October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country between schools and local food! Children’s Aid honors these connections, and strives to create and support pathways through the Go!Healthy program and community partner collaborations.
The Farm to School initiative enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by supporting a change in food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons, and farm field trips.
Through the years, Children’s Aid has been working in connecting youth and their families to fresh healthy food through the Go!Healthy program and other community partners in the New York City area. This year, the Go!Healthy program championed the farm-to-school program by connecting Children’s Aid community schools and community centers with trips to local farmers’ markets. This summer we started the Go!Healthy Food Box program, where fresh fruits and vegetables are sold at a low cost directly to the community members at Goodhue Center in Staten Island, and the Whitney Young Jr. Campus where C.S. 211, I.S. 318, Children’s Aid College Prep, and Early Childhood programming take place. The programs will continue through the fall. In addition to this, the Go!Healthy program strives to make direct links through its after-school programming to local community farms and gardens through its Go!Chefs programming and food justice programs.
Over the past decade, the farm-to-school movement has exploded across the U.S, reaching millions of students in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Farm to School is an important tool in the fight against childhood obesity and food insecurity. According to the USDA Farm to School Census, 298 school districts participate in Farm to School. Children’s Aid is proud to also be a leader in connecting fresh, healthy, local foods to its community members.
To learn more about National Farm to School Month, visit www.farmtoschool.org.
For the latest information about Go!Healthy events including walks to the farmers’ market or the Food Box Program, join our Go!Healthy Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/CASGoHealthy/
For more information about the Go!Healthy program, please reach out to Children’s Aid Director of Food and Nutrition Alyson Abrami (firstname.lastname@example.org)