October is Farm to School Month!
Farm to Child Care
Farm to Child Care is a nationwide movement to connect childcare providers and young children with local farmers for the purpose of providing healthy meals and snacks, as well as incorporating local food themes into childcare curriculum and activities. The goal is to develop lifelong healthy eating behaviors and community vitality by strengthening regional food systems. Easy, fun, and affordable changes can be the first steps toward healthier children, communities, and landscapes.
The 2016 National Farm to School Month theme, One Small Step, highlights the simple ways anyone - from students, parents and food enthusiasts to food producers and nutrition professionals - can take small steps to get informed, get involved and take action to advance farm to school in their own communities and across the country.
During October, take the One Small Step Pledge and you'll be entered to win support for farm to school activities at the school or early care and education site of your choice! Everyone who signs the pledge will receive weekly emails throughout October with suggestions of small steps you can take to advance farm to school in your community and nationally.
NFSN Farm to Early Care & Education Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and early care and education providers will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so share with your networks.
Urban and Environmental Policy Institute: Farm to Preschool Curricula
Preschool children are active learners who experience the world through their senses, physical involvement, active play and from behaviors modeled by adults and peers. Research shows that the preschool years are a particularly sensitive period in the formation of life long habits and taste preferences.
USDA Grant Opportunity: Farm to School Grant Program
USDA is now accepting applications for FY2017 Farm to School Grant Funding and anticipates awarding approximately $5 million to support efforts that improve access to local foods. Review the RFA for complete application instructions, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and additional application support materials and visit the grant program page for an overview of past grantees, program summary reports, and more. Grant applications due December 8, 2016.
Growing Minds Farm to School: Farm to Preschool ToolKit
Growing Minds Farm to School has put together a comprehensive, 53-page toolkit which contains information about getting started with Farm to Preschool (F2P), USDA memorandums, rules and regulations, recommendations for local procurement, and monthly resources.
Children become comfortable with tasting new foods in the supportive, positive environment of their preschool and there are a number of lesson plans available featuring vegetables come in lots of different varieties that all look and taste different. In this lesson, children will gain familiarity with different types of tomatoes and explore how they taste.