|Longfellow Elementary 3rd Graders harvesting carrots for the Healthy Foods Party on Food Day Oct. 24th.|
October is National Farm to school month, with October 24, 2013 being the official National Food Day. Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies.
In honor of Food Day, Guidestone is celebrating with some special events for students in the Salida School District, by offering healthy food parties for classrooms, which will include information about local produce grown in the Salida School Gardens and being incorporated into the District School Lunch program, a “How Much Sugar’s In Your Snack” demo, and healthy treats to share. In addition to a fun, engaging and delicious opportunity for students, a goal of these parties will be to develop a template for the District Wellness Policy on hosting healthy food parties in the classroom.
In regards to healthy, locally produced foods in the schools, our community has a lot to celebrate. Already this Fall, the Salida School Gardens has produced 1111lbs of fresh produce, 879lbs of which have gone to the school, 122lbs has been sold to the Hospital and 78lbs to other venues. Danny Quinto, and the entire cafeteria staff, has transformed this fresh food into healthy and delicious meals served daily for our children. Food Day is a chance to celebrate this accomplishment with students and teachers in their classrooms.
To learn more about the national organization, Foodday.org has developed an extensive list of resources including a curriculum guide focused on teaching children the importance of eating real, fresh food, cutting back on processed foods, and advocating for a healthier community. You will also find reading lists for a wide variety of Farm to Table appropriate topics.
Another exciting opportunity to bring healthy food to kids in our community is the Healthy Meals for Kids (HM4K) Chaffee County Program, which is helping ensure that all children in Chaffee County have access to healthy meals when school is not in session. Amica’s, the Salida Boys & Girls Club and LiveWell Chaffee County have partnered over the past two years to provide healthy meals to Chaffee County children over the summer, and they anticipate reaching over 10,000 meals served by the end of next summer.
Local Salida restaurants are donating a portion of their sales to the Healthy Meals 4 Kids Program during a “dine out” event October 24-27th, including Amica’s, The Fritz, Benson’s and Rivers Edge. In addition, Moonlight Pizza’s Moonlight Monday on Monday, October 28th will benefit HM4K. Salida area coffee shops and bakeries are also showing their support by having donation jars where you can donate your change to a worthy cause. You can donate at Sacred Ground Coffee, Rise and Shine Bakery and Café Dawn during the same dates. Café Dawn will also donate a portion of their sales on Thursday, October 24th.
For more information about the Healthy Meals 4 Kids program or LiveWell Chaffee County, please contact Lisa Malde, Director of LiveWell Chaffee County, at email@example.com or 530-2569.