Jefferson County Farm to School Coalition
Thanks to our efforts, Port Townsend and Quilcene School Districts are offering more local foods in school meals! Both school districts are participating in the Harvest of the Month Program, which features a different local food every month. Kale has been showing up quite often in the Port Townsend school meals and Quilcene consistently offers local carrots, other vegetables, and continues to offer local grass fed beef.
We have been putting a lot of effort in aligning the school garden curriculum with the National Learning Standards this year. This effort helps the school and the teachers meet their requirements for teaching and gives the garden program more credibility. No longer is the school garden program an extra curricular activity, but is considered a regular class!
Farm to School program gets nod from first lady
First lady Michelle Obama has taken note of a local school-based agricultural program and plans to send a letter of support that will be read at a fundraiser this week, according to the program’s director.
“This is really exciting,” said Candice Cosler, who teaches an active gardening class to 500 kids in three schools through the Jefferson County Farm to School Coalition.
“Her office contacted us on Friday and told us to expect the letter in time for the fundraiser.”
Thank You For Your Support
Garden classes are in full swing now and your support has been instrumental in making this happen! We also want to let you know about all the great things that have happened these last few years.
2013 In the works
- Aligning the school garden curriculum with the Common Core Standards. This is ground breaking work in the state of Washington and will help teachers and schools, across the nation, to reach their students with hands on learning while fulfilling teaching requirements in science and other subjects.
- Levy Funds will help support school garden program in Quilcene. Quilcene School District included the school garden program along with other programs to be supported by the levy for 2013-2017.
- Quilcene School District wellness committee revised their wellness policy. The policy was passed by the school board on March 28, 2012.
- JCF2S is assisting Chimacum School to start a school garden and composting program. We have allocated funds to assist them with their start up costs.
- Quilcene School will compost all food waste in worm bins. We are working with Quilcene School to compost all food waste in large worms bins on campus.
- Revised PTSD wellness policy. JCF2S worked on revising the Port Townsend and Quilcene School Districts Wellness Policy to improve school meals, to include more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole & local foods and reduce processed foods high in fat, sugar & sodium. Port Townsend School Board voted unanimously to approve the revised Wellness Policy in the fall of 2011.
- JCF2S became a federally recognized 501© 3 non-profit organization so we could accept tax deductible donations and conduct major fund raising efforts.
- Training for food service directors and farmers
JCF2S collaborated with WSDA to provide training for food service directors and farmers from all over the Olympic Peninsula. The training had the largest attendance of all WSDA trainings offered in the state. It included a farm tour of Nash’ Organic Produce and Graysmarsh Farm in Sequim. Food service directors prepared a USDA approved school meal using local foods harvested that morning.
- Harvest of the Month at Quilcene School. A local food was featured monthly in the “Harvest of the Month” program and the school used 10% of their food budget to purchase local foods.
- Grant Street School improved school breakfast and some lunches included local foods. Funds from the Giving Circle helped bring this goal to fruition.
- JCF2S began supporting the JC School Garden Program, which serves 500 students weekly for 6 months in Port Townsend and Quilcene School District. A JC Dept of Public Works / Dept of Ecology grant started and supported the program for two years and that grant ended in Dec. 2010.
“Your work with these students is one of the most important things I have seen in public schools in the past 30 years. I wish my parents were alive to see this happening. Thank you so much for your efforts.” – JCF2S donor
Watch the new JCF2S School Garden Video!
Port Townsend School District Passes Wellness Policy
After nearly a year of deliberation by the Wellness Committee, the School Board recently passed an new Wellness Policy which provides guidelines for nutrition & physical fitness. The policy opens with these statements:
The Board recognizes that optimal nutrition is essential for lifelong health and optimal
academic performance. The Port Townsend School Distinct is committed to providing an
environment that promotes healthful food choices in its lunch and breakfast programs and
also encourages healthy choices in the school vending operations, student stores, fundraising
sales, clubs, activities, organizations and any other foods available on campus both during
and outside of the academic day.