Partners


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Last Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC), representing more than 150 dairy farm families in Massachusetts, awarded the Edward Everett Elementary School in Dorchester with a $20,000 ‘Hometown Grant’ to support nutrition and physical activity programs within the school. The school celebrated the grant with an event featuring New England Patriots players including wide receiver Julian Edelman, Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Massachusetts Dairy Farmer Marlow Duffy.

“We were excited to visit the Edward Everett School and present them with this Hometown grant,” said Kraft. “We can see the faculty and students passion for health and wellness and wanted to be able to show our support. It is our hope that this grant will help provide much needed equipment and renovations to help the students continue to play 60 minutes a day.”

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh was particularly thrilled to learn of this grant, as he attended the Everett Elementary school as a student. “This contribution from the New England Patriots and Massachusetts Dairy Farm Families will help provide much needed programming for Boston Public Schools students,” said Mayor Walsh. “Our students should have unlimited access to physical activities and health initiatives to help them grow and thrive in the classroom. Both the Patriots and Dairy Farm Families have been longtime supporters of the City of Boston and the well-being of our youth, and I’d like to extend my gratitude to them.”

“We are honored to be presented with this grant and the opportunity to further strengthen our school’s wellness and physical activity programming for our 287 students,” said Laura Miceli, principal, Edward Everett Elementary School, Dorchester, MA.

During the event, the students heard from New England Patriots players, including wide receiver Julian Edelman, about the importance to being active for at least 60 minutes every day and fueling up with nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free dairy.

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Created in partnership by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program creating real transformational change in nearly 74,000 schools nationwide, including more than 1,600 schools in Massachusetts. The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The ultimate goal is to ensure changes made at school are sustainable, and to provide children with more opportunities to be physically active and choose tasty, nutrient-rich foods at school.

To learn more, visit http://www.FuelUpToPlay60.com.

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Boston Public Schools (BPS) has wonderful partners that help support farm to school and school garden efforts in our schools.  This week we are highlighting CitySprouts and FoodCorps as one our BPS Farm to School partners that’s making an impact in our schools.  Annabel Raby and Amanda Chin are FoodCorps Service Members with City Sprouts working with Orchard Gardens K-8 School, Mather Elementary School and Higginson-Lewis K-8 School this year.

Amanda is managing the Food Pantry at Orchard Gardens K-8 School once a month serving 200 families who live in surrounding neighborhoods. She is also leading a CitySprouts after school program at the Orchard Gardens K-8 School in collaboration with Citizens Schools that will use food justice issues and the local food system as a topics developing communication skills with a class of 7th graders.

Annabel is leading Team Grow, CitySprouts after school program in Boston, at the Mather Elementary School (with 4th and 5th graders) and at the Higginson-Lewis School (with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders).  These students will be examining the interdependence of the garden’s ecosystem and learning how to support each other through growing, harvesting, and cooking food from the garden.

Amanda and Annabel are supporting food education and distribution in our schools and we are thankful for the impact that they will have on our students at Orchard Garden Pilot School, Mather Elementary School and Higginson-Lewis K-8 School this year!

Also check out how Farm to School efforts across the country are impacting students in a healthy way:

 

Wondering what’s locally grown in Boston Public Schools meals? Check out the locally grown carrot coins that are on the menu this Thursday!

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September 29-October 3, 2014 is MA Harvest for Students Week and the start of National Farm to School Month!

On October 2, 2014, Boston Public Schools is featuring locally grown corn for Local Lunch Thursday.  Also look out for other locally grown items available at the East Boston High Salad Bar that is re-opening this week as well!

Deborah Kane, National Director of the USDA Farm to School Program is launching a series of videos each week to celebrate National Farm to School Month.  Check out the first video here:

Check back here each week to learn something new about Farm to School in the month of October!

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Come to Copley Square on September 27th for the 3rd Annual Let’s Talk About Food Festival!

Looking for fresh ideas for family meals? Join Sally Sampson of Chop Chop magazine and former White House Chef Bill Yossesfor a cooking demonstration aimed at turning kids on to healthy foods and cooking.

Stop by the Chop Chop cooking tent for some hands-on fun! Kids assemble healthy after-school snacks.

Check out Project Bread’s School Food Fair, featuring cooking demonstrations and taste testing every hour on the hour with fresh, healthy, innovative school food dishes straight out of Project Bread’s school food cookbook.

