Written by: Daiana Baez, FoodCorps Service Member with CAFF and Life Lab
The splash of rocks skipping, the skidding of tires, the sweet whispers of grasshoppers, and the silent buzz of bees are all familiar noises connected with summer. However, perhaps much louder, is the sound of a collective hunger that stirs all season long. The USDA has estimated that 30.3 million children depend on the National School Lunch Program to ease their hunger aches during the school year. Unfortunately, as soon as the last bell rings, only 2.6 million children are fortunate enough to find facilities providing food assistance during the summer. But with the lack of resources, and overwhelming amount of challenges nutrition services facilities face in low-resource, low-income communities, the privilege of health dilutes in a sea of calories and sugar. This summer, nonetheless, food fighters in Pajaro Valley Unified School District together worked to create a nutrition program that reached five different schools, and almost every single student at: Starlight Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, Landmark Elementary, Freedom Elementary, and Cesar Chavez Middle School.
To provide PVUSD summer school students with not just calories, but a sample of health, the district’s Teach Project (supported by Grind Out Hunger) provided teams of nutrition educators with enough resources for each of their students to eat a rainbow. Continue reading
Written by: Chelsea Sarg, FoodCorps Service Member with Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) North Coast
One of the most important lessons I have learned as a Foodcorps service member this past year is the importance of partnerships. The basis of a Foodcorps position is a partnership in itself; I serve as the Foodcorps service member for the non-profit, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), which serves their farmer members and local schools. That’s a mouthful for the usually 20 seconds I have to explain to parents or farmers what it is that “I do.” But it’s not all for naught; these partnerships mean I can work across a large spectrum of subjects and with a variety of people. Continue reading
CAFF Farm to School Coordinator and guest author Zea Luce
Our guest author today is Zea Luce, who is the Farm to School Coordinator for the Santa Clara Valley office of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). Zea has been working on an interesting evaluation tool that can help improve relationships between school district staff and administrators. Read on to learn more!
As a school district, one of the best ways to increase sourcing of local produce is to simply ask your distributor to both label local products on invoices and deliver from more local farmers. But what if that sourcing goes unnoticed?
Our guest blogger today is Ally Lemmer, a FoodCorps Service Member who serves with both Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and Life Lab in the Central Coast region. Read on to hear about Ally’s work with the Harvest of the Month program and how FoodCorps plays a role in boosting that program’s impact in the South Bay and Central Coast! To learn more about FoodCorps in California, visit our page on the FoodCorps website.
Depending on your region and school district, farm to school programs often take many different faces. From sourcing local produce from a nearby farm or harvesting some carrots and beets in your own school garden, there are endless of ways of how a farm to school program can be implemented in your own school district or community. For my service, the role I play in building up farm to school is through Harvest of the Month programming (HOTM).