by: Adam Davenport, Grow Education Manager
Grow Education has an exciting year ahead as we look into 2020! With all the momentum built in our Farm to School project we are moving full steam ahead in our partnership with New Bedford Public Schools. This means that in addition to implementing our year-round educational programming, we are in full out planning mode with the Food Service Department. Together our focus is honed in on improving the school menu with more fresh and nutrient dense meals.
We have seen hints of change this winter as the Food Service Department sourced 750 pounds of butternut squash from a local Rehoboth farm! With planning for new central kitchen/food hub moving ahead, our last months have been packed with scheduling 13 Winter Presentations in our 7 partnered schools. These presentations will be done by local farmers and food related educators to help build a culture and food and health within the schools. The curriculum and classroom connections in these presentations are an important part of readying students for the upcoming menu changes.
With 1/3 of New Bedford’s youth considered food insecure (and almost ¼ of families living in poverty), access to quality nutrition is an issue. We understand that without proper nourishment our students can’t focus or perform well. We know that unhealthy foods are often more affordable – but are linked to rises in chronic disease and sickness. With the introduction of higher-quality foods in schools and the education connections we’re providing, we are prepping New Bedford for some healthy change!
In the video below, taken during the 2018-2019 Winter Speaker Series, Kristen Lofstrom, a member of the Bristol County Bee Keepers Association, captivates the students at Jacobs Elementary with a look at a real hive.