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Nebraska Farm To School

ANNOUNCEMENTS

2021 Nebraska Farm to School Institute:

Selection of School Teams

Congratulations to the following Nebraska schools selected for the 2021 Nebraska Farm to School Institute:

  • Banner County School (Harrisburg, NE)
  • Burwell Public Schools (Burwell, NE)
  • Gering High School (Gering, NE)
  • Humboldt/Tablerock-Steinauer Public Schools (Humboldt, NE)
  • Overton Public School (Overton, NE)
  • Pius X High School (Lincoln, NE)
  • Southern Public Schools (Wymore, NE)
  • Umo ‘ho’ Nation Public School (Macy, NE)

The Nebraska Farm to School Institute will assist selected teams in identifying their team’s farm to school goals, and in implementation of these goals during school year 2021-2022. The Nebraska Farm to School Institute is supported by 2020 USDA Farm to School State Grant funds, and in partnership with Nebraska Extension.

Congrats to the 2021 Greenhouse to Cafeteria Award winner, Nebraska Christian Schools; and runner-up, Litchfield Public Schools! Schools around the state of Nebraska applied for and competed to be recognized for their agricultural efforts and the first Greenhouse to Cafeteria award.

The Center for Rural Affairs, in collaboration with Nebraska FFA, piloted the program to acknowledge schools for exemplary greenhouse education. Applicants were judged on categories including diversity and quantity of produce grown, water and input management, student involvement, community involvement, and more.

Learn more about Greenhouse to Cafeteria and access the From Greenhouse to Cafeteria toolkit.

NEBRASKA FARM TO SCHOOL INFORMATION

WEBINARS AND EVENTS

RESEARCH AND RESOURCES

USDA’s “Meals for Kids” interactive map directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The site finder currently lists more than 20,000 meal sites from 23 states, and more sites will be added as states submit data each week. The map is available in both English and Spanish at www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids.

  • This report examines the three interconnected components essential to taking farm to school to the next level statewide, both economically and educationally. It examines procurement in school meal programs, education within the school system as well as the community, and policy recommendations.

https://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/pdf/reports/committee/agriculture/LR337_2020.pdf

  • The Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services conducted a survey in fall of 2017 of early care and education providers across the state. The survey gathered baseline data about types and levels of farm to preschool activity in Nebraska, and identified the priorities required for growing farm to preschool activities at centers and family day care homes.
  • Access the results Nebraska Farm to Early Care and Education Survey.

The University of Nebraska Science Literacy Initiative, in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services, the Center for Rural Affairs, and Nebraska’s 21st-Century Community Learning Centers, conducted a survey of Nebraska schools in fall of 2018 to gain an understanding of the status and features of school- or community-based growing spaces across the state and to identify programmatic and educational needs and opportunities.

https://cdn.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Test-School-Garden-F2S-Report-.pdf

GRANTS AND FUNDING

Calling all Principals, School Nutrition Managers, School Nutrition Directors and District Superintendents! GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need. Learn more here.

Working Here Fund has a $10,000 grant option for smaller communities (population of 5,000 or less) for a project with long-term goals  and a project budget of $10,000+ (funding only available for up to 50% of total budget).

Slow Food believes biodiversity is key to a sustainable, adaptable — and delicious — future. 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 your free kit.

The Salad Bars To Schools program is focused on donating salad bars to school districts so every child across our nation has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  Learn everything you need to know about salad bars to schools grants.

2021 Little Seeds Pollinator Pals Grant

https://kidsgardening.org/2021-little-seeds-pollinator-pals-grant/?mc_cid=7c29c385e5&mc_eid=4205184c86

The Little Seeds Pollinator Pals Grant presented by Little Seeds and Kids Gardening is designed to support youth garden programs interested in preserving and creating pollinator habitat to help rebuild declining pollinator populations. In 2021, eighteen programs will be awarded a check for $500 to support the development of new and expansion of existing pollinator gardens in communities across the United States.

CELEBRATING Nebraska Thursdays 2019 Mini-Grants, awarded to these schools thanks to support and funds from the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission.

Nebraska Beef in Schools

America’s cattle producers are committed to providing a highly nutritious protein to families across the world and their local communities. The Nebraska producers and the Nebraska Beef Council are working to put nutritious beef on school lunch trays.

NDE Good Newsletter

The Northeast Nebraska Cattlemen and the Wayne County Farm Bureau cooked up fresh hamburgers for students in Wayne Community Schools to kick off this year’s Nebraska Thursdays.

Nebraska schools are getting involved in farm to school.

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.

USDA Greenhouse

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.

Contact us at:

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

Updated July 2, 2021 4:35pm