FSLN Covid-19 Response Group: Biweekly Listserv Recap (April 24 - May 8)

Hello friends,
The FSLN's Food Systems Leadership Network COVID-19 Response Group Listserv has become a dynamic communications platform for discussing topics specifically related to COVID-19. There has been robust conversation and resource sharing happening and I hope you'll consider signing up here.
Every two weeks, the FSLN support team distills key conversations from the Listserv, shares highlights from the activities of the past two weeks, and offers updates on upcoming opportunities. Below, you'll find the Recap email from April 24 - May 8, all biweekly Recap Emails are stored here and the listserv's main folder contains additional resources shared through the listserv.

Upcoming Opportunities:

  • Meat processing: in response to a robust conversation on the listserv about the challenges and concerns faced by small scale meat producers, particularly around access to meat processing facilities, the Wallace Center will be hosting a call next week to explore needs and opportunities for immediate responses and long-term change. Presenters and date coming soon!
  • CFAP Farmers to Families Food Box support: As the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program is scheduled to begin this month, we hope to better understand the anticipated challenges and support needed by the program’s implementors so that we can continue to serve and support you in getting local and regional food to communities in need. If you applied for or are planning on participating in this program, please take a few minutes to respond this brief survey. Your input will help us craft technical assistance and peer learning opportunities to support CFAP – Food Box program participants.
Listserv Recap (April 24 – May 8, 2020)
Inspiring Solutions Hot Topic: Meat Processing
  • This thread discusses how Covid-19 is shedding light on perennial issues faced by niche meat processors and the need to expand opportunities and training for small and medium sized regional processors
    • The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) runs a listserv for folks involved with meat and poultry processing (register here)
    • This webinar on Business Strategies for Small Meat Processors discusses what COVID-19 means for small processors, labor laws, food safety, and more. Recording here.
    • In Wisconsin, the Passion for Pork program connects pork producers with smaller local meat processors to help meet the demand for meat in food banks food bank
    • Utah’s Dept of Ag and Food is temporarily certifying small businesses to process livestock for commercial purposes
    • For meat processors located in communities that receive HUD CDBG funding, some funding may be used towards COVID needs. Quick guide here.
  • Multiple resources in this message including case studies on meat processing and collaborative projects, pain points and suggested solutions. And Cornell Small Farms Program hosts webinars and has plenty of resources for livestock producers. 
The Wallace Center will be hosting a call with key partners in this space next week. Stay tuned!
Hot Topic: Maps and Matchmaking
  • This thread hosted discussions around:
    • Using mapping technology to connect producers with emergency food relief entities and to predict supply chain disruptions
    • Value chain coordination and how critical people are to moving food from farms to forks. Continue the conversation in the FSLN’s Value Chain Coordination Discussion Group here
  • Food and farm maps were shared from:
  •  Colorado State University’s site features resources for farmers as well as interactive maps sharing information about at-risk workers, child-care needs across the country, and they’re developing a CO map to aggregate food systems indicators
  • Crowdsourced list and map of food producers, distributors, and recipient entities was originally intended to support the CFAP RFP; please continue to use it to connect with folks in your region
  • This webinar discusses the possible implications of a transformed food system
As a result of these discussions, the Wallace Center hosted two calls:
  • Using Maps for Food System Access and Planning in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and University of Wisconsin to discuss how mapping technology can be used to analyze supply chain disruptions, guide emergency food response, and plan for the future. Notes and recording here.
  • Value Chain Adaptations Call featured food systems leaders from Sustainable Food Center, City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, and First Nations Development Institute who shared how they are adapting and responding to supply chain disruptions in their communities. Notes and recording here.
Hot Topic: CFAP and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program The Wallace Center hosted a Rapid Response Call on Federal Contracts and RFP Tips and Best Practices featuring Prem Durairaj (Community Health Improvement Partners) and Melanie Berman (AR Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.) Notes and recording here.
Funding Opportunities
  • National Farm to School Network launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund, first round of applications are due May 10
  • The Sustainable Ag and Food Systems Funders list available philanthropic funds here
  • A very comprehensive list of current funding relief for Small Businesses and Nonprofits at the national level is here
Calls to Action
  • This request from HEAL Food Alliance to send a letter to the five largest meat companies to protect workers
  • This letter is circulating to investigate the consolidation of the meatpacking industry
  • This request to urge Congress to sign on to the PRIME Act to increase access to local meat by repealing the ban on sale of meat processed by custom slaughterhouses that meet state regulations and basic federal requirements
Helpful Tools & Resources


FSLN Admin