Farm to CNP Newsletter: December 1-31, 2023

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Farm to Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) Newsletter

December 1-31, 2023 | Vol 5 Issue 3

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Farm to School Podcast Logo


New Episodes

Two new Farm to School podcasts are now available!


Anupama Joshi

Starting a Farm to School Movement: Anupama Joshi

Listen to Anupama Joshi, the founder of the National Farm to School Network, as she details how this movement started.

Creating a State Farm to School Movement: Michelle Markesteyn

Rick Sherman interviews co-host Michelle Markesteyn on how she got her start introducing Farm to School to her State. Not only did she do that, but she's reinvented herself many times over in order to create new positions that she's served in over the years in order to better serve the Farm to School community.

Michelle Markesteyen

The Farm to School Podcast is a project by Oregon State University (OSU) and Oregon Department of Education (ODE), funded by the USDA. It is hosted by Oregon Farm to School coordinators Rick Sherman of ODE, and Michelle Markesteyn from OSU.

Podcast Logos

USDA 2023 Farm to School Census Logo

USDA 2023 Farm to School Census

The Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs is required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) to have all school food authorities (SFAs) that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) complete the Farm to School Census.

You have through December to complete the Farm to School Census.

You should have received an email on October 2, 2023, from, with a link to the Census and instructions. If you cannot find the email with the original link, please email directly to request a new one.

The ODE Farm to CNP team has posted a resource that may be of use as you are filling out the Farm to School Census. It is a School Garden Census Data Sheet showing the number of school gardens there are in each school district in the state. The Data Sheet also includes information about how many schools participate in Farm to School activities, and what kinds of Farm to School staffing a school has. This data comes from school garden surveys sent out in 2019, with plans to update it this year and next. While not current to last school year, it can still provide a good estimate of school garden activity in your district.

Responding to FNS research requests is required under the National School Lunch Act, and it is important that all SFAs participate, regardless of their participation in Farm to School activities. The Farm to School Census is our best tool for collecting important information to help us support your Farm to School efforts.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the Farm to School Census.

Green Pears

Federal USDA Farm to School Grant: Local Food For Schools (LFS) Grant

The USDA Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program, (or, the LFS Grant for short), is a Federal, one-time award that enables State Agencies to reimburse School Districts for local foods that meet certain criteria. This grant is only available for NSLP sponsors.

Agreements were sent to sponsors with completed requirements for receiving federal funds on over the past two months. Please sign and return your grant agreements as soon as possible in order to make funds available for reimbursement.

Allowable Items:

  • Milk from either inside the Oregon border or up to 400 miles outside of the Oregon border (Fluid milk - half pints, flavored milk).
  • Unprocessed or minimally processed food from up to 400 miles outside the Oregon border.
  • NEW: Unprocessed or minimally processed food from inside of the Oregon border, only after your initial Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant award is exhausted.
  • The mandatory training as well as the LFS Allowable/Unallowable document can be found on on the ODE Local Food for Schools Grant website under Training Resources, and Resources for Claims, respectively. Please refer to these resources for additional details and claim guidance.

This grant begins March 1, 2023 and closes on August 31, 2024.


Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)

September claims for the 2022-2023 FFVP program year must be submitted to by no later than Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

FFVP grant agreements for the 2023-2024 program year will go out via email sometime in the next few weeks. Please have your Authorized Representative sign and return the agreement as soon as they are able. 

Please note: Subgrants will be on hold in EGMS until grant agreements are fully executed and the mandatory 2023-2024 FFVP training is complete and we have received your attestation as such. If the agreement roll-out process is delayed for any reason, you are still required to submit claims for review by their claim month’s due date to be reimbursed for the claim once agreements are fully executed. 

October claims must be submitted no later than Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024. The SY 2023-2024 FFVP claims deadlines can be found here. And the updated FFVP claim form can be found here. 

Curious what other schools are purchasing with their FFVP funds? Here is a list of fruits and vegetables purchased during the 2022-2023 school year

Any questions can be sent to us at

Colorful Beans in harvest baskets

Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant

Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant award amounts were announced on July 18, 2023.

All NSLP, CACFP and SFSP CNP sponsors were automatically opted in to receive a Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant for the 2023-2025 biennium (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2025).

This Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant will require a grant agreement. The grant agreement will be sent from an ODE Procurement and Contract Specialist in the next month or so. Please prioritize signing and returning the Grant Agreement to avoid delays in the release of funds from the ODE’s Electronic Grants Management System (EGMS).

Although the funds will not be available in EGMS for several weeks, the Grant’s start date is retroactive and you will be able to submit claims for items purchased starting July 1, 2023 when your district or grant organization’s Grant Agreement has been signed and returned to ODE for Agency’s signature.

Action Needed:

  • Nutrition Service Directors and Program Directors MUST sign up for the Farm to CNP listserv. ODE communicates its Grant Program updates predominantly through the listserv. Staff working on Farm to CNP activities, including purchasing and finance are encouraged to sign up as well. (Note: When you click on the link it will direct you to an "Oregon Department of Education email updates" sign-up page).

The following is due before Sponsors can submit claims in EGMS:

  • View the Mandatory Training. After viewing is complete, each grantee must fill out a Reimbursement Grant Attestation Form. The link to the Reimbursement Grant Training Attestation Form can be found at the end of the Mandatory Training
  • Baseline report (for new Sponsors) available on our grant webpage under “Reporting.” New sponsors must complete this step before submitting their first claim.
  • Final report from last biennium (for returning Sponsors). The final report is available on our grant webpage under “Reporting.” Returning sponsors must complete this step before submitting their first claim.
  • Sign Grant agreement.
  • If you do not plan to participate in this Grant during the entirety of the 23-25 biennium, please complete this brief form to indicate you would prefer to opt out. This form will be shared with our Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network. The Regional Farm to School Hubs may reach out to you to confirm.
  • The 2023-2025 claim form can be found on the Farm to CNP Reimbursement Grant webpage. It is the first item under the "Resources for Claims" section.

Please let the Farm to CNP team know at if you have any questions.

Orange carrots in a basket

Competitive Reimbursement Grant

The Competitive Reimbursement Grant is a separate sub-program that will be available again this biennium. A Request for Application (RFA) will be developed and available for applications in approximately January 2023. The Competitive Reimbursement Grant is only available for Sponsors that use all their available Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant Funds.

Close up of a huckleberry

Education Grant

The ODE Farm to Child Nutrition Program Competitive Education Grant application is now closed for the 2023-2025 biennium.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Education Grant scoring process has been delayed. We hope to be able to issue the awards as soon as possible. 

Please visit the Education Grant website for timeline updates. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

December 1-31, 2023 | Vol 5 Issue 3

Questions or suggestions for future issues? 

Please send an email to the Farm to CNP team at