Posts Tagged ‘school food

Latino Community Farmers in Oregon Feasting on New Market: School lunch

Saturday, August 18th, 2012 by

This is a repost from the Ecotrust blog, which is designed to inspire fresh thinking, spark innovation, and encourage investment in natural economies. Read more stories about Ecotrust’s work, and that of our partners and friends, at blog.ecotrust.org.

La Esperanza farmer Araceli Roman and her daughters at the Forest Grove Farmers Market. Photo by Shawn Linehan.

In 2010, the nonprofit Adelante Mujeres saw a clear challenge when the Latino farmers on its 12-acre La Esperanza Farm in the city of Forest Grove, Ore. continued to struggle selling their abundant harvests. Adelante Mujeres provides courses in sustainable agriculture to low-income Latinos, and offers graduates small farm plots and a booth at the Forest Grove Farmers Market to sell their fresh produce. But daunting social, linguistic, and technological barriers were making it difficult for the La Esperanza farmers to find diverse buyers for their organic vegetables.

Over two years, Portland State University and Ecotrust worked in close partnership with Adelante Mujeres to pilot a program that connects La Esperanza farmers to local wholesale buyers seeking fresh, organic produce. In the process, they took a hard look at how these farmers could support greater community health among the low-income residents of Washington County. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of March 26, 2012

Saturday, March 31st, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Oregon food bank combats rising meat prices by turning to local lentil farmers for protein
The Republic
The food bank in Eugene says it’s facing a shortage of protein brought on by rising Asian demand for meat and domestic animal production squeezed by high feed costs. The solution? Local lentils. Food For Lane County has contracted with five farmers to enlarge the stock of high-protein lentils and barley soup mix it developed this year.

Food business training is hot commodity
New York Daily News
A variety of training programs are bubbling up in Queens to help the culinary entrepreneurs start up food businesses. The Queens Chamber of Commerce is offering a free Restaurant Boot Camp in Spanish on Monday in Astoria to help aspiring entrepreneurs navigate often confusing city regulations, secure funding and avoid costly fines.

Maryland hopes to win sales with sustainable crab
The Seattle Times
Competition is tough when it comes to the packaged blue crab meat many associate with the Chesapeake Bay but which often comes from the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela and the Far East. That’s one reason Maryland fisheries officials hope to set their catch apart by touting the state’s sustainable fishing methods.

Alaska state Rep. Tammie Wilson sponsors bill to do away with most safe food regulations
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
A bill introduced by North Pole Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson would do away with much of the state’s safety regulations for food sold directly to consumers in an attempt to grow Alaska’s local food industry and farmers markets. Wilson’s bill would require sellers to provide a card that alerts the consumer that “This product has not been inspected by any governmental agency and may be harmful to your health.”

Black farmers file claims in USDA settlement
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The 1999 settlement of the Pigford v. Glickman lawsuit provided about $1 billion to 15,000 farmers who say the agency unfairly turned them down for loans because of their race between 1981 and 1996. A second settlement approved by a court in October 2011 is giving another chance to black farmers with discrimination claims from that era who were left out of the first Pigford settlement.

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News from the Hub – Week of March 12, 2012

Friday, March 16th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

New Study Explores Innovation and Opportunities for Diverse Local Food Distributors
USDA.gov
Today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan released a new report on the distribution practices of eight producer networks and their partners distributing locally or regionally-grown food to retail and foodservice customers. The report shows how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.

Locally Produced Food Gets Boost Through Food Hubs
SustainableBusiness.com
The USDA is helping small farmers connect with people who want to buy locally produced food by fostering “food hubs.” By aggregrating local produce from many small farmers, food hubs can sell to large buyers that want locally and regionally grown food, such as schools and hospitals. These hubs remove some of the most onerous, time draining chores for farmers, who typically reach consumers by driving long distances to farmers markets and restaurants.

Bad Food: Illnesses from Imported Food Are on the Rise, CDC Says
TIME
Altogether about 16% of the food eaten in the U.S. comes from other countries — and given some of the many holes in the food safety net for imports, that should be a little concerning. In a new report published on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that foodborne disease outbreaks caused by imported food appeared to rise in 2009 and 2010.

Brooklyn food pantries go grow-your-own
New York Daily News
A Bedford-Stuyvesant food pantry built an indoor farm where clients grow fresh produce year-round — and provide vegetables for hundreds of families a week. Brooklyn is in the grip of an urban farming craze. Grow-your-own is going strong, from rooftop gardens to massive plantings at public high schools.

