June 2017

Spotlight on New TDA Resources

Online Tool Helps You Define 'Local'
USDA allows child nutrition program participants to establish the meaning of local when purchasing local food with federal funds. As long as procurement guidelines are followed, you can define local in a way that best suits your program. TDA created this tool to help you identify a definition of local based on your goals.

TDA Adds New Resources to Garden Web Pages
Staying connected and championing your participation in the Farm Fresh Initiative has never been easier. TDA's
Let's Get Growing: Connect will help you create a consistent communication campaign and connect with parents, local news outlets, and community members about how you support Farm Fresh.

Let's Get Growing: Connect includes the following information, templates, samples and more:
* press releases
* backpack stuffers
* email language
* social media posts
* a volunteer tracking calendar to keep all of your contact information in one place

Visit the new Farm Fresh Garden-Based Learning Web page today!

The all new Cooking for the Seasons: Summer cookbook contains more than 30 recipes that highlight ingredients harvested in Texas during the summer months. All of the recipes have been tested up to 25 servings and analyzed for nutritional value.

Education Service Center chefs at regions 10 (Richardson),12 (Waco) and 13 (Austin) created the recipes to help child nutrition professionals use more local foods in meals and snacks.

Farm to School Spotlight

Participate in the 2017 Local Products Challenge!
TDA challenges schools to use more Texas products in cafeteria meals during October, and will recognize participants that complete the challenge. 

Participating schools will receive a toolkit of Farm Fresh Fridays supportive materials, including buttons, stickers and static clings. There are many resources available online to help you plan and implement successful Farm Fresh Fridays activities and participate in the Local Products Challenge.

Register by July 15 to ensure you receive your Farm Fresh Fridays materials before September 1.

Learn more about the challenge and pledge participation today!
Farm to Child Care Spotlight
Engaging Parents in Farm to Child Care Webinar
June 7, 2017 at noon Central Daylight Time

Engaging parents in early childhood learning can be an important component of your programming. Farm to Child Care can provide opportunities for deep engagement that supports children and families. 

Register here for this webinar designed for early childhood program staff including:
* food service directors
* cook staff
* administration
* teachers
* family day care home providers

Watch past webinars from this mini-series here.    

Farm to Summer Spotlight
TDA calls on Elected Officials to Get Involved as a Summer Meals Champion!
When summer vacation begins, many Texas children leave school facing days when they may not have enough to eat. They are among the nearly two million young Texans who are food insecure, meaning they don't always have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), administered by TDA, provides free summer meals to kids 18 and younger at meal sites across Texas during the summer break. These nutritious meals help children receive the nutrition they need in order to return to school in the fall healthy and prepared to thrive.

TDA calls on elected officials to raise awareness of SFSP at the local level by participating in the Summer Meals Challenge. Taking the challenge is easy! Click here for a step-by-step guide.

Learn more about the SFSP Program here, and watch this PSA to learn how you can easily find a site in your community.

Contact TDA
Alyssa Herold
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Initiatives
Emilee Case
Farm Fresh Specialist

Email us or call
(877) TEX-MEAL
Connect with Others
Texas Statewide Network
This LinkedIn Group is an online network connecting schools, child and adult care centers, producers, support organizations and community members with important information about expanding local food efforts in Texas.
Join Today!

Texas Farm Fresh Network
Use this tool to connect with Texas food companies that currently sell or are interested in selling to schools, child care centers and summer meal programs. Company listings include contact information, product availability and distribution radius.
Funding Opportunities
Financial support from organizations may help establish or advance local Farm Fresh initiatives.
Go here  for a list of opportunities from TDA, USDA and other organizations.