Nebraska Farm To School

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Nebraska Department of Education was awarded a Team Nutrition grant that will expand our Harvest of the Month program to include four new items: beef, bison, rhubarb, and aronia berries. The NDE will be rolling out *new* standardized recipes for school use that feature these local Nebraska items, as well as existing Harvest of the Month items like apples, turnips, and dry beans. Twenty schools will participate in a project that will provide:

  • Training to menu and promote these products and recipes
  • One-on-one support in offering taste tests with students
  • Technical assistance in sourcing the local featured products

Schools that are interested in participating in this project can learn more and indicate their interest in participating by accessing the Local and Indigenous Foods (LIFT) Training School document.

Producers that are interested in sourcing local product to Nebraska schools are encouraged to learn more by accessing the LIFT Producer document.

Photo Courtesy of 2021 Nebraska Farm to School Institute Team, Banner County Public Schools. Featured is Kelly Rundell, School Food Service Director and student winners of featured farm to school books.

WEBINARS AND EVENTS

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

GRANTS AND FUNDING

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).

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.

Kidsgardening.org Grant Opportunities

https://kidsgardening.org/grant-opportunities/

KidsGardening offers a variety of grants to new and existing youth garden programs across the nation. Each funding opportunity has its own timeline, defining features, eligibility requirements, and reporting expectations. Explore the open grant programs at this site and see which one might be the best fit for your particular situation. If something catches your eye, you can find more details on each grant’s homepage.

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 FARM TO SCHOOL INFORMATION

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 May 6, 2022 7:28am