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Broome & Cortland County Schools
are seeking local producers for school meals!

 
FaHN is working to connect regional farms and schools for an exciting initiative that will help farmers expand their businesses and encourage students to eat healthy, local food.

Are you a NYS farmer interested in gaining access to larger markets? Cortland, Marathon, and Broome County School Districts are looking for fresh and value-added products for school meals. 

Photo: BT-BOCES Rock on Cafe

Participating producers will:
  • Receive technical assistance and market readiness training 
  • Earn competitive rates
Eligible producers:
  • Are GAP certified or are willing to become GAP certified (assistance is available!)
  • Able to help with transportation (assistance may be available)
Schools are looking for:
  • Romaine lettuce 
  • Apples 
  • Cherry and beefsteak tomatoes 
  • Pears
  • Seedless grapes 
  • Baby spinach 
  • Seedless watermelon 
  • Blanched and frozen broccoli florets
  • Ground beef 
Contact Erin Summerlee, FaHN Coordinator, if you're interested: fahncoordinator@rhnscny.org or call (607) 692-7669. Visit the FaHN website for more information. 

Save the date: Hobart Farmers' Lunch & Conference

 
Join us on Saturday, March 5 for the annual Hobart Farmers' Lunch and Conference. This free event is a great opportunity for farmers and people working in agriculture to connect, learn, and celebrate local entrepreneurship. Co-hosted with the Hobart Rotary, this year's conference will feature a locally-sourced lunch and speakers who will discuss growing and processing grains and building community resiliency through local food and agriculture.

Date: Saturday, March 5
Time: 10:30am - 1:30pm. Registration and breakfast begins at 9:45am.
Where: Hobart Community Center, 80 Cornell Ave, Hobart, NY
RSVP: Register online here, or RSVP to Erin Summerlee, fahncoordinator@rhnscny.org or (607) 692-7669
Food & Farm Policy

10 Food Policy Questions for the 2016 Presidential Candidates
In a recent poll by Union of Concerned Scientists, 94 percent of American voters expressed concern about the state of the food system – and said that it was a very important issue to them. More than ever before, Americans are concerned about what they’re eating, how it was grown, where it was grown, and by whom. The Food Tank has put together a list of 10 food policy questions we should be asking all of the candidates. Take a look here.

Webinar: What Can a 501c3 Do During Election Season? Join FRAC for their Hunger and the Elections Series. View the webinar recording here.

2016 Policy Platforms from our partners: Check out the key policy issues that Hunger Solutions New York State, DASH-NY, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will be working in 2016 and the fiscal year 2017 appropriations process. 
Upcoming Events
February 28, 2016
 
National CSA Sign-up Day!
Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Office for CSA options.
March 1, 2016
Tuesday, 6:30-8:30pm 
Strategic Marketing in One Night
Groundswell Center
March 5, 2016
Saturday, 10am
 
Seed Starting Class
Binghamton Agway
Call 607-723-7409 to register.
March 7, 2016
Monday, 10am-Noon

 
Producing for the Hub Workshop
Lucky Dog Local Food Hub
Lucky Dog Farm Store & Cafe, Main St, Hamden, NY
Learn more here.
March 16, 2016
Wednesday, 2pm 
 
Webinar: Tackling Hunger through Organizing & Advocacy
Alliance to End Hunger & WHY Hunger. Register here
 
Save the Date!
 
Farm to Cafeteria Conference
National Farm to School Network
June 2-4, 2016, Madison, WI
Learn more here.
Increasing Local Food Procurement
through Farm to Institution

Maggie Reeger, FaHN VISTA, spoke with Glenda Neff, an individual FaHN Sponsor and Co-coordinator of Farm to Institution NYS (FINYS), to learn more about her efforts to increase local food procurement throughout New York State.

On her work with local food and agriculture:
Glenda’s interest in food and agriculture began during childhood. She has always felt strongly about food justice, and even as a child, “I had this feeling that people should never have to go hungry.” Through the 1970s, Glenda was part of a food co-op start-up in Syracuse and befriended local farmers. For a few years, she volunteered by helping farmers with marketing their products, and she started a workplace CSA at her publishing job. By 1997, she decided to leave her day job and make a living by working with farms and food organizations. “Everyone has a right to good food. That’s been my motivation. By becoming friends with farmers, I learned that farmers should be able to make a good living.”

And yet, many farmers struggle to get good prices and reliable markets for their products. Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) began when American Farmland Trust brought together a diverse group of leaders in agriculture, economic development, and public health to look at what was needed to increase purchasing of New York-grown and raised foods by schools, colleges, hospitals, and smaller settings like daycare, senior meals, and group homes.

To support farmers, FINYS provides market readiness training. Cornell Cooperative Extension and other grower organizations will offer workshops to farmers about business management, food safety, and other quality assurance measures that are necessary for selling to institutions. FINYS also coordinates communication across diverse sectors in New York State to push local food policies forward. “Our current action alert is to build support for an incentive for K-12 school districts to receive extra funding to purchase food from New York farmers.” Sign up for updates to stay on top of food policy in New York State.

