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Suzette's Letter, June 5, 2015


Fruits and vegetables top the list of locally produced foods served in U.S. schools

According to USDA’s Farm to School Census, 36 percent of the U.S. public school districts that completed the questionnaire reported serving at least some locally produced foods in school lunches or breakfasts during school years 2011-12 or 2012-13. The DOD Fresh Program allows districts to use USDA funds to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables through the Department of Defense, which provides information to districts on foods that are sourced locally. Read more here.

Foreclosure Crisis Fueled Dramatic Rise of Racial Segregation: Study
The foreclosure crisis that drove approximately 9 million people across the United States from their homes disproportionately displaced black and Latino households and led to a spike in segregation along racial lines, a new Cornell University study finds.


Percent of residents receiving SNAP benefits in 2014 declined in many States

USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) served an average of 46.5 million people per month in fiscal 2014. The percent of Americans participating in the program declined from 15.0 percent in 2013 to 14.6 percent in 2014, marking the first decline in the percent of the population receiving SNAP since 2001.


EPA Office of Sustainable Communities Offers Two New Economic Development Resources for Small Towns and Cities




WEBINAR: “Creating Equitable Food Systems with the Healthy Food Financing Initiative” by Policy Link on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM EST.

WEBINAR: Citizen Planning Academies, Thursday, June 11, 2015, 3-4 p.m. EDT

Citizen Planning Academies are community education programs that build local leadership, increase awareness, and broaden involvement in community planning. Wayne Senville, publisher and editor, PlannersWeb.com; Leanna Lawson, chairperson, Rockingham County Citizens' Academy; and Kathleen Osher, executive director, Transit Alliance, join CommunityMatters® for an hour-long conference call on June 11. They’ll share ideas and tips for starting a citizens’ academy in your community.

Free Webinar on Engaging Hard-to-Reach and Environmental Justice Populations and (only 250 spots available)

Can online engagement help reach the Environmental Justice and traditionally underrepresented populations? This webinar will explore key strategies and critical success factors. The presentation will be followed by an open Q&A session.
Date: June 24, 2015 (1:00 – 1:45 pm ET, 10:00 – 10:45 am PT)

NEA is offering two different webinars, on July 29 and August 5. Each session will be at 3:00 EDT. Registration for the webinars will be available in July in the webinar section of the NEA website. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or with project-specific questions.

WEBINAR SERIES: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released the schedule of free webinars that will be provided as part of the Capacity Building Initiative’s “Financing Community Health Centers” series. The technical assistance webinars, held between June 2015 and July 2015, will provide Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with best practices on successful financing from leading experts in the field.

Suzette's Letter May 29, 2015


Article on “Responsible Tourism: How to Preserve the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg.” It discusses how design standards, historic preservation and strong land use controls relate to successful tourism development efforts. A good primer or tool on being successful with tourism.  See attached.

Rural Veterans In Need Of Care Face Uncertainty, Isolation
May 18, 2015 -- Provides an overview of challenges faced by rural veterans, statistics describing the rural veteran population, and emerging solutions to address healthcare access disparities, such as care coordination and telehealth. Source: Task & Purpose

Interstate Telehealth Licensing Compact Set to Become Reality
May 15, 2015 -- Reports on the passage of an Alabama bill adopting an interstate licensure compact which will allow physicians to practice across state lines. Alabama is the seventh state to do so, meeting the threshold number of participating states needed to enact the compact. Highlights how this compact will increase access to healthcare in rural and underserved areas. Source: mHealth News

Graduate Medical Education Financing: Sustaining Medical Education in Rural Places
A policy brief reporting on the financial situation of rural training track (RTT) residency programs, including their sources of funding, expenses, and the relationship between urban RTT sponsors and rural program sites.
Organization: Rural Training Track Technical Assistance Program. Date: 05 / 2015

Return to rural? Several factors at play when residents leave, return, (Farm Futures 5/27)

Reasons for returning – or not returning – to rural communities once young people have left their home cities and towns are varied, but USDA researchers have found that family involvement and child-rearing considerations surface as key drivers in both situations... In a new report, "Factors affecting former residents' returning to rural communities," USDA Economic Research Service researchers conducted about 300 interviews at high school reunions in 21 rural communities to determine reasons for leaving or coming back to rural communities. Link

EPA Office of Sustainable Communities Offers Two New Economic Development Resources for Small Towns and Cities
How can small towns and cities adapt to changing conditions that affect the industries, technologies, and land use patterns that form the foundation of their local economies?  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new report provides case studies of seven communities that have successfully reinvigorated their struggling economies by emphasizing existing assets and distinctive resources.  The report, How Small Towns and Cities Can Use Local Assets to Rebuild Their Economies: Lessons from Successful Places, draws on these case studies to offer strategies other communities can use.  Two stories in here from towns of 2,900 and 12,000 population

N4A Releases Report on Livable Communities for All Ages
The National Association for Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) has recently released a report on livable communities for all ages.  The report highlights local best practices from across the country, provides an overview of ways to help the elderly remain independent and engaged, and serves as a guide for local governments to transform their communities to support aging in place.  Click here to read the full report.  



Webinar: Developing Partnerships [in Indian Country]Thursday, June 4, 3-4:30 pm EDT – Part III:

This series is based on a curriculum designed by Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC, and NeighborWorks America®, built on the principle that creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between Native and non-Native partners requires an understanding of history, cultural paradigms, tribal sovereignty issues and the subtle nuances of Indian Country. During these webinars, Seven Sisters will examine elements of successful partnerships with Native organizations, looking at cultural differences, history and the issue of sovereignty. The webinars will then explore how that understanding leads to effective and lasting partnerships.

These webinars are designed for non-Native organizations, including nonprofits; financial institutions; philanthropic entities; and federal, state and local government agencies that are looking to develop or strengthen partnerships with Native organizations.

Facilitators include Vickie Oldman-John, Leslie Newman, Joanna Donohoe and Natasha Shulman from Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC.

To register for these webinars, please click here. Click on the registration link, you will see a drop-down menu with three dates.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Recorded Webinar: Native American Housing: Obstacles and Opportunities
Recording of a March 24, 2015 panel discussion addressing the challenges involved in supplying and maintaining tribal housing.
Organization: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Date: 03 / 2015

Presentations from Conference: Community Foundations Advancing Economic Success

Advancing Economic Success was a two-day workshop featuring stories from around the country of community foundations that are practicing Community Development Philanthropy in order to build prosperity for families, communities and regions. View the workshop agenda here.  And link to presentations

Selling 2 the World Expo 2015

Sell to the world one



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