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A healthy start to school – Fundraising with Fresh from the Farm

September 7, 2018

Submitted by Lisa Mardin-Vandewalle, project coordinator for Fresh from the Farm.

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, where students can sell fresh Ontario produce in their communities and the school receives 40% of the total sales. Since 2013, 1165 schools have raised over $1.1 million for school initiatives, selling 2.7 million lb of fresh Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables to Ontario families. This year, over 5000 schools in Ontario are eligible to participate in this year’s program.

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 it aligns with Ontario’s Food and Nutrition Strategy, 2017. It also supports local Ontario farmers, increases access to vegetables and fruit and is an excellent opportunity to incorporate learning about agriculture, food and healthy eating into the classroom.

This year’s produce bundles include: 5 lb white potatoes, 3 lb each of carrots, yellow onions and sweet potatoes for $14 and an 8 lb box of Empire apples for $15. Students fundraise September 4 through to October 10 with deliveries scheduled throughout November. Parent volunteers bundle produce the same day the Ontario produce is delivered 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.

Want to learn more about the program? Interested parents, educators and students can enrol here.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @freshfromfarmON and for more information, please visit


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