Posted in Colchester High School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Union Memorial School, Videos, Wellness

Cultivating Hunger Awareness and Community Partnerships Is No Small Potatoes

Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
—Margaret Mead, American anthropologist

Sometimes community is nourishing.

In a fantastic collaboration between Colchester School District, Tuberville, the Colchester Community Food Shelf, and even local commerce, students at Union Memorial School helped to plant, harvest, and donate potatoes to support many of our local community members.

Tuberville’s creators prepare the potato field for the students

Tuberville is an organization dedicated to reducing hunger in local communities. It was started in 2004 by father-and-son team Peter and Ralph Perkins, who raised, harvested, and donated potatoes for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. They have been branching out ever since, and they have even sprouted new fields in another state as part of their mission to address hunger through civic participation.

Last spring, first graders at UMS helped Tuberville plant a crop of potatoes on a small, nearby plot of land. (Read more about it in this Tuberville blog post.) They returned to their potato field earlier this month as second graders to help harvest and bring the potatoes to the Colchester Community Food Shelf. Their total haul from their little field was 223 pounds!

Here are two quick videos about this important community outreach initiative. The first is of UMS second graders harvesting the potatoes they helped to plant, and the second—created by Union Memorial School’s Judy Lilley—is about the food shelf and our schools’ involvement with it.

And CSD’s food service director made it a point to include potatoes on the school menu in order to provide additional thematic continuity. Fun!

We’re working hard at fostering hands-on community outreach and focusing upon nutritious foods, and school gardens play an important role in that mission. Malletts Bay School’s community garden recently celebrated its second year with a harvest dinner, and Colchester High School has a community garden, as well, the produce from which is used in menu offerings for our students.

What an amazing community we have here.

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