June 2020 Utah Farm to Fork Monthly Newsletter
Hello Farm to Fork Friends!
School is out (which feels weird to say this year), but school meals continue. You can find a summer meal site near you using this handy map: https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids. Normally summer also means a fun event at one of these sites with local food, lots of education activities, and sometimes even a petting zoo. Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel this year’s event due to coronavirus. Would you be interested in some kind of virtual farm to summer event? Or are you burned out on Zoom meetings? Let us know, either by email or on Instagram @utfarm2fork.
What to Harvest this Month
It’s full on spring in Northern Utah, or as I like to call it “strawberry-rhubarb crisp season”. Asparagus, salad greens, and new potatoes round out the seasonal offerings. In the southern part of the state, cherries are ripe and u-pick farms are open! Did you know the cherry is Utah’s state fruit?
Take our Survey
You may have seen news stories about crops spoiling in fields as farmers are unable to sell them during the pandemic—that’s not good for anybody. If you run a school or childcare feeding program, please take our five-minute survey about local purchasing so that we can better advocate for you and Utah farmers during the next legislative session.
Farmers Feeding Utah
The Navajo Nation is unfortunately one of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19. Utah farmers and ranchers are stepping up to help with the Farmers Feeding Utah partnership. To donate or to join the initiative as either a producer or recipient, visit [farmersfeedingutah.org]farmersfeedingutah.org.
Endorse NFSN’s COVID-19 Policy Platform
National Farm to School Network's recognizes that there is a need for immediate relief to the people most impacted by COVID-19, while also building towards longer-term policies that strengthen a resilient, just food system. NFSN’s federal policy platform calls on Congress to strengthen its support for school meal and child nutrition programs, farmers and those who feed us, Native communities, essential workers, children and families, and others who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Read the full platform here, and then click here to add your name.
Webinars and Trainings
Virtual Garden Classroom
Our own Youth Garden Project in Moab has an amazing virtual “garden classroom” available on YouTube. Check it out!
Navajo Nation Faces Coronavirus with Limited Resources
We mentioned earlier that the Navajo Nation is struggling with COVID-19, but why is that? This article from The Guardian does an excellent job of outlining the history of trauma, inequities, and broken treaty obligations that have created the conditions for the rapid spread of the virus. This is why it’s so important to us to build an equitable food system that supports the food sovereignty of tribal nations. What lessons have we learned during the pandemic that we can carry forward to improve our food system in the “new normal”?
Garden Leader, Green Urban Lunch Box, Salt Lake City
Garden Leaders are responsible for properly building, tending, and harvesting up to 15 gardens with GULB’s Back Farms program over the course of the season. This is a 26-hour/week position that pays $13-$14 dollars an hour, plus fresh fruits and veggies. Position begins as soon as possible. Check out the full job posting here, and then email a resume and cover letter to Jess at email@example.com to express your interest in this position.
Emergency School Nutrition Funding
GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19, including soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, and protective gear for food service sanitation and safety. Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply here.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Farmers, ranchers and other producers can now apply for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). We recommend reviewing this brief from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to determine whether applying makes sense for you. You’ll need to contact your local Farm Service Agency to apply. The sign-up window is open now through August 28, 2020, but funding is first-come, first-served.
AgVets Grants Program USDA NIFA's Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. Applications are due June 26, 2020. Learn more and apply here. Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Grants USDA has announced $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. Applications are due July 6, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program Grants from $20,000-$200,000 are available for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill. The application deadline is July 10, 2020. Learn more and apply here.