news & events
February 7, 2023
Apply for a Garden Grant from the Whole Kids Foundation! The more kids know and feel connected to their food, the more curious they become about how things grow or taste, and the more willing they are to try new foods. That is why edible garden learning spaces are so great!
This Garden Grant Program provides a $3,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible educational garden located at either a K–12 school or a non-profit organization that serves K-12 children.
APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN March 1, 2023. More info and to apply
January 10, 2023
This is a unique, year-long professional learning opportunity for select school, early childhood & district teams from New England & New York.
Whether you’re a long-time farm to school advocate or looking to begin integrating food, farm, and nutrition programs into your school community, you’re invited to form a team and apply. The Institute kicks off this summer at Shelburne Farms with an action planning retreat June 27–29, 2023.
Spend the retreat developing a farm to school action plan with your team, networking with other schools from across the Northeast, and taking part in educator and school nutrition staff specific professional learning.
Year-long support includes coaching, professional learning & networking with a regional farm to school community.
The opportunity for a Rhode Island school or district to participate in training and sharing F2S (Farm to School) information to enhance the quality of life within a classroom, school, family, and community is a must for all our towns and cities. As communities across the state revise curriculum and hands-on projects for students and work to improve the meal program, now is the time to seek grants and funding sources to send a team to the North East Farm to School Institute in Vermont for national training at Shelburne farm, a well established learning center. I say this as a former teacher, high school principal, school committee member and participant in the 2022 summer institute with “Team Smithfield”.
– Rose Marie Cipriano, ED.D
September 15, 2022
October is National Farm to School Month and Wednesday, October 19th is Apple Crunch Day! Help celebrate National Farm to School month and raise awareness for Farm to School in RI by taking part in a statewide “Apple Crunch” event and related activities. Click to share this Apple Crunch flyer!
On October 19th, we’ll synchronize our watches for 12:00 noon and bite into locally grown apples! Classrooms and cafeterias or school groups anywhere can participate by registering HERE to get an Apple Crunch Celebration Guide with ideas on how to assemble a planning team, source local apples, incorporate farm to school education, and promote your activities. Share your “crunch fun” (video & photos) on social media with #RIAppleCrunch22 to be eligible to win prizes!
September 7, 2022
Hope’s Harvest has developed a series of workshops on hunger, food waste, and food recovery in Rhode Island. During 2020, food insecurity in Rhode Island reached its highest point in 20 years. These workshops will help more members of the community educate themselves and others to take action.
Workshops are adaptable for all ages, from elementary-aged children to older adults, and can take the form of an on-farm lesson and gleaning trip, or a presentation in a classroom setting. Please reach out to HH@farmfreshri.org with any inquiries or to schedule a workshop!
July 27, 2022
The Compass School, a K-8 charter school in Kingston that emphasizes social and environmental sustainability, has a flourishing school garden as part of an actual school farm … and students, current students and returning graduates, who are passionate about tending to it. An outdoor classroom during the school year, the garden teaches kids much more than the mechanics of planting and watering, and has become a valuable tool for educating students and visitors alike about nature, sustainability, and altruism, as excess food is donated to local charities.
Read more about the Compass School farm in this Providence Journal profile.
June 4, 2022
Thank you to all who came out to our RI Farm to School Network launch event at Saturday’s Farm Fresh RI farmers market! We officially debuted our new branded look, and spoke to many visitors about the importance of the farm to school program in RI – purchasing from farmers and serving our school children the freshest local produce in school meals. A win all around! KIDS WIN | FARMERS WIN | COMMUNITIES WIN
May 25, 2022
EXCITING GRANT OPPORTUNITY
The 2022 New England Food Vision Prize is a $1 million commitment aimed at building resiliency, relationships, and capacity within New England’s academic institutional food supply chain, resulting in increased preparation, serving, and consumption of local and regional food at K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Prize proposals may range from $25,000 to $200,000 per project.
June 30, 2022 Deadline for Letters of Interest
July 15, 2022 Invitation for Full Proposal
Sept 1, 2022 Deadline for Full Proposals
Oct 20, 2022 Recipients Notified
May 22, 2022
Network Leadership Council member Sara Churgin, district manager with the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District, is working with the Portsmouth School District to educate students about where their food comes from every day.
Students start from scratch planting seeds, weeding, watering and then watching the plants grow on the 2-year-old AgInnovation Farm on the Cloverbud Ranch in Portsmouth. Read or watch the news story and for even more information, visit the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District website.
January 13, 2022
All this month, at dozens of middle and high schools in Rhode Island, served by Chartwells School Dining Services, students will be offered special menus of locally grown and sourced foods. Every Thursday, at the 21 high schools and 24 middle schools served by Chartwells, it’s all about local.
At right, a Johnston high school student is about to dig in to a colorful, delicious plate of local food. Full story on Turn to 10