New Farm to Early Child Care Resources

united stated department of agriculture logo

Volume 3, Issue 4, February 1, 2017

The Dirt - New and Notes from FNS's Office of Community Food Systems
PreK Kids

Little Kids Digging In: Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE)

We are helping healthy habits take root in children by introducing local foods, nutrition education and farm-related activities in child care and home day care facilities. Take a look at some of the Farm to ECE resources and learn how to implement these initiatives in your region.

Learn best practices about procuring local foods, updated CACFP meal pattern guidelines, and nutrition education for Farm to ECE programs with these resources:

Farm to Preschool Fact Sheet
Farm to Early Childhood Programs: Step-By-Step Guide

Check out what Michigan is doing with Farm to ECE!

The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) has worked to support statewide farm to school development for over a decade. Take a look at the Farm to Early Childhood Programs: Step-By-Step Guide to find out how to get started.

This guide outlines the steps and tools to guide providers in purchasing local food. Steps include assessing current practices, identifying local food availability, connecting with farmers and incorporating local foods into menus.

Take a peek at what CentroNia is doing in Washington, DC!

CentroNia is located in Columbia Heights, the most populated neighborhood in DC. With over 62% of the neighborhood population being children living at or below 200% of the poverty line, including healthy food options in early child care has changed the lives of many children. Read more about CentroNia and other programs around the nation.

For more case studies, visit PFC Social Impact Advisors.

Child selecting carrots at salad bar

Janell Walker

Meet our newest team member, Janell Walker!

We are excited to welcome Janell to USDA's Office of Community Food Systems!

Janell Walker is a registered dietitian and has over eight years experience working in the non-profit industry. Most recently she was the Director of Nutrition & Community Outreach at DC Central Kitchen managing the nationally-recognized Healthy Corners program, mobile Truck Farm and CACFP. Prior to her role at DC Central Kitchen, Janell served as the Assistant Director of Program Services at Food & Friends managing nutrition education and medical nutrition therapy for at-risk individuals living with HIV or cancer in DC. In 2015, Janell was named one of ‘Fifty under Fifty DC Food Heroes’. Please welcome Janell to the team!

Farm tractor

Grant Funding for Local Food Promotion

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the availability of $27 million in grants to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program.

AMS will host a webinar to help farmers, producers groups and other potential applicants to understand the program requirements.Topics covered in the presentation include an overview of the program objectives, eligibility and basic information about the application process.