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Michigan Ag News Headlines
Farm to Early Care and Education Grant to Expand in 10 States
Michigan Ag Connection - 11/30/2020

Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) programs enrich young children's health and lives through greater access to nutritious foods and a hands-on approach to food, health and agriculture education. The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) is pleased to announce that 10 states and the District of Columbia have been awarded $90,900 each to strengthen their state-level Farm to ECE initiatives for a one-year project period. These impactful plans were competitively selected from a pool of 21 applicants and include: Colorado, District of Columbia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington.

According to Chris Mornick, MPH, RDN, team lead for the state of Washington, "Farm to ECE initiatives shape healthy habits for life by exposing small children to the joys of fresh produce and the great outdoors. This new funding opportunity will boost our state's Farm to ECE infrastructure, making it more sustainable and comprehensive."

There were many common themes detailed among the selected proposals, including the prioritization of equity across all Farm to ECE activities. "We champion the vital work these states are undertaking and are excited to provide tailored technical assistance to help them succeed," says ASPHN's Emia Oppenheim, PhD, RD, LD.

Interest in the Farm to ECE strategy has grown in recent years thanks to its innovative and effective approach. By networking local farmers and food producers with early care and education providers such as preschools, childcare centers and Head Start, Farm to ECE programs stimulate local economies while reducing their carbon footprint.

Founded in 1952, ASPHN is a non-profit membership organization that strengthens nutrition policy, programs and environments for all people through the development of public health nutrition leaders and the collective action of members nationwide. ASPHN's membership is composed of more than 600 nutrition professionals located throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. ASPHN's vision is healthy eating and active living for everyone.

This opportunity is supported by the CDC of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This specific project, along with many other projects, is funded through this cooperative agreement that totals $3.96 million. One hundred percent of this project is funded by DNPAO/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)/CDC/HHS.

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