Written by: Hayley Baumgartner, FoodCorps Service Member with Center for Healthy Communities
“Hey!, Hey!!, HEEEYYYY!!! What do you guys have today??” a pair of fourth grade girls call to me through the chain link fence as I am setting up a farm stand booth in the hot valley sun. “We have strawberries today,” I call back and they squeal “YESSSS!” in excitement as they jump up and down. “We brought money today” they tell me enthusiastically. Continue reading
Written by: Lauren Valentino, FoodCorps Service Member with Sierra Harvest
*Originally posted on Sierra Harvest’s website.
Theresa Ruiz, Food Service Director for Nevada Joint Union High School District preparing a new salad recipe at the California Thursdays Training in San Diego, CA.
If you were tasked with redefining school lunch in California, where would you begin? Nevada County based non-profit Sierra Harvest and the Food Service Directors from Nevada Joint Union, Grass Valley and Twin Ridges School Districts have made notable achievements in procuring locally grown specialty vegetables, placing salad bars in the lunch lines, removing soda machines, and replacing some processed foods with scratch-cooked meals. None of these improvements happened over night; in fact, changing the face of school food in Nevada County has been a work in progress for years requiring a great deal of determination. This Spring, efforts to increase the fresh, local, food offered in school meals will be significantly expanded through an innovative state-wide campaign with one simple mission: to serve kids healthy meals made with California grown ingredients on Thursdays. Continue reading
Written by: Sheila McQuaid, Farm to Fork Coordinator and CFSN North Valley Regional Lead with Center for Healthy Communities (CHC)
The North Valley Region of the California Farm to School Network is comprised mainly of small, rural school districts. Our regional gathering has been focusing on creating community between the nutrition services teams from these districts via a day of connection, education, and celebration of their work. Last year we had teams from four districts demonstrate scratch cooking recipes, and then we all sat down and shared them for lunch.
After receiving a B.S. in Dietetics from her home state university, University of Vermont, FoodCorps Service Member Shannon McDowell moved west to serve a year with the Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) — formerly, Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP) — in Chico, CA. Dedicated to providing youth and community members with nutrition education, Shannon is supporting her service site through its Harvest of the Month program by sourcing and preparing an upwards of 5,000 tastings per month. Read on to learn about how Shannon has helped support and spearhead Harvest of the Month in the North Valley region.