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‘FARM TO SCHOOL’ MONTH

Celebrate Catskill Edible Garden Project in Sullivan County

October 2, 2014

SULLIVAN COUNTY – October is National “Farm to School” Month, a time when communities all over the country are celebrating the connections between schools and local food.

In Sullivan County, the Catskill Edible Garden Project (CEGP) has built an expanding network of learning gardens at six schools and an educational center.  These gardens connect students, educators and community members with an approachable, interactive way to learn about farming, foods and healthy eating habits.

CEGP partners include: Catskill Mountainkeeper, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, Green Village Initiative, Sullivan Renaissance and Sullivan County Center for Workforce Development.

These organizational partners are committed to working with onsite teams, farms and businesses to raise awareness about the components of local food systems and their connection to healthy communities.  CEGP welcomes school community and family engagement, describing its mission as “growing the next generation of food entrepreneurs.”

Gardens have already been installed at the following locations: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County in Liberty, George L. Cooke Elementary School in Monticello, Hebrew Day School in Kiamesha, Liberty Elementary School, RJK and Eco Club in Monticello, Roscoe Central School and Sullivan West in Jeffersonville.

Farm to School enriches the connection communities have with fresh food and local producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools.  Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.

Over the past decade, the Farm to School movement has exploded across the United States, reaching millions of students in all 50 states and Washington, DC.  Farm to School is an important tool in the fight against childhood obesity and food insecurity.  In addition to improving child health, when schools buy local, they create new markets for local and regional farmers.

For more information about how to celebrate and get involved, call Sullivan Renaissance at 845.295.2719 or email info@sullivanrenaissance.org.  Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.