Strengthening Farm-to-School Food Programs

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The Windham Foundation recently awarded Food Connects and Northshire Grows a $5,000 grant to strengthen Farm-to-School programs and activities across Southern Vermont.

Based on Food Connect’s model, the funds allowed Northshire Grows to be trained in Farm-to-School competencies and for a coordinator there to receive further training.  Together, the organizations cultivated interest in a Vermont FEED professional development course, which 20 members of the Bennington School District took this fall.

The groups also worked to generate interest in purchasing local produce for cafeterias, Vermont Harvest of the Month and special classroom programs. They also promoted school and community gardening as a learning tool.

As a result of this capacity-building grant, Bennington County is seeing its Farm-to-School efforts grow, its teachers taking on more project-based learning initiatives and its students becoming more engaged in agriculture and place-based learning.