact sheet include data from 41 states. 



Procurement Geographic Preference Q&A - part II

The purpose of this memorandum is to address recent inquiries on the application of the geographic preference option in the procurement of unprocessed locally grown or raised agricultural products

Topics include: 

In the News
Much in the world of fresh vegetables, homemade wontons and poached chicken was foreign to student Rafael Alvirde, until he became part of a new LAUSD program in which students create fresh, healthy salads and serve them to their peers.


Farm to Cafeteria Canada is a national program, managed and administered by the Public Health Association of BC, that wants to bring fresh, quality foods to children, youth, seniors and patients in schools, universities and hospitals. 

Read on...


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