Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What is the Somerville Farm to School Project?

In December 2013, Somerville Public Schools received a $45,000 Farm to School Planning grant from the USDA. This one year grant provides funding to develop a long-term district-wide strategy that supports local sourcing and helps expand current farm to school efforts. The overarching, long-term goal is for SPS students to eat healthy meals ALL DAY LONG – before, during and after school-time.

Seedlings from the Winter Hill Seedling Farm

For the Farm to School Project to be a continued success it depends on connections among three areas: cafeteria, classroom, and community. The SPS Food and Nutrition Services Department is working very hard to source local, fresh ingredients whenever possible. Classroom teachers are creating linkages between food in the cafeteria, school gardens, and the curriculum. The third piece is community, which include parents and community organizations that serve the SPS families.

Ladybug enjoying a snack of aphids on an eggplant leaf
 Our partners include Groundwork Somerville, Mass Farm to School, Shape Up Somerville, Somerville Community Schools, Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, and UMass Extension. Other project collaborators include "E" Inc. and Project Bread.

Strawberry spinach salad taste test
Over the past 6 months we, along with our partners, have held taste tests, engaged parents and community members in meetings and activities, held planning team meetings, planted school gardens with students, hosted professional development days for teachers and other staff, and many more things. Look for upcoming blog posts that highlight these activities and more!
 
Seeding squash at the Kennedy School Planting Party

 For the full press release click here. For more information about the Somerville Farm to School Project please email Karyn Novakowski, Farm to School Project Director knovakowski@k12.somerville.ma.us.

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