Tag Archives: Farm to School

California Local Produce CRUNCH

ca-local-crunch-flierIn celebration of National Farm to School Month CFSN is encouraging teachers, schools and entire districts to take part in a local CRUNCH activity! Given that CA is geographically diverse, we don’t expect all students to be crunching on the same item – but we hope you’ll consider sourcing local fruits or veggies and having your students simultaneously take a bite on Monday, October 24th. Perhaps you’ll be crunching on carrots grown in your school garden, apples from a local farm or something else entirely!

Please be sure to register your Crunch activity below!

Introducing Your Golden Seed Awards Winners

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. 

watermelon-radish-at-manteca-school-district

A student at Manteca Unified shows off their harvest

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.

The State of Farm to School in Orange County

Written by: Jerry Rivero, MPL
Program Manager | OC Food Access Coalition

state-of-farm-to-school-in-oc1

Click the image to view the full report

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.

Continue reading

School’s Out: Who’s Hungry for Health?

Written by: Daiana Baez, FoodCorps Service Member with CAFF and Life Lab

The splash of rocks skipping, the skidding of tires, the sweet whispers of grasshoppers, and the silent buzz of bees are all familiar noises connected with summer. However, perhaps much louder, is the sound of a collective hunger that stirs all season long. The USDA has estimated that 30.3 million children depend on the National School Lunch Program to ease their hunger aches during the school year. Unfortunately, as soon as the last bell rings, only 2.6 million children are fortunate enough to find facilities providing food assistance during the summer. But with the lack of resources, and overwhelming amount of challenges nutrition services facilities face in low-resource, low-income communities, the privilege of health dilutes in a sea of calories and sugar. This summer, nonetheless, food fighters in Pajaro Valley Unified School District together worked to create a nutrition program that reached five different schools, and almost every single student at: Starlight Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, Landmark Elementary, Freedom Elementary, and Cesar Chavez Middle School.

6-plant-part burrito

6-plant-part burrito

To provide PVUSD summer school students with not just calories, but a sample of health, the district’s Teach Project (supported by Grind Out Hunger) provided teams of nutrition educators with enough resources for each of their students to eat a rainbow. Continue reading

Have you Heard? Introducing the First CFSN Farm to School Contest!

Here, at the California Farm to School Network, we are so excited to announce the first California Golden Seed Awards! Over the past two years, we have been increasingly impressed and inspired by the growing interest and implementation of Farm to School programs around the state. From student learning that they love lettuce after a taste test, to the $167,644,000 CA school districts spent on local produce, as reported in the USDA Farm to School Census, each impact is significant.

The Golden Seed Awards are meant not only to recognize Farm to School champions, but also to foster recognition of schools or districts that are just starting to grow their Farm to School programs. Whether you started your first school garden this year or have an established a student run-farm – we want to hear from you! Applicants will be evaluated by their contributions to the three pillars of Farm to School – procurement, education, and school gardens. With three different awards categories, anyone can win!golden seed final

Sow, Grow and Harvest awards will be granted to applicants participating in at least one, two or three of the pillars (respectively). Awards will be chosen by a committee established by CFSN and will be announced in mid-August. Prizes include passes to the 2017 California Farm to School Conference, passes to pre-conference field trips, technical assistance for beginning programs and lots of media attention!

Above all, your application helps CFSN keep a pulse on Farm to School around the state, identifying our strengths and opportunities to grow. We know that Farm to School efforts aren’t always acknowledged in the fast-paced world of education, so we thank you. We are excited to hear from you and honor the great work happening all around the state.

To apply, please visit www.cafarmtoschool.org/about/goldenseed.

For any questions, please contact farmtoschool@caff.org.

This project is supported by Whole Foods Market Northern California and Reno as well as  the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.