On July 11, we announced Colchester Middle School’s receipt of a $5,000 grant from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Vermont Department of Health to support the planning of a farm-to-school initiative. A lot of work has been underway since that happy announcement, and on February 6 from 5:30–7:30 p.m., CMS will host a farm-to-school community action planning meeting and celebration dinner … and you are invited!
Through this grant, we are working to institute a comprehensive, sustainable, integrated farm-to-school program focusing upon fresh and nutritious foods by integrating farm-to-school concepts into our cafeterias, incorporating more farm-fresh foods into our school community, and further integrating farm-to-school concepts into classroom content areas. As we’ve said before, nutrition is a critical component of optimal child development and academic performance; education about and access to nutritious food choices is an integral part of best positioning young people for healthy and successful lives. (These concepts are also the foundation for the grant-funded “In Shape and In Season” nutrition program currently under way at Porters Point School.)
As is stated here, farm-to-school efforts within Vermont are led by Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED), a collaborative project of the Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. VT FEED was designed with the goal of creating food system change and was organized on three levels (the three Cs):
1. The classroom, with standard-based food, farm, and nutrition-based curriculum that involves in-depth, graduate-level teacher training, including summer workshops and in-class mentoring;
2. The cafeteria, through the integration of local food and nutrition education through food service institutes, in-cafeteria mentoring, and peer support;
3. The community, through reconnecting people to their food sources—the farms and farmers.
For more information, please e-mail Sandra Hawkes (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call CMS at (802) 264-5800.
Remember that Colchester Middle School’s calendar of events can be found on the school’s website, and CMS publishes a weekly Friday Focus with news and updates, as well. Colchester School District also posts a district-wide calendar of events, so be sure to check there often, too!
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