From a release
Toronto/Guelph – Students from 19 Ontario school boards are now eligible to take part in year two of the Fresh from the Farm school fundraising pilot program. Elementary and secondary schools raised over $50,000 and delivered more than 120,000 pounds of produce through the program’s inaugural year in 2013.
“Fresh from the Farm raises the awareness of the importance of good nutrition in the development and well-being of our children. The initiative helps to create a more supportive nutrition environment in schools and provides opportunities for introducing the related topics of agriculture, food and healthy eating into the classroom,” says Cathy O’Connor, Project Coordinator with Dietitians of Canada, one of the program’s partners.
Students raise funds by selling bundles of fresh Ontario root vegetables, which include potatoes, carrots, onions and beets, and gift-boxes of fresh Ontario apples. The innovative school fundraising campaign serves to promote healthy eating to families while supporting Ontario farmers through the sale of Ontario produce.
“It’s a win-win for students, schools and farmers, as 40 per cent of the revenue goes back to schools and our farmers receive market price for top quality produce,” says Alison Robertson, Program Manager with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. “Fresh from the Farm is a great way to build the domestic market for Ontario grown produce while helping to instill healthy eating habits in the next generation of consumers.”
The 2014 fundraising season is now officially underway, and will culminate with the delivery of fresh Ontario fruits and vegetables to participating schools in November. Students from over 900 schools from regions in southwestern, central and northern Ontario are eligible to participate this year. One of the program’s main goals is to develop a sustainable model for the program through gradual expansion across the province over the next several years.
Fresh from the Farm is a collaborative initiative between Dietitians of Canada, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, the Ontario Ministry of Education, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. To find out more, visit www.FreshfromFarm.ca