Tag Archives: procurement

Good Food Showcase

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!

Click here to read about last year’s showcase.

CFSN Webinar: Advancing Collective Buying for Regional Small and Mid-Size K-12 Districts in the Central Coast – Lessons Learned and Directions

Please register for Advancing Collective Buying for Regional Small and Mid-Size K-12 Districts in the Central Coast: Lessons Learned and Directions on Jun 8, 2017 11:00 AM PDT at:


Over the last three years over ten school districts in Santa Cruz and Monterey County, in concert with farm to school organizational partners, have developed joint purchasing contracts on produce to build upon existing collaborative sourcing acros–s multiple districts. This webinar will highlight a 2014-2017 CDFA specialty crop block grant’s development of a produce RFP that prioritizes regional and California grown fruit and vegetables as well as complementary promotion and engagement efforts that have increased student healthy eating behavior. Through presentations from K-12 cooperative purchasing district leads and partners from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) participants will gain new resources to aid their district and regional sourcing and promotion efforts. In addition, this session will also create a facilitated discussion space to explore collective buying challenges and barriers in order to inform future K-12 efforts.

Connecting the Garden, Cafeteria and Classroom…what’s next?

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.

Helen Dombalis sharing her Farm to School story during the opening keynote

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. Continue reading

Application Open for the Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables Pilot Program (UFVPP)

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 (ben@caff.org). 


The full announcement from CDE is as follows:

Due Date: Proposals for the 2017 CA Farm to School & Garden Conference

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.

Submission Process:

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.