FoodCycle: Progress Report from Maine

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FoodCycle completed their cross-country bike trek back in August, but that was only the beginning of the task they set out to accomplish.

During their trek of over 4,400 miles, the FoodCycle team stopped at several small organic farms and documented “the emergent farm-to-school movement and other programs dedicated to school nutrition reform” in the hopes of raising awareness for their own farm-to-school initiative in Maine.

They’ve been very busy since returning home, and shared this update of their progress:

As we settle into a familiar winter slumber in New England and await our inevitable march away from the sun, we are happy to report a lot of activity in creating access to local organic foods for Maine’s School Children. Working with local School Nutrition Directors, Teachers and Administrators as well as Six River Farm (Bowdoinham, Maine) and Fairwinds Farm (Topsham, Maine) we have established monthly farm visits to pick up produce that will fortify school lunch menus district wide. Utilizing the funds generated from  individuals and organizations across the United States we have established a monthly purchasing and pick up schedule that will ultimately infuse $8,000 into the local economy. By supporting the fruits of diversified small-scale agriculture we aim to influence regional school nutrition reform and create positive and healthy learning alternatives for children grades K-5 in Brunswick, Maine. To date we have successfully purchased and delivered:

650 lbs Organic Carrots

160 lbs Organic Winter Squash (Acorn & Butternut)

150 lbs Organic Potatoes (Russett & Chieftan)

100 lbs Organic Beets

40 lbs of Organic Cabbage

That’s a nice haul of produce! The local school district has been snacking on fresh carrot sticks and homemade organic pickled beets thanks to the combined efforts of FoodCycle, school administrators and local farms.

Click here to read the rest of the update over at FoodCycleUS.com.

Is there a similar farm-to-school program in action in your area? Tell us about it in the comments!

This article originally appeared on FoodCycleUS.com. It is partially posted here with permission from the author.

Photo Credit: Tomiko Peirano