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PA FCNS SymbolJoin us on June 23rd, 2022 for the Pennsylvania Farm to Child Nutrition Summit. This first of its kind event is being coordinated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food and Nutrition and Project PA (Penn State University) with the support of the Pennsylvania Farm to School Network. Funding is provided by a USDA Farm to School grant. The summit will be held at the picturesque Ag Progress Days site, outside of State College in Centre County. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Registration is free and on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration deadline is June 8th, 2022 or until capacity is reached, whichever comes first.

Target audiences:

  • Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators
  • K–12 and early childhood education educators
  • Producers
  • Distributors
  • Other farm to school/early childhood education stakeholder groups

The purpose of the summit is to facilitate peer–to–peer learning and networking among CNP operators, establish connections between CNP operators and producers, showcase farm to child nutrition “best practices,” and deliver educational opportunities regarding the environmental, economic, nutritional, and equitable value of growing foods.

The summit will include breakout sessions, educational displays, networking opportunities, and opportunities to tour an on-site agricultural museum and Master Gardener demonstration garden. Session topics will address local food procurement for CNPs, student engagement in farm to school, agriculture education, funding farm to child nutrition initiatives, implementation of Pennsylvania Harvest of the Month, school gardens/gardening in early care and education settings, and more.


Continuing Education Credits:

  • Professional Development credits for school food service personnel
  • Act 48 credits for educators
  • PQAS credits for early care and education attendees

Keynote Address

Big Dreams to Big Outcomes: Farm to School Partnerships in Action
In the Spring of 2017 staff from Pittsburgh Public Schools Food Services, Grow Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, and other community partners came together to discuss the feasibility of applying for and executing a USDA Farm to School Grant project. The results of those meetings began to pay off even before the grant was eventually awarded to Grow Pittsburgh on behalf of Pittsburgh Public Schools and helped lay the foundation for long-term Farm to School programming in the district. Join Adia Effiong, Director of School Garden Programs at Grow Pittsburgh and Malik Hamilton, Production and Purchasing Coordinator at Pittsburgh Public Schools, to hear about how synergistic efforts between organizations focused on overall child nutrition can more effectively enhance the holistic nourishment necessary for the health and growth of students.


About the Keynote Speakers:
Adia Effiong M. Ed is the Director of School Garden Programs at Grow Pittsburgh. She leads a team of dynamic educators that work with Adia-Effiong-Keynote-Speaker-1over 40 schools and nearly a dozen Early Childhood centers across the Pittsburgh region. In addition to her role as Director, she is on the Chatham University Eden Hall Campus K-12 Programs Advisory Board, The Pittsburgh Food Policy Council Child Nutrition Sub-Committee, and Pennsylvania Farm to School Network Policy Working Group. She envisions a day where every child in the region has access to a garden-based curriculum and learning to grow food is part of the school day.

Adia holds a B.A. in Health Services from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.Ed in Health Education from The Pennsylvania State University. Her background is in public health with many years in Early Childhood leadership. During her time at Grow Pittsburgh she has connected with community partners, expanded the School Garden Network and consulted with many school and Out of School Time programs to support their school garden dreams.

Chef Malik Hamilton brings to the table an enthusiastic curiosity about the food we consume every day in our homes, our communities, and our schools. Malik-Hamilton-Keynote-Speaker-2For over twenty-five years he has navigated the food service industry in the kitchens of award-winning restaurants, caterers, resorts, festivals, and universities. For the last six years, this Chatham University Masters in Food Studies alum has begun to position himself as a leader in the K-12 Food Service industry in Southwest Pennsylvania and beyond. In coordination with the Pittsburgh Good Food Coalition and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, he recently played a key role in bringing a Good Food Purchasing Policy to Pittsburgh Public Schools. He serves as the Bid Committee Chair for the Pittsburgh Regional Food Service Directors buying co-op and holds a seat on the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council. He endeavors to LEARN, SHARE, and CHANGE, the power, place and potential of school food in our lives.


Pre-Summit Tour (registration-free; space is limited)
On June 22nd, a 3½ hour tour will introduce participants to the Dr. Keiko Miwa Ross Student Farm at Penn State and associated on-campus greenhouses and gardens. The Student Farm is a student-centered and sustainable educational farm that provides a variety of fresh foods to the Penn State community while also providing opportunities for experiential learning, student-led research, and community outreach. In addition to the 4-acre farm, the tour will visit additional garden spaces that are managed by members of Student Farm Club and Student Farm interns. These spaces include a hydroponic greenhouse, a rooftop garden that grows food for donation to the Lion’s Pantry, Penn State’s student food pantry, and a pocket garden that is maintained in partnership with the Schreyer Honors College and Lion’s Pantry.

Participants will learn about how gardens, farms and greenhouses can be used to support educational goals in a K-12 setting and will leave the tour with examples of learning modules as well as best practices for establishing and sustaining physical growing spaces on school grounds.

plastic-container-with-lidThe Student Farm tour will include a microgreens activity. Participants should bring a rigid plastic container with a fully detachable plastic lid like the one pictured to the right. The lid will create a greenhouse effect that is useful for germination, and then will serve as a water drip tray under the container while the microgreens grow out.

After registering for the summit, you will have the option to register for this pre-summit tour if space is still available.

Tour schedule:  
2:00pm – 3:30pm: Student Farm tour (The farm is located on the northern portion of Penn State’s campus at the
intersection of Big Hollow and Fox Hollow Roads. Travel via Fox Hollow Road. Parking is available free of charge. Participants are responsible for their own transportation.)
3:30pm – 4:00pm: Transition to Penn State Berkey Creamery, the meeting spot for the second phase of the tour. The creamery is approximately 2 miles from the Student Farm. The 30-minute break should allow those who are interested to purchase an ice cream treat before the second phase of the tour begins. Parking in East Parking Deck is recommended. Parking rate is $1/hour.
4:00pm – 5:30pm: Walking tour of greenhouses and gardens.

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