Can you remember the paraphernalia you peddled for school fundraisers? Were chocolate almonds one of them? I bet you sold them and didn’t eat them like my brother-in-law. Over the two weeks he should have been selling, he was eating. To avoid his mom’s wrath, he stuffed the boxes with acorns, resealed them and sent them back to school.
Serves them right I say. How did we ever think it was OK to teach kids about eating right and send them bumbling home with a bulky box of chocolate almonds… “And remember kids, chocolate almond money is due Friday and we’ll have our food group quiz then too.”
Thankfully we now realize we have to talk the talk and walk the walk especially in today’s toxic food environment. In fact, the Healthy Kids Panel reporting to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care stressed that one of the single best ways to improve childhood health is to change the food environment; make the healthy choice the easy choice. Which is why I am jumping on the couch excited to tell you about Fresh From the Farm school fundraiser.
Basically, eligible schools enroll in the spring, then come September a school champion coordinates students to sell fresh, Ontario fruit and vegetables. The school order is sent in October and the produce is delivered to schools in November.
Here’s what students sell. I think it’s a terrific value:
- $10 Veggies: 3 lb of EACH carrots/onions/sweet potatoes and 5 lb potatoes;
- $15 Apples: 8 lb box.
The funds gets divided up like so:
- 40% for schools (minus $60 delivery charge);
- 50% for farmers;
- 10% for Fresh from the Farm.
This program helps kids see healthy eating come alive where they live, learn and play. I would have no problem giving this program the OK at our parent council. It meet all the checks:
✔ Schools can make just as much money selling healthy food items as they did selling chocolate almonds. To date, the 152 schools in the program have raised over $100K.
✔ The school champion or coordinator is fully supported.
✔ Families get high quality fresh local produce at a fair price.
✔ We support our rural farming families and put food dollars back into the local economy.
✔ To battle the decline in food literacy there are high quality teaching resources.
We have our stories schlepping chocolate almonds but imagine the Fresh from the Farm stories kids will have, seeing waist high piles of fresh carrots for pick up, the teacher who made sweet potato soup in class or the fight for the last apple in the box. Wouldn’t that be terrific?
If you live in an area where this program is offered be sure to support it. That will go a long way to help reach the goal to offer this program across Ontario.
Find out more:
- Contact EatRight Ontario: 1-877-510-510-2
- Twitter: @
- Facebook: freshfromfarmON
- Website: Fresh From the Farm
Visit Foodland Ontario for these yummy lunch recipes featuring the produce sold:
Spicy Vegetable Samosas (baked)
Would you offer Fresh from the Farm in your school? What other healthy fundraisers have you seen?
Disclosure: I was invited to write about Fresh from the Farm and I was compensated. All my views are my own. I’m delighted to share quality programs that help to make healthy eating easier.