This is a Co-op working member opportunity!

Farm-to-School Award Creates Community Collaboration
The St. Johnsbury School is a winner of the 2011 Rozo McLaughlin Farm-to-School Implementation Grant. Since 2007 the Rozo McLaughlin Farm-to-School Grant Program has been awarding Vermont schools with funds to integrate local foods in school cafeterias, classrooms and communities.

The St. Johnsbury School community will be collaborating with the St. J. Food Co-op and community members to facilitate this grant.

The goals of the grant program are to encourage schools and school districts to serve food to Vermont students that is as fresh and nutritious as possible; maximize the use of fresh, locally grown, locally produced and locally processed foods; educate students about healthy eating habits through nutrition education, including using hands-on techniques to make the connections between farming and the foods that students consume; increase the size and stability of farmers' direct sales market; and increase school meal participation by increasing the selection of foods available to students.

"We are excited to involve school personnel, parents, businesses, farmers and really all segments of the population in this project!" explains Farm-to-School coordinator, Melissa Bridges of the St. J. Food Co-op. "We are forming three groups (community, cafeteria and classroom committees) to hold regular gatherings to move the grant forward. We would love to hear from people interested in helping with this. Example activities include cafeteria taste tests of local foods, farm field trips and enhanced science curricula teaching the life cycle of local food."

This grant program is made possible by collaboration between the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health and VT FEED (Food Education Every Day). If you are interested in helping or finding out more about this community project you may contact Melissa Bridges at Melissa or at 802-748-9498. You may also get more information at VT FEED or National Farm to School or Vermont Agency of Agriculture