Tag Archives: procurement

Congratulations to California’s 2018 USDA Farm to School Grantees!

USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems announced today that 73 communities in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Guam have been awarded farm to school grants to explore, expand, or scale up their farm to school activities. The 2018 awards total $5.2 million, and will impact 2.8 million students.

Congratulations to our California Grantees:

  • Bakersfield City School District, Bakersfield

Through partnership, collaboration, and engagement, Bakersfield City School District will create a comprehensive network that incorporates food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste recovery.

  • Colusa County Office of Education, Colusa

Colusa County Office of Education (CCOE) will actively partner with the Colusa Indian Community Hand In Hand Learning Center, Williams Unified School District, Colusa County Resource Conservation District, and the Center for Healthy Communities to develop a comprehensive plan to incorporate locally grown foods on student meal trays and at home. The CCOE garden site will include a greenhouse for seedlings, leafy greens and vegetables in raised beds, and a small orchard of nut and fruit trees. The garden sites will also include a laboratory pathway of native grasses, shrubs, and trees that may be used as a “science classroom” for programs working to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Future Farmers of America members from around the county will also be able to use the “science classroom” as a training site.

  • Humboldt County Office of Education, Eureka

Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) will develop a comprehensive farm to school program in after-school settings to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and improve food and agricultural literacy for low-income students. Currently, their after-school students participate in HCOE’s Harvest of the Month (HOTM) culinary activities that feature local fruits and vegetables. This project will build on the HOTM framework by integrating hands-on gardening, experiential field trip opportunities, and local procurement for supper meals.

  • Los Molinos Unified School District, Los Molinos

Los Molinos Unified School District will develop relationships with industry partners and programs to build a new greenhouse and utilize the Horticulture Pathway. The district will develop cross-curricular lessons in various career pathways while Los Molinos High School will plan which fruits and vegetables will be grown in the new greenhouse. Students will be involved in a work-based learning environment that consists of preparing the soil, growing seedlings, supporting vegetation, crop management, crop production, and food preparation. A soil center, shade house, and a grape orchard will be developed and include crops such as carrots, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, celery, and grapes. The future intent is to provide these vegetables and fruits to all three schools within the Los Molinos Unified School District.

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:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1736835129747132673

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: