Meet the NEW Director of USDA's Office of Community Food Systems

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Volume 3, Issue 5, February 14, 2017

The Dirt - New and Notes from FNS's Office of Community Food Systems
Boys wearing garden gloves

Meet the NEW Director of USDA's Office of Community Food Systems

Before joining USDA, Erin Healy served as the Healthy Eating Initiative Director at The Health Trust, an operating health foundation in San Jose, where she oversaw a $1M portfolio of healthy food access and local food programs as well as food policy change efforts. Erin had previously founded and directed Youth L.E.A.D., a food justice organization in South Florida. She also served as Miami Dade County Public School’s first Farm-to-School Manager in 2011 and was selected as one of “20 emerging leaders under 40” by the Miami Herald in 2011 and one of CASE Foundation’s “Fearless Leaders” in 2012 for her contributions to local food systems, policy change, and youth development programs. She previously worked as a Public Health Manager for Catholic Relief Services in West Africa and formerly led youth development and health education programs in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. She holds an M.P.H. from Tulane University and a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania. 

Please join us in welcoming Erin to the team!

Erin Healy

Blend the Rules

Can you Blend the Rules?

In support of farm to school efforts, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) just announced a contest promoting the use of mushrooms in school recipes. SNA and the Mushroom Council are looking for creative ways to incorporate mushrooms in traditional school meals and innovative marketing materials. First place winner will receive $5,000 to support farm to school efforts from the School Nutrition Association!!
Looking for inspiration? Take a look at these resources from the Mushroom Council:

International School Meals Day

March 9th is International School Meals Day!

Food, culture, and heritage is the theme for this year's International School Meals Day. Celebrate the day by bringing together food and community and embark on discussions about food that reflects you!

Check out Serving up Tradition: A Guide for School Food in Culturally Diverse Communities for recipes and tips to build cultural relevance in your meal program.

Michigan Cherry Slurp Day


Celebrate the Michigan Cherry Slurp on February 14th!

Enjoy Valentine's Day by biting into a Michigan cherry! Michigan Cherry Slurp Day was created to celebrate Michigan's agriculture, farmers, and food products.

Grantee Spotlight

Bodwell Farm
Bodwell Farm: Photograph by Sandy Chaisson

The Nutrition Department of Portsmouth School District in New Hampshire received a 2014 planning grant and 2016 implementation grant. Last spring, their first graders visited Bodwell Farm in Kensington, New Hampshire, one of the last dairy farms in Rockingham County that boasts a barn built in the days of George Washington! During the visit, they had lunch in a beautiful rolling pasture, took a walk down an old road through the woods, engaged in sightseeing and farmer-led lessons about dairy cows, and absorbed the sounds and smells of the great outdoors. Bodwell Farm, like 90% of farms in New Hampshire, currently runs without an operator under the age of 45 years old. Bodwell Senior is 90 years old and his son, Bodwell Junior, is in his 60's. This past winter, their first graders learned the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire (SELT) and Bodwell Family received the $175,000 Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) grant, helping to preserve this historical property for the security of their local food system and ensuring the land is a working farm for generations to come.