Congratulations and thank you to all of the schools and school districts who applied for Seed Change mini-grant funding this year! We saw an overwhelming amount of interest for Louisiana's first Farm to School competitive grant program and are encouraged by the innovative ideas across the state in the name of Farm to School. We look forward to continued progress in Farm to School activities from all applicants and will be working to share more news in weeks to come.
- Katie Mularz, Louisiana Farm to School State Lead
About Seed Change: Seed Change is an initiative by the National Farm to School Network aimed at growing farm to school activities, state by state. Seed Change, in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania is funded by a generous grant from the Walmart Foundation, and will directly address barriers to farm to school associated with lack of local partnerships and farmer connections, and infrastructure and knowledge gaps. The 18-month project is designed to reach 1.8 million school children in these three states.
Healthy Kids are Common Sense, Not A Trend
By: Anupuma Joshi, Executive Director of The National Farm to School Network
Investing in the health of our children is common sense, and "when you put money into school nutrition programs, you know it's going straight into kids’ mouths." That’s according to Donna Martin, School Nutrition Director for Burke County Public Schools in Georgia, and it rings true across the country.
Recent media coverage has questioned the importance of improving school meals as a strategy for supporting child health – one of the fundamentals influencing the work of the National Farm to School Network and our partners. Yet, thousands of communities across the country have experienced firsthand the significant impact farm to school initiatives have on creating a generation of healthy eaters. Here’s how we know that farm to school works... read more
Farm to School
Funding Opportunities: Project Produce Grants: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has teamed up with Skoop to launch Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. These $2,500 grants assist you in exposing the students you serve to a diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables...
Farm to Preschool
Book recommendation: Pie in the Sky
Do pies grow on trees? A father and child watch over their backyard cherry tree—and all the colorful living things surrounding it—throughout the seasons. At the end of the summer, they harvest the cherries together and make a delicious pie.
By Lois Ehler
Event and Meeting Highlights
July 29: Louisiana Farm to School Alliance Conference Call
Dial: (712) 432-0075 Access Code: 431420#
•LAF2S / F2S Resources
•LAF2S / F2S Events / Opportunities
-updates from regional meetings
-F2S networking / happy hour August 8th details
•LAF2S Policy / F2S Policy
-updates on mini grants / awardees
•LAF2S Program Initiatives & Partnerships
•LAF2S Press & Media Pieces
•LAF2S / F2S Highlights
August 7 - 10th: Farm to Table Conference
Registration is open for the 2015 Farm to Table Conference!
August 8th - MR 256 - Farm to School Happy Hour / Networking Session (will follow the last breakout session). This is an OPEN networking session for all to join and meet other Farm to School practitioners attending the conference from outside our state. Join us, bring some business cards, learn some new and exciting work about what is happening in the Farm to School movement!
Louisiana Farm to School Regional Meetings
This month Louisiana Farm to School stakeholders gathered twice - in Alexandria, LA and in New Orleans, LA to further conversation and foster best practices for Farm to School in the state. The Alexandria, LA meeting, "Foodapalooza: Farm to School Edition" took place on July 14th and brought together farmers and practitioners from the central and northern region of the state. Attendees toured multiple farms and the Alexandria farmers market while learning about successful farm to school programs from speakers in child nutrition and education. One such speaker was Lafayette Parish School System's Child Nutrition Coordinator, Celeste Hay who shared about their districts iron chef competition and other farm to school initiatives.
The New Orleans meeting took place on July 16th at Langston Hughes Academy, A Firstline School. This meeting brought together Farm to School stakeholders from the Southern and Central region of the state. Attendees broke into interactive workshops categorized by the three core elements of farm to school: procurement, gardening and education. Each of the workshops were led by two Farm to School professionals and thought leaders from the Southern Region of the United States and the purpose was to engage attendees in experiential learning. Lunch was provided by Liberty's Kitchen and the afternoon kicked off a second round of interactive planning for Farm to School activities which the group will implement over the next six months.
The regional meetings were in follow up to the May statewide Farm to School conference, funded by a USDA Farm to School grant which was awarded to LSU AgCenter. Partners with LSU AgCenter in the planning for the regional meetings include: CLEDA, the Louisiana Farm to School Alliance, KIPP New Orleans Schools, Edible Schoolyard NOLA, CENLA Farm to School Taskforce Sustainable Food Center and USDA Farm to School.
(Left to right) Gray Walk Farms hydroponic mustard greens in Alexandria, LA; John Dean with CLEDA leading the tour with Gray-Walk Farms; Langston Hughes Academy Garden Tour; Southeast Regional Farm to School Education Workshop attendees working on a student lesson plan.