On being a FaHN sponsor:
Glenda has lived in Cayuga County next door to the FaHN region for a number of years. She became familiar with FaHN through her work with Ray Denniston, a longtime FaHN member and Farm to School colleague.

“I see FaHN as a great model for regional collaboration. That’s why I support it and became a sponsor. FaHN has been fostering communication and partnerships throughout its region. And of course, the challenge is to raise funds and have resources for staff, interns, and AmeriCorps members. This type of work can’t be done by trying to fit it into everything else. There must be dedicated staff and resources.”

To read the full article, visit our Food for Thought blog.

Grants
 
Community Foundation of South Central NY
Community Fund Grants--Cycle 1 deadline March 8, 2016. Learn more here. 
Small Grants--Applications due March 15, 2016. 
Learn more here.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health. Deadline for Letters of Intent: March 15, 2016. Learn more here.

Sustainable Tompkins
Neighborhood Mini-Grant application due March 1, 2016. Learn more here.

Spring Grant Cycle from Howland Foundation & Community Foundation Funds
Community Foundation of Tompkins County. Applications due March 23, 2016. Learn more here.

Decker Foundation
Support charitable organizations focused primarily on educational, medical research institutions, and cultural and human service organizations. Applications due March 1, 2016. Learn more here.

USDA Farm Service Agency Grant to Expand Farmer Outreach and Education 
Two remaining evaluation period deadlines: March 18, 2016 and May 27, 2016. 
Learn more here.

Conservation Stewardship Program
Deadline to sign up for Fiscal Year 2016: March 31, 2016. Learn more here.

George A. and Margaret Mee Charitable Foundation 
Support projects in Delaware County. Applications due March 31, 2016. Learn more here.

Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program (STAIEP) Grant
Grants are available through the Southern Tier Soil and Water Conservation District Offices for financial assistance to implement part/s of a farm business plan or environmental plan to increase farm production, enhance profitability and/or increase environmental sustainability of the farm operation. 
Application Period 1 deadline: March 7, 2016. Learn more here.

Delaware County Agricultural Micro-Enterprise Grant
The Delaware County Economic Development Office is offering another round of Micro-Enterprise Grants for 2016. The RFP will be released by the end of February 2016. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County and CADE will be hosting business planning workshops prior to the grant deadline.
Visit the CCE Delaware and CADE websites.

Job & Volunteer Opportunities

Urban Agriculture Internships, VINES
VINES will be offering summer and fall 2016 internships that focus on distributing locally grown food and growing vegetables on formerly vacant lots throughout the City of Binghamton. Interested applicants must send cover letter and resume to natalie@vinesgardens.org by March 15th to be considered for an interview. 

Agriculture Development Specialist, CCE Tioga 
This extension educator will promote and develop programs that will enhance the economic viability of agricultural enterprises in Tioga County. The focus of extension efforts will be educational leadership and resources for agricultural production, management, marketing, business development, tourism, and public relations issues.
Learn more here.

AmeriCorps positions promoting Food Access & Health! 
Positions available with a range of organizations. View positions and apply: Rural Health Service Corps website

Invest in your commitment to a 
Organizational Members

Broome County Health Department
Broome-Tioga BOCES Food Service
Cayuga Lake Food Buyers
Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) 
Chenango County Health Department
Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County
Cornell Cooperative Extension Tioga County
Delaware Opportunities Inc.
Family Enrichment Network
Food Bank of the Southern Tier
Hatherleigh Foundation
Healthy Lifestyles Coalition (United Way)
Rural Health Network of South Central New York
Seven Valleys Health Coalition
Tioga County Hunger Coalition 
Tioga Opportunities
Tompkins County Food Distribution Network
United Health Services (UHS)
VINES: Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments
Individual Members

Susan Adair
Diane Albrecht
Richard Andrus
Donna Bates
Mark Bordeau
Christina Boyd
Ray Denniston
Nancy Eckstrom
Matthew Griffin
Kathleen Horner
Sonia Janiszewski
Kevin Millar
Ann Moring
Peaceful by Nature Farm
Jeffrey Piestrak
Tony Preus
Amy Shapiro
Lauren Tonti
Rose Zonetti
Sponsors

Diane & Jerry Albrecht
Greg Albrecht & Victoria Zeppelin
Connie Barnes
Susan Beaudoin
Elizabeth Bossong
Care Manage for All
Closer to the Heart Farms 
Creekside Acres Farm/The Creekside Cook
Diane Crews
Ray Denniston
Nancy Eckstrom
Engelbert Farms
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Fidelis Care 
Galaxy Brewing Company
Johan Jelsma
 

The Kitchen Store, Inc.
Larry & Denise Moore
Glenda Neff
Old Barn Hollow Farm Market
Peaceful by Nature Farm
Jeffrey Piestrak
Charles & Mary Place
Janice Parker
John & Linda Roush
Regional Access
Jack Salo
Linda Seeger
Slope Farms
Doris Summerlee
Lauren Tonti
United Health Care
United Health Services (UHS)
Shawn Yetter
Food & Health Network Facebook Page
Food & Health Network Facebook Page
Food & Health Network Website
Food & Health Network Website