Written By: Elise Chad, FoodCorps Service Member with Pittsburg Unified School District
What do you do when your school district is already rocking school gardens?
This was the conundrum I had when I first started as a FoodCorps Service Member at Pittsburg Unified School District last fall. PUSD has gardens at 11 of the 13 schools in the district thanks to a dedicated and passionate Garden Supervisor, Michelle DeCoy. She also gets the garden produce onto the school salad bars and holds monthly garden markets to engage with parents, staff, and students among many other tasks she accomplishes. PUSD’s Edible Garden Resource Center has a very ambitious program and I was happy to help where I could.
Written By: Lili Jacobs, FoodCorps Service Member with UCCE Central Sierra
I want to tell you a story about bees. You should know that this story also has to do with a particularly fantastic set of tutus.
Please note – applications are now closed. Thanks to everyone who turned in applications!
School districts throughout California are taking advantage of a new program to purchase fruits and vegetables from a variety of local vendors using USDA Foods entitlement funding.
Why sign up?
The UFVPP gives school districts the opportunity to purchase locally and domestically grown produce from a variety of competitive local vendors. By supporting the program during this Pilot phase, California school districts are participating with seven other states to determine whether the Pilot will be renewed in 2019.
With support of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers will be working with Food Service Directors, UFVPP vendors and California family farms to utilize the Pilot program.
How does it work?
School food authorities (SFAs) submit the following brief application to allocate a portion of their USDA Foods entitlement funding to use with approved local vendors. The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is available to help Food Service Directors find the approved vendors that best fit their needs and navigate bid processes to meet USDA procurement guidelines. If vendors aren’t available or able to be established in some areas of California, SFAs will be able to have the money reallocated in early fall.
CAFF will also be working with SFAs to support California family farms, providing cafeteria educational signage and tracking impact on growers for districts using the Pilot program.
Applications only take a few minutes and are being accepted through February 17th. Sign up now to support local and American growers using USDA foods entitlement funding.
Please contact Ben Thomas to learn more about connecting with local vendors and resources through CAFF (email@example.com).
The full announcement from CDE is as follows:
Written By: Sara Lieber, FoodCorps Service Member with Sierra Harvest
Last week I taught classes of first, second, and third graders how to “massage kale.” Students were divided up into groups of 4 or 5 at a table and took turns retrieving kitchen tools and ingredients, measuring, and massaging. Below are the steps to make your own massaged kale salad.
Written By: Amy Garfinkel, FoodCorps Service Member with San Diego Unified School District
Healthy school meal options in San Diego Unified include: savory tortilla soup, scratch-cooked ribs, whole grain buns, fat-free milk, and a plethora of fresh fruits and veggies from the salad bar.
It’s September 1st
I’m thrilled to start my service
It’s a dream come true.
Written by: Brianna Egan, FoodCorps Service Member with Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Students from the Jóvenes SANOS youth group voiced their perspectives on the lunchrooms at Watsonville High and E.A. Hall Middle School as part of a design-thinking activity I facilitated with them. The current cafeterias are “old school” and “institutionalized”. They’d love to see more Mexican food, a salad bar, and even a fresh juice bar.
The fall season brings with it a time of reflection—a time to gather the final harvests of summer and to lay down plans, like cover crops, for the coming year. This fall, in my second month of service through FoodCorps at Pajaro Valley Unified School District, I am reflecting on my whirlwind introduction to school food and laying down plans on how I will work to connect kids with healthy food this year.
Every morning on my commute to the school district’s offices in Watsonville, California I pass by acres and acres of farmland. I turn my head to make out the fruits on the rows and I see farmworkers, bent over, tending to the fields. Raspberries, strawberries, lettuce greens, hoodies, denim…they blur into shades of deep green and dust brown. I cannot wrest away the thought that the growing of our food is intimately connected to people, to families, and to communities.