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Farm to Summer Celebration Week

Information about California’s Farm to Summer Celebration Week for summer meal program operators, including background, activities, trainings, partners, resources, awardees, and contact information.

Overview

Farm to Summer (F2Summer) is about program operators of the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) sourcing local foods and providing complementary educational activities that emphasize food, agriculture, and nutrition. The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) encourages program operators of the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option to participate in F2Summer activities.

F2Summer Week in California is celebrated during one week in June each year. For the summer of 2021, June 21–25 is F2Summer Week! This week is dedicated to celebrating local foods on the menu, offering a test taste sample in your grab and go meal, and providing opportunities for children to experience agricultural-based education activities. Some ideas for celebrating F2Summer Week include: incorporating local foods in your food service, providing an agricultural or nutrition education lesson, sharing current successes with another program operator, watching a virtual farm tour, or inviting community partners (such as a farmer, master gardener, or local health department staff) to your site to lead an activity!

F2Summer Celebration Week is an award program that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees at the federal level and the CDE NSD implements at the state level. The NSD recognizes program operators of the CNPs in California that complete the three elements: 1) Taste, 2) Teach and 3) Connect Summer Celebration Activities during the designated F2Summer Week, June 21–25, 2021. Program operators that participate by completing a pre and post survey and the three elements of the Celebration week will receive a One in a Melon Award Certificate! 

For information about the Farm to CNP, visit CDE Farm to CNP web page.

Background

The F2Summer movement is a growing trend supported by interest and enthusiasm for including local foods on the menu and teaching children where food comes from.

The F2Summer Week Challenge was created by the USDA in 2018 to encourage more CNP sponsors to participate in F2Summer activities.

  • In 2018, the NSD offered the first California F2Summer Week Challenge for summer meal program sponsors. The NSD found that many summer meal program sponsors needed assistance finding locally sourced foods and implementing agricultural-based education activities.

  • In 2019, the NSD hosted a California F2Summer Week Challenge webinar to help summer meal program sponsors find local food to put on the menu and referred them to organizations that had agricultural-based education activities ready to download at no charge, or that were willing to come to a site to provide agricultural-based education activities. Eleven summer meal sponsors completed that challenge and are posted on the Awardees tab.

  • In 2020, the NSD postponed the F2Summer Week Challenge due to the global Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • In 2021, the USDA retitled the F2Summer Week Challenge to the F2Summer Celebration Week and is supporting state agencies and program operators in implementing the Celebration however it best fits the school schedule and environment, whether it be virtually, in-person, or a combination of both.

Celebration Activities

The NSD encourages program operators operating during the summer months to complete the Celebration. To complete the Celebration, program operators must conduct the following three activities (at least once) during F2Summer Week in June:

  1. Taste: Serve a locally-sourced food item that students can taste. The tasting can occur during a snack or meal, during a nutrition activity, or in the garden! The USDA does not define the term local, the definition is to be determined and defined at the school food authority level. Local can also change based on the season or the type of product. Local could mean within a city, a county, or a specific region. These snacks or meals can come from the school garden or school farm, an individual farmer, a farmer’s market, through a distributor, from USDA foods or USDA Department of Defense (DoD) or DoD Fresh, or a food hub.

  2. Teach: Provide an agricultural-based education activity.  For curriculum ideas, visit the Resources tab on the CDE Farm to CNP web page or visit the CDE CNP Resource Library web page.

  3. Connect: Share your activities on social media, on your organization’s web site, via a newsletter article, or share with your neighboring school district or community, or invite the press to attend an event! You could do one of these or all of them!

Program operators are encouraged to complete the:

All program operators that complete the Celebration week, and the pre and post survey will have their CNP organization’s name posted on the F2Summer Celebration Week Awardees tab and receive a certificate.

Trainings

Online Trainings
Additional Online Training Databases

Online Trainings

Course Number Course Name Training Topic Target Audience
550

F2Summer Week Challenge External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 20:31)

Please note: F2Summer Challenge is now known as F2Summer Celebration Week

Menu Planning or Nutrition Education
Child and Adult Care Food Program Directors, Food Service Directors and Staff, Teachers
External USDA
Menu Planning or Nutrition Education
Summer Meal Program Food Service Directors, Staff

Additional Online Training Databases

To find additional online trainings, visit the:

Partners

The following tables provide a list of organizations you can reach out to for assistance procuring locally sourced foods and providing on-site assistance with agricultural-based enrichment activities. If you need their assistance, it is advisable to contact them early!

