Plate waste study shows farm to school works!

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Volume 3, Issue 33, December 12, 2017

The Dirt - New and Notes from FNS's Office of Community Food Systems
School lunch tray

Plate Waste Study Shows Farm to School Works!

Researchers at the University of Florida found that students who attend a school with a farm to school program eat 11% more fruits and 37% more vegetables! A Plate Waste Evaluation of the Farm to School Program featured in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior tracked students' consumption of fruits and vegetables during meal time. Researchers evaluated fruit and vegetable consumption before and after a farm to school program was implemented at six schools in Alachua County, Florida, a FY 2016 Farm to School Grantee. Over 11,000 meals were observed by students who participate in the National School Lunch Program in grades first through fifth. More research needs to be conducted to fully understand the factors that are responsible for those results, but this is a good step in the right direction!

Upcoming Webinars

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January NFSN Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Placing Equity at the Center of Farm to Early Care and Education

Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 3:00pm - 4:15pm EST

At the intersection of multiple sectors, including policy, education, food systems, and social justice, farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) can be a platform for advancing racial and social equity. Access to farm to ECE opportunities may be one approach to address health and education inequities by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high-quality educational opportunities for children and communities while promoting ECE policies that address inequity. Farm to ECE can address inequities in the food system by changing ECE purchasing practices and policies. Join the National Farm to School Network, the Policy Equity Group, the Food Trust, and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems to learn how these organizations are evaluating internal structures and practices to prioritize equity and work towards programs and policies that place equity at the center of farm to ECE initiatives.

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Informational Webinar about AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)

Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 4:00pm EST 

Join the webinar to learn how AmeriCorps NCCC can support your organization and community, how to request a team, and tips for the application process.

AmeriCorps NCCC teams provide direct, boots on the ground service to nonprofits, schools, municipalities, federal and state entities, and Tribal governments.  

Teams can support communities a wide variety of ways, including:

  • Education, e.g., tutoring and/or mentoring youth during school or in after-school programs;
  • Building and renovating homes or community centers;
  • Environmental projects, e.g., habitat restoration, trail building, and implementing environmental programming;
  • Food security, e.g., preparing community gardens, preparing and serving USDA summer meals, educating youth about healthy eating; and,
  • Disaster recovery work, e.g., debris removal, drywall replacement, and roof repair.

During the webinar, view the presentation by joining Skype. Trouble joining? Try Skpe Web App.

For audio, dial toll-free: 1-866-670-8282 Conference ID: 831-64-959

Kona Pacific students harvest carrots

Kona Pacific Public Charter School makes farm to school magic with local partners!

FY 2015 Farm to School grantee, Kona Pacific Public Charter School, leads the charge in bringing fresh, local foods and agricultural education to students in Hawaii. In collaboration with The Kohala Center (TKC), they have expanded their farm to school program to include an organic farm on a 38-acre parcel of land that teaches students about traditional cultivation techniques. In addition to educational opportunities on an organic farm, TKC also used grant funding to create a garden-based curriculum and build stronger connections between schools and farmers. Since 2011, this partnership has received funding from:

  • USDA  Rural Development Community Facilities Program;
  • USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crop Block Grant;
  • USDA Farm to School Grant Program;
  • USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant; and,
  • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Community Food Project Grant.

Their shared efforts have made a significant impact in Hawaii and they continue to work on advancing local food systems through the Hawaii Farm to School Hui.