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Farm To School

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Registration is now open to participate in Nebraska Thursdays! Earn .25 CEU’s for completing a 15 minute webinar for Nebraska Thursdays ! Congratulations to Mullen Public Schools and Loup City Public Schools on winning two giveaways for the commercial 5 gallon salad spinners.

 

 

Highlights

Nebraska district makes locally sourced food a priority
A Nebraska school district is serving more locally produced food to students, including vegetables, beef and pork. The district’s food service manager, Janice Reynolds, says that as much as 75% of the meat and produce served for breakfast and lunch comes from local farms. (Kearney Hub)

 

Grants and Funding

Slow Food Plant a Seed Kits
Slow Food believes biodiversity is key to a sustainable, adaptable — and delicious — future. The Plant a Seed campaign gives you the tools to get amazing flavor back on your plate. The Plant a Seed kit features six seed packets: three from the Ark of Taste, and three from Row 7. There is a limited number of free kits available for school gardens, request one here.

Farm Credit Services of America, Working Here Fund
There are two options of funding available, and both are designed to impact Agriculture Education, Young and Beginning Producers, Hunger and Nutrition and Essential Services/Disaster Relief needs.  The first option provides grant funding of up to $2,000 each, and the second option provides up to $10,000 each for larger, more long-term community projects. The current grant application period runs through June 30, 2019.

Salad Bars to Schools Grant Applications
Salad Bars To Schools has granted over 5,000 salad bars to schools since 2010—and yours could be next! The Salad Bars To Schools program is focused on donating salad bars to school districts so that every child across our nation has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  Learn more here.

 

Resources

*NEWHow Are Nebraska Schools Sourcing Local Foods?
A new resource developed in partnership with farm to school partner, Center for Rural Affairs, outlines the many different ways local foods are accessible to schools!

Updated Resource: Grow It, Try It, Like It! Fun with Fruits and Vegetables at Family Child Care, USDA Team Nutrition
Grow It, Try It, Like It! Fun with Fruits and Vegetables at Family Child Care is designed to help Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operators provide garden-based nutrition education for children ages 3 through 5 years old in family child care settings. Through the activities in Grow It, Try It, Like It!, children touch, smell, feel, and taste new fruits and vegetables. Children also learn how fruits and vegetables grow. Planting activities help children connect the delicious food choices at the table with the farm, orchard, or garden. Learn more here.

Photo courtesy of the USDA

Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.

Who participates in farm to school in Nebraska?

  • 71 school districts with 458 total schools
  • More than 27 school gardens
  • 14% of early childcare sites engage preschoolers in educational farm to school activities.

According to the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census, nearly $790 million dollars was spent nationally on local food in school year 2013-2014. When schools purchase local foods, the local economy benefits. Studies estimate that for every dollar spent locally, another 40 cents to $1.60 of economic activity is generated. Ensure your information is submitted to the next USDA Farm to School Census in 2019.

Benefits

Farm to school is a win across the board for students, school staff, parents, communities, farmers and food producers. Learn more about the many benefits of farm to school at farmtoschool.org; and additional economic benefits in the Economic Impacts of Farm to School report.

Nebraska schools are getting involved in farm to school.

Contact us at:

NDE – Nutrition Services
NDE.F2S@nebraska.gov
(402) 471-2488

Updated May 10, 2019 8:21am