If that’s not enough, free screenings of Fed Up! and Cafeteria Man, two of the year’s most important food-focused documentaries, both shining a light on children and food in Trinity Church.

Activities for kids and families throughout the day!
The Festival is FREE and open to all!

Check the festival website for full schedule details: http://www.boston.com/sponsored/extra/letstalkaboutfood/festival

FNS_CityGrowers_theMOVEAs summer winds down, BPS Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) staff is gearing up for the start of school on Thursday September 4th, 2014. We’ve spent the last week hosting various training and professional development opportunities for our cafeteria staff as they prepare their kitchens for another year of healthy, tasty school meals.

thMOVE_BPS_FFG_CGThis year, members of our FNS management team also spent a day out in the fields (literally!) reconnecting with our own stories of growing and eating healthy, sustainable foods. Through a partnership with theMOVE, a local non-profit that takes BPS students on reflective farm volunteer trips, our team alongside trainees from the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, helped harvest lettuce, stake tomatoes and weed squash beds at City Growers right off of Blue Hill Ave in Dorchester, MA.

Our staff also had the opportunity to hear from Cassandria Campbell, a BPS graduate and co-founder of Fresh Food Generation,  and taste a delicious spread of locally grown vegetables, jerk chicken, and rice and beans prepared by the new food truck and catering business aimed at improving access to healthy, affordable, foods in low-income neighborhoods here in Boston. It is days like these help our team to refocus, re-energize and remember why we do the work that we do to bring Boston’s students healthy and delicious meals each day.

Here’s an inspiring Ted Talk by Jarret J. Krosoczka author and illustrator of the Super Hero Lunch Lady graphic novels to remind us all of the important role that our staff plays in feeding and shaping our students each day.

Here’s to a great start to the 2014-2015 school year!

 

 

USDA’s Farm to School Implementation Grant helped to support this farm volunteer opportunity with theMOVE, City Growers and Fresh Food Generation.

strawberriesIt’s that time of the year again in Boston: strawberries are in, and school is almost out!  Last week cafeterias across the city served up fresh locally grown strawberries on the lunch line.  These strawberries were grown by Farmer Joe (Czajkowski) and his team at Czajkowski Farm in Haldey, MA.  This is the 4th year Boston Public Schools has proudly served up these first fruits of the season.

Just because school is wrapping up for the summer doesn’t mean you have to stop eating fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies! Boston has close to 30 farmers markets across the city selling a variety of locally grown produce, meats, flowers and other added-value products.  To find a farmers market near you, check out www.bostonfarmersmarkets.org.

Select farmers markets in Boston are accepting SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, also known as food stamps, AND matching SNAP benefits with a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10 through the Bounty Bucks Program.

Hope to see you enjoying the local harvest at the a farmers market near YOU this summer!

This week USDA announced its first round of USDA Farm to School Grantees, totaling $4.5 million in grants for 68 projects, spanning 37 states and the District of Columbia. These grants will support programs that are increasing access to local foods for 1.75 million students in more than 3,200 schools across the country.

In Massachusetts, Boston Public Schools is one of three projects receiving Farm to School funding from USDA.  Congratulations to the MA Farm to School Project and Ezra H. Baker Elementary School (West Dennis, MA)!

The BPS Farm to School Initiative is excited about this opportunity to take farm to school to the next level in Boston! BPS has significantly increased access to local produce through Local Lunch Thursdays in our full kitchen cafeterias over the past few years.  The next step is to make sure students, parents, and teachers know that these healthy options are available and to get them excited about trying these local veggies on the lunch line.  This grant will support the BPS Farm to School Initiative’s efforts in engaging students with the locally grown produce in the cafeteria and connecting with existing school-based educational resources (i.e. school gardens, wellness councils, etc.) and community partners to provide farm field trips, culinary training and much more. Stay tuned for more details about the BPS Farm to School Initiative this year!

Also f you’d like to learn about the other projects that are being funded check out the USDA website.

The USDA Farm to School Grants are a result of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) that amended Section 18 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to establish a Farm to School program to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.

 Farm to School is one component of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, launched in 2009 to coordinate the Department’s work on local and regional food systems and create new opportunities for farmers, ranchers, consumers and rural communities.

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