Food Craft Institute to open in Jack London Square
San Francisco Chronicle
Local producers will share some of their skills and experience as instructors at the new Food Craft Institute, a school for artisan food companies opening in Oakland’s Jack London Square in April. A nonprofit affiliated with Oakland’s Eat Real Festival, the annual street food festival, the institute will offer its first “master course” in jam, followed by courses in pickling, charcuterie, and coffee roasting and coffee bar management.

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Schools: Make local food sourcing a snap with FoodHub!

Monday, February 27th, 2012 by

FoodHub hosts National Farm to School webinarHave you been trying to get a local sourcing program off the ground for your school, but don’t quite know where to start? FoodHub is the tool that helps schools kick-start relationships with local producers, bringing healthy, delicious foods to kitchens and cafeterias. Now is your chance to learn more about how FoodHub can help your Farm to School program thrive.

Join us as we host a Lunch Bites webinar through the National Farm to School Network, March 13, 12:00 PM – 12:20 PM CDT. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of January 30, 2012

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 by

Fresh Picks: Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Deborah Kane lands federal farm-to-school post
Sustainable Business Oregon
Deborah Kane, former Ecotrust vice president and founder of the group’s FoodHub initiative, was named today head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School initiative. Kane, who oversaw the food and farms program at Ecotrust, left the nonproft in December after a year that had her visiting the White House as a “Champion of Change.”

Sheriffs Who Won’t Be “Milk Police” Gather in Vegas
Food Safety News
County sheriffs and federal officials bickering over land, guns and water policies are as old as the West, but the Constitutional Sheriffs Convention, underway for the past three days in Las Vegas, has something new on the menu — food safety regulation. “I made the decision that the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office was not going to be the milk police,” Sheriff John D’Agostini told his Board of Supervisors in California ahead of the convention.

Are “DIY Slaughter Hobbyists” Destroying Your City?
Mother Jones
A few weeks ago, my friend was handed a flier at a farmers market in Oakland, California. It’s from a local group called Neighbors Opposed to Backyard Slaughter that wants the City of Oakland to forbid people to raise livestock on their property. Around here, urban farming is a pretty hot issue; a nonprofit called City Slicker Farms has been promoting DIY food production for several years, and author and farmer Novella Carpenter brought the practice into the limelight with her 2009 book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.

USDA awards $40 million grants to boost local farm/food projects
Reuters
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday awarded $40.2 million in grants to farmers, ranchers and farmer-controlled rural business ventures aimed at spurring locally produced food supplies and renewable energy ventures. USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico will receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.

Colo. lawmakers consider trans-fat ban in schools
The Associated Press
The nation’s leanest state is taking its sweet time as it considers a proposal aimed at getting junk food out of schools. A Colorado House committee was expected to discuss a bill that represents the nation’s toughest regulations meant to keep trans fat away from students, but lawmakers Thursday delayed the hearing without explanation. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of January 23, 2012

Friday, January 27th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks: Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Latina entrepreneurs share wealth, knowledge
San Francisco Chronicle
Call it Latin influence. A growing group of successful Latina entrepreneurs are serving as role models for the next generation of food artisans and farmers with Latin roots. La Cocina is a nonprofit Mission District incubator program that supports low-income edible enterprises, many run by Latinas.

Not Your Grandmother’s Hospital Food
NPR (blog)
Hospital food, like airplane food, is the kind of institutional food we love to hate. But the days of jello cups and puddles of grayish gravy are numbered. A lot of people — from deep-pocketed foodies to fast-food lovers to locavores — aren’t standing for barely edible hospital food anymore.

Farm Ministers Denounce Food Waste as Almost 1 Billion Go Hungry
BusinessWeek
Farm ministers and policy makers gathered in Berlin denounced waste in rich countries, saying consumers must stop throwing away food as almost 1 billion people in developing countries go hungry. Consumers in rich countries dispose of 220 million metric tons of food waste every year, equal to the entire food output of sub-Saharan Africa.

Eastern Oregon biofuel refinery wins federal loan backing to make ethanol from poplar trees
OregonLive.com
In a few years, you could be filling up with fuel made from Oregon poplar trees, wheat straw and corn stalks. Financed in part with a $235 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today, ZeaChem plans a $390 million biofuel refinery in Boardman capable of producing up to 25 million gallons of ethanol per year.

Treat restaurant workers well, expect better business, study says
Los Angeles Times
It’s an equation that seems simple but still escapes many restaurateurs: Treat your employees well, and your business will be better for it. Offering restaurant workers good pay, benefits and career mobility usually translates into high short-term costs — a burden that causes many low-margin eateries to underpay and overwork their employees. (more…)

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