Taste —Assistance with local procurement
Teach —On-site assistance providing agricultural-based education activities

Taste —Assistance with local procurement

Organization Contact Information Assistance Provided
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) California Farmer Marketplace External link opens in new window or tab. Navigate the web page to find farms near you. Answers questions about availability of food items
CDFA Office of Farm to Fork – F2S Program External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: Michael Ackley-Grady

Email: Michael.Ackley-Grady@cdfa.ca.gov
Connecting with local food producers and navigating F2S resources
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: Yousef Buzayan, Farm to Cafeteria Manager

Email: yousef@caff.org

Provides technical assistance (TA) with procuring local foods, and a free Bid Generator for Request for Proposals

The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Location External link opens in new window or tab. Navigate the web page to find the UCCE nearest you.

Provides help finding farms near you

Teach —On-site assistance providing agricultural-based education activities

Organization/Program Contact Information Assistance Provided
The UCCE—Master Gardener Program External link opens in new window or tab. Scroll down the web page and select the county on the California map to reach the UCCE Master Gardener Program nearest you. Garden-based education activities or Ask a Master Gardener a Question
University of California, Davis, CalFresh Healthy Living External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: MaryAnn Mills, Program Team Manager

Email: mamills@ucdavis.edu

Nutrition education activities and taste tests of locally sourced foods
California Foundation for Agriculture (Ag) in the Classroom External link opens in new window or tab.

Contact: Judy Culbertson, Executive Director

Phone: 916-561-5625

Email: info@learnaboutag.org
TA regarding standard-aligned agricultural-based lessons and enrichment activities
Center for Ecoliteracy External link opens in new window or tab.

Phone: 510-845-4595

Email: info@ecoliteracy.org

TA by phone or email for agricultural-based education activities

 

Resources

Planning Guide Description
USDA F2Summer: Why Summer Meals Programs are Ripe for Local Foods and Agriculture-Based Activities Fact Sheet External link opens in new window or tab. This fact sheet discusses the benefits of F2Summer activities. Summer is a time of agricultural abundance: plump stone fruits hang heavy on trees, juicy melons and tomatoes explode from their vines, beans begin to dry in their pods, and livestock fed on the most nutritious spring grasses produce delicious meat and dairy products. This factsheet will review how to integrate local food into summer meals.
Center for Ecoliteracy F2Summer Planning Guide External link opens in new window or tab. This planning guide distills tips and best practices for building community support, conducting grassroots outreach, planning F2Summer menus, and more.
National Farm to Fork Network External link opens in new window or tab. This web page provides resources to assist program operators implement F2S and F2Summer activities. Examples of resources are: Preschool Lesson Plans by Growing Minds, What’s in Season, Pint Size Produce, Easy to Use Activities for Early Childhood, Fresh from the Farm: F2S and Out-of-School Time Programs and much more!

Additional Resources

To find additional resources, visit the:

  • CDE CNP Resource Library web page to assist program operators with Nutrition Education activities, Agricultural-based Nutrition Education, Recipes, Cooking in the Classroom, and Physical Activity.

Awardees

2020

The CDE NSD did not offer the F2Summer Week Challenge awards due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2019

The CDE NSD would like to congratulate the following California program operators for receiving a One in a Melon Trophy of recognition for completing the three elements of the F2Summer Week Challenge in 2019:

  • A Place Called Home
  • Eastside Union School District
  • Elk Grove Unified School District (USD)
  • Natomas USD
  • Ontario-Montclair School District
  • Redlands USD
  • Rialto USD
  • Riverside USD
  • San Luis Coastal USD
  • South Bay Union School District
  • Winters Joint USD

The CDE would also like to congratulate the following program operators for receiving a Certificate of Appreciation for participating in the F2Summer Week Challenge:

  • Adelanto Elementary School District
  • Camp Laurel Foundation
  • Hesperia USD
  • Santa Clara USD
  • San Diego USD
  • Hilmar USD
  • Sacramento City USD

Contacts

If you have any questions, please contact the CDE NSD F2S Team by email at Farm2School@cde.ca.gov.

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 28, 2021
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