By Dave Harrison
May 2, 2016, Guelph, Ont. – Enrolment begins today for students from 53 Ontario school boards to participate in the Fresh from the Farm school fundraiser.
Due to the success of the three-year pilot project, Fresh From The Farm has expanded to include over 4000 eligible schools.
Since 2013, almost 300 elementary and secondary schools have raised over $273,000 for school initiatives selling 744,000 pounds of Ontario-grown produce.
“Fresh From The Farm was designed to help create a more supportive nutrition environment in schools by providing an opportunity for students to fundraise – in a healthy way,” notes Cathy O’Connor, project coordinator with Dietitians of Canada.
Students raise funds by selling bundles of fresh Ontario root vegetables, which include potatoes, carrots, onions and sweet potatoes, and 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.
“This program benefits schools, students, their families and Ontario farmers as it helps to increase the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables by financially supporting both students and farmers.
“Fresh from the Farm also provides a learning opportunity to connect students to the diversity of produce grown in Ontario through online updates and hands on school activities,” says Dan Tukendorf, program manager with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA).
Students fundraise from Sept. 6 through to Oct. 14 culminating with the delivery of fresh Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables to the schools in November. The program model involves parent volunteers to package produce, ready for same-day customer pick-up. Interested parents, educators and students can contact their school principal.
Schools enrol at www.freshfromfarm.ca.
The overall program goal is to expand Fresh from the Farm throughout the province over the next few years.
ABOUT FRESH FROM THE FARM
Fresh from the Farm is a collaborative initiative between Dietitians of Canada, OFVGA, the Ontario Ministry of Education, and OMAFRA. To find out more, visit www.freshfromfarm.ca or call OFVGA at 519-763-6160.
ABOUT DIETITIANS OF CANADA
Dietitians of Canada is the national professional association for dietitians, representing 6,000 members at the local, provincial and national level. As the voice of the profession, Dietitians of Canada strives for excellence in advancing health through food and nutrition. Visit www.dietitians.ca.
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association is the voice of Ontario’s 7,500 fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse farmers on issues affecting the edible horticulture sector. Visit www.ofvga.org for more information.