Please save the date for CHIP’s 5th Annual Good Food Showcase, an event for institutions, restaurants, community organizations, and other entities to develop business relationships and network with local growers, produce distributors, and good food vendors. This is the regional event of the year for exploring the bounty of our county and connecting with the local good food movement!
Written By: Allie Hoffman, Program Manager, Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Three weeks ago, 340 California Farm to School and Garden practitioners gathered in Modesto for three days of field trips, workshops, inspiring keynotes, networking and food.
Attendees represented all areas of farm to school, ranging from farmers, to food service professionals, garden educators, government employees, nonprofits and more. It’s hard to focus on any one single moment from the conference to highlight in this article, particularly because there were so many different workshops that one could have attended. So instead, I’m going to share a few of the highlights from my experience planning and attending the conference.
Leading up to the conference, I was fortunate enough to have the job of connecting with so many of you. Whether I was reviewing workshop proposals, connecting with partners on social media or coordinating with the amazing CFSN regional leads, it was such a pleasure to get to connect with farm to school innovators from all around the state. [Read more here…]
Calling all school foodservice directors and staff, educators, state agencies, organizations, and advocates:
Save the date for the 2nd biannual California Farm to School Conference!
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.
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.
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.
Workshops and Sessions – Request for Proposals
The California Farm to School Network (CFSN) invites you to submit a proposal for the 2017 California Farm to School and Garden Conference. The 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.
An information PDF is available with additional info regarding the topic areas, speaker benefits and more – click here to download. When you are ready to submit your idea, fill out the online submission form located here.
CFSN and the California Ed-Med Collaborative (CEMC) are bringing you a webinar discussing how to leverage the buying power of schools AND hospitals to bring healthy food to to all. In an effort to increase equitable access to healthy food within California, School Food Focus and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) have engaged five districts and eight health care systems which represents approximately 55 hospitals. Funded by Kaiser Permanente, CEMC works at the intersection of food service and the food industry.
While our stakeholders are some of the largest school districts and hospitals in the country, alone they are no match for multibillion dollar food corporations. CEMC creates a level playing field where the demand for healthy food products can be heard and in turn developed for food service sectors to procure.
Presenters will illustrate the value and impact this multi-sector collaboration has had on their hospital and school district food service operations thus far. CEMC staff will provide insight on building multi-sector collaborations that can identify, evaluate and pursue a range of procurement change scenarios. Outcomes from this multi-sector collaboration to be discussed on this webinar include:
1) The CEMC Food Guidelines – What are these? How were these guidelines established and how will they be used to develop new products or processes that will open up new procurement pathways and deliver new products for purchase by these two sectors?
2) The “List of 10” procurement change scenarios – What are the 10 CEMC ideas for procurement change proposed? How were these procurement change scenarios developed and which were chosen for implementation?
3) Status update on the products, processes and project that will bring healthful products to the marketplace.