Thanks to everyone who participated in National Farm to School Month! Whether you crunched, planted a garden or participated in another activity, your impact is immeasurable. Well actually….while we can’t measure the way a child’s face lights up when they bite into a persimmon for the first time, we used the data that we received from the Golden Seed Awards applications and the USDA Farm to School Census to measure the broader impact of farm to school statewide. We compiled the data in an infographic that we’re calling “Farm to School Matters.” View the infographic here.
The California Farm to School Network (CFSN) invites you to submit a proposal for the 2017 California Farm to School and Garden Conference: Connecting the Garden, Cafeteria and the Classroom. The 2nd biannual CFSN conference will cover a variety of topics designed to support and inspire farm to school and school garden practitioners all around the state! This is your opportunity to share your expertise and innovative ideas to help grow the farm to school and school garden movement in California. Please visit the conference page to view examples from the 2015 CFSN Conference.
Don’t forget to sign up to celebrate National Farm to School Month and Food Day by participating in the California Local Produce Crunch!
Kicking off National Farm to School Month with a bang, we were so excited to announce the winners of the Golden Seed Awards in our newsletter earlier this week! The awards highlight farm to school efforts throughout California.
With a number of competitive applicants, we honored winners across 11 regions and three award categories, including Sow, Grow and Harvest. In addition, nearly 20 schools and districts were recognized with honorable mentions.
The Golden Seed Awards were created to recognize farm to school champions and foster recognition of California schools and districts that are beginning to grow their farm to school programs. Applicants were evaluated on their unique and innovative programs as well as their contributions to the three pillars of farm to school: procurement, education and gardens.
Written by: Jerry Rivero, MPL
Program Manager | OC Food Access Coalition
As we get ready to celebrate National Farm to School Month, it’s impossible to think about farm to school on a national scale without honoring the contributions that regional organizations have made to the movement. The Orange County Food Access Coalition (OCFAC) works on such efforts through the development of innovative, community based strategies focused on ending hunger and improving the nutritional wellbeing of underserved communities in the county.
Written by Rosa Romero, MEd – Farm to Preschool Director, Urban & Environmental Policy Institute
There is an exciting new Farm to Preschool Pilot underway in Los Angeles! Since 2009, the Farm to Preschool (F2P) Program at the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College (UEPI) has partnered with Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment Early Childhood Education (PACE ECE) to develop curriculum to promote healthy eating and an understanding of where food comes from. PACE ECE operates 14 fully licensed Head Start State Preschool child-care and development centers serving 1,110 children age three to five throughout Los Angeles. Over the past few years UEPI and PACE ECE developed a comprehensive model Wellness Policy for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity that incorporates mandated policies such as making drinking water available to students indoors and outdoors (Assembly Bill 2084), offering nutrition and health education classes for parents (Head Start Performance Standards: 1304.23d) as well as specific F2P components of incorporating local foods into meals and snacks, weekly nutrition lessons, taste tests, gardening, and connecting with regional farmers through field-trips to farms and farmers’ market and classroom visits by farmers. This model wellness policy has been used to train dozens of preschools in the Los Angeles area on how to create similar policies at their sites. Continue reading