October is National Farm to School month

Berlin Adventures 4-H Club members (from left) Chris Neal, Jayse Law and Ellen Law serve a hearty meal at the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church to celebrate National Farm to School month. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BERLIN — Celebrated annually since 2010, October’s National Farm to School Month recognizes the important role farm, to school plays in promoting well-being among children and strong local economies.

Recently, the Androscoggin Valley team held a Get Local Community Dinner to kick off and celebrate Farm to School Month at the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Berlin.

The event promoted local foods and growers while providing awareness around food access in the region. Event planners involved Sue Blanchette, Berlin Head Start, Barbara Peabody, Coos County Nursing Home and Robert Theberge, Coos County Extension Advisory Council.

Other key supporters included Family Resource Center staff members: Naomi Levesque and Troy Sanschagrin. Berlin Middle School Project Youth created fall seasonal centerpieces for the dinner and the Berlin Adventures 4-H Club served the hearty meal.

To celebrate, each week in October will feature a theme around different key components of farm to school including topics such as school gardens, agricultural and food curriculum, school lunches, cultural diversity in food, and pre-school education.

Farm to School within New Hampshire continues to grow. The most recent data shows that over 75 percent of New Hampshire schools surveyed participate in Farm to School activities, and 70 percent of schools surveyed have a school garden. All that adds up to more than $840,000 spent on the purchase of local foods in New Hampshire schools.

To learn more about the Androscoggin Valley Farm to School Network, contact UNH Extension at (603) 788-4961 or email: heidi.barker@unh.edu.

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