Just like the name says, “Garden to Lunch Program,” many schools are now partnering with Feeding Many, Inc., Jovial Concepts, and other community groups to help young students learn about gardening, preserving and storing food, and learning to love healthy vegetables and fruits – right from their own school garden!
Normandy Elementary school, featured here, has helped the kids grow many different foods, then used them in the school lunch menu. The kids have been so proud of their own veggies! It has inspired many of them to eat a more healthy diet, learning to like veggies.
In a wonderful letter from the administrators of the school, this is what they said:
To Whom it May Concern:
This spring Normandy Elementary undertook a huge gardening project. We envisioned an irrigated vegetable garden to supply kids with fresh vegetables and create an outdoor classroom. Dr. Shirl Smith, the head of Feeding Many, led us through every twist and turn of the project until it was completed. Thanks to “Feeding Many” our garden produced 225 ½ pounds of carrots, basil, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, zucchini, onions, watermelons and pumpkins this fall. All the vegetables excluding the pumpkins and the basil went directly to the children through the “Garden to Cafeteria Program”. In addition, we were also able to do an all school cucumber tasting, in which we fed 650 children a slice of fresh cucumber. The children enjoyed having the fresh vegetables as part of their regular lunch. What we didn’t serve in the cafeteria we sold in a student led Farmer’s Market. We are very grateful for the many hours; Dr. Shirl Smith gave to this project, making it a reality for our elementary school.
Mrs. Rebecca Chao
This year, we are planning gardens for Peiffer Elementary School in Littleton. Feeding Many will build the gardens and parents and students will volunteer their time to plant, weed, pick and enjoy the gardens. In the fall, when the students return, they’ll get to learn about harvesting, storing, preserving and cooking with their own fresh-grown food. The school will also incorporate many of the vegetables into the school lunch program.
Again, we can use volunteers to help build the gardens and set-up the watering system. If you are willing to help, please contact us. You’ll grow from the experience!