December 2012: News from the National Farm to School Network!


Southern SAWG named new South Regional Lead Agency 

The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is pleased to announce that beginning on December 1, 2012, the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (Southern SAWG) will serve as the South SSAWG Regional Lead Agency for NFSN. Southern SAWG was founded in 1991 to foster a movement towards a more sustainable farming and food system, one that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane. Southern SAWG focuses attention on issues and differing perspectives around food production, marketing, and distribution and brings sustainable solutions to farmers, families and communities in the southern U.S. The South region of NFSN includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.  




Deck your walls with new posters and more from NFSN
One of the most popular events at the 2012 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference last August was the collaborative art project lead by artist Bonnie Acker. Between workshops, attendees would stop and bow their heads in concentration above a rainbow of colored paper, carefully cutting out corn kernels, kiwi fruit and cucumbers to add to the menagerie that was taking shape. "Do cucumbers have stripes?" asked one paper artist. "Should these beans be more rounded?" asked another. Apparently even paper food is a great conversation starter.
The art project called on attendees to consider, not just the shape of their food, but the way it has shaped their lives. What would their contribution be to the art panels and our growing farm to cafeteria community? 
We hope you wil make a contribution of your own this holiday season and support the growth of the Farm to School movement. The National School Lunch Program serves 31 million children every day, which means the potential for food system change is huge, and your contribution to Farm to School can make a big impact.
To make giving easier, we've added new items to our online shop, including cards and posters featuring the six art panels we created together in Vermont. A portion of the proceeds will be put toward art projects at future National Farm to Cafeteria Conferences. 
Today and every day, we appreciate your support!  



New resources show impact of Farm to School on students, farmers



In April 2012, NFSN developed and administered a web-based, nine-question survey to State Leads in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The goal was to obtain basic information about Farm to School activities in each state. The results showed that more than 5,700,000 students in 12,500 schools participated in Farm to School last year and nearly $13 million was spent by schools on local food. The survey results have been summarized in a two-page fact sheet, the second page of which also serves as a stand-alone infographic that can be shared on social media, websites and beyond. 



NFSN receives continued support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation 


The National Farm to School Network is honored to receive continued support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation toward the expansion of our work through 2016. With this support, NFSN will further unite and advance the Farm to School movement through leadership in establishing national priorities; generating policy goals; facilitating the collective advancement of a research agenda; maintaining and expanding a resource, communication and information hub; building awareness and support for Farm to School and Farm to Preschool initiatives; and coordinating, convening and providing technical assistance for practitioners and allies at the national, regional, state and local levels. NFSN anticipates doubling the number of Farm to School programs and quadrupling the number of Farm to Preschool programs across the country over the next four years.




In This Issue
New South RLA
New Posters, Cards
Impact of Farm to School
W.K. Kellogg Support
New Resources
In the News

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 their confidence and expertise in cooking with fresh foods and multiple herbs and spices along with strategies for purchasing fresh ingredients that support 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
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   
USDA Awards First Grants to Increase Local Foods in Eligible Schools
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced more than $4.5 million in grants for 68 projects, spanning 37 states and the District of Columbia, to connect school cafeterias with local agricultural producers. 

Read on...


Milwaukee's Healthy Choices program works with 200 families to teach them about nutrition, exercise, cooking and food choices. Neighborhood stores have joined the effort by stocking more fruits and vegetables, and people who graduate from the program become leaders who help educate others.


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