Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Learn about AAPS Farm to School efforts at Ann Arbor Sustainability Forum

Jenna Bacolor, Executive Director, Community Education and Recreation

One of the liveliest meetings I attend each month -- where people may show up with dirt under their fingernails and no one blinks an eye -- is the Ann Arbor Public Schools' Farm to School Collaborative (FTS). Since 2006, this passionate school-community group has launched many innovative programs to introduce AAPS students and staff to the local food system. 

Not only does FTS benefit the kids and families involved, it contributes to our City's ongoing efforts to build a sustainable community. The City and the Ann Arbor District Library are hosting the third annual Sustainable Ann Arbor Series, which will include four events (held monthly and ending April 9), each focusing on a different element of Ann Arbor’s Sustainability Framework

I was honored to be invited onto the panel of speakers for the final forum in the series, next Wednesday, April 9. (Watch a video of this presentation here.) I'll be sharing information about the AAPS FTS efforts below and how FTS supports the local food environment. The FTS Collaborative has launched all of this work over the past several years:
  • Farm Fresh Features, the program that offers local produce for free in district cafeterias
  • Food service (Chartwells) purchasing more local food from its suppliers to use in school meals
  • Support, supplies and workshops for AAPS's many school gardens 
Burns Park gardeners show off their radishes

I'll also talk about our AAPS perspective on how Farm to School helps connect kids and families to the local food movement. 

Join the conversation!

Wednesday, April 9, from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown

Watch a video of this presentation here

Farm to School in AAPS is a true collaborative process! The Collaboartive includes AAPS Rec & Ed staff, Chartwells, parents, and representatives from U of M's Project Healthy Schools, the Agrarian AdventureWashtenaw County Public Health, the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market and Project Grow. Rec & Ed's award-winning Green Adventures Camp provides opportunities to connect kids with local agriculture throughout the summer.

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