About Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program
Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program (NSGP) aims to reconnect youth with their food by teaching them how to grow, cook and enjoy real food. Through increased confidence, knowledge gain and skill building, we want to empower children to become active participants in their food choices. By becoming informed eaters, today’s children will help make a positive impact on the larger world of food and farming well into the future.
Here is more about the Slow Food USA National School Garden Program.
Whidbey Island School Farms and Gardens
Whidbey Island is an anomaly for having schools that grow food for school lunches and using curriculum around school farms, teaching students the importance of growing your own food. South Whidbey is the first school in the nation to be able to work with Chart wells, the school's food service company, to use produce straight from the farm for school lunches. Coupeville Elementary is also planning a farm-to-school program for experiential garden curriculum and building community around the school's garden.
South Whidbey School Farms and Gardens
Langley Middle School, SW Elementary School and SW High School and South Whidbey Academy all have access to fresh food for lunch, grown through the South Whidbey School Farms and Garden program. The program is called Fresh Food for Lunch where the schools use a garden and food safety protocol developed with Chartwells. Not only does the harvest go to the children's lunches but produce also goes to the Good Cheer Food Bank and W.I.N., really supporting the community with fresh and healthy food.
There are four farms/gardens in the school district: the School Farm behind the South Whidbey Academy and next to the Elementary School, a small garden at the Elementary School, the recently expanded Langley Middle School Garden, and the High School Farm. Farm and garden-based curriculum is being taught at these locations to Grades K-5, Grade 7 and the High School Agriculture class. Enjoying fresh-picked veggies is an important part of the classes!
The farm-to-school program can use volunteers, for more information on how you can support the South Whidbey School Farm and Garden program go to their website.
Coupeville has been working to bring a farm-to-school program to its schools. This coming school year, Coupeville School District will have a new School Garden Coordinator to work with elementary and secondary students in a hands-on garden program. The purpose of the Coupeville School Gardens program is to support learning, inspire creativity, and promote health in our community's students. More information can be found on the Coupeville Farm-to-School page.
Slow Food Whidbey Island is helping to support this effort through donations. In 2015 we were able to provide the Coupeville Farm-to-School program with a $500 donation plus raised over $300 more at a lasagna dinner put on by our board members.