The Fresh From the Farm fundraising program has expanded to 28 Ontario school boards, just three years into the pilot project. This is an expansion over the 19 school boards from last year, says the group.
The program, where students sell bundles of Ontario potatoes, carrots, and onions and boxes of apples, has helped schools raise over $112,000 and delivered more than 130,000 kg of produce since the program’s inaugural year in 2013. Students from over 1,400 schools from regions in southwestern, central and northern Ontario are eligible to participate.
“It’s a win-win for students, schools and farmers, as 40 per cent of the revenue goes back to schools and our farmers receive market price for top quality produce,” says Alison Robertson, program manager with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. “Fresh from the Farm is a great way to build the domestic market for Ontario grown produce while helping to instill healthy eating habits in the next generation of consumers.” Ontario farmers have received over $150,000 from Fresh from the Farm sales over the past two years.
Schools enroll beginning April 1st for the September fundraising campaign, with the delivery of fresh Ontario fruit and vegetables to participating schools in November.
Fresh from the Farm is a collaborative initiative between Dietitians of Canada, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, the Ontario Ministry of Education, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. To find out more, visit www.FreshfromFarm.ca.