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Fresh from the Farm: Healthy School Fundraiser Selling Ontario Grown Fruit and Vegetables

August 24, 2017

Written by Cathy O’Connor, Dietitians of Canada

Over 350 schools have already signed up for Fresh from the Farm whereby students raise funds by selling fresh, Ontario-grown potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and apples. Building on the success of the program launched four years ago, over 5000 Ontario schools, First Nations schools and a sampling of private sector schools are eligible to participate in this year’s campaign.

Since 2013, 665 schools have collectively distributed over 1.6 million pounds of fresh, Ontario produce, representing over $1 million in root vegetables and $600,000 in apples. Over $910,000 has been paid to Ontario farmers for product and delivery. The top selling school in 2016 – Timmins Centennial Public School – raised over $9,000 in profit!

This year’s produce bundles include: 5 lb white potatoes, 3 lb each of carrots, yellow onions and sweet potatoes for $13 and an 8 lb box of Empire apples for $15. Students fundraise September 5 through to October 11 with deliveries scheduled throughout November. Parent volunteers bundle produce the same day the Ontario grower delivers the product to the school. Schools return to participate in Fresh from the Farm year after year, achieving significant profit for their school while helping to create a more supportive nutrition environment.

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, Food and Rural Affairs. The program was designed to provide schools and students a healthy fundraising alternative. Fresh from the Farm supports and integrates several Ontario government priorities, including The School Food and Beverage Policy and the Local Food Act, 2013, and aligns with Ontario’s Food and Nutrition Strategy, 2017.

Fresh from the Farm provides an ideal opportunity for schools to introduce the topic of agri-food and healthy eating into the classroom. Interested parents, educators and students can enrol here.

For more information please contact:

Cathy O’Connor, Dietitians of Canada


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