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Alexander County Schools Awarded Farm-to-School Rapid Response Funding

Alexander County Schools Awarded Farm-to-School Rapid Response Funding

Alexander County Schools is one of eighteen local education agencies (LEAs) recently awarded Farm-to-School Rapid Response funding by the Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina. The funding is intended to support urgent needs and long-term capacity building for local food purchasing for school meals and local food educational programming in ways that increase the skills, knowledge, and connection to local foods for children and their families.

The following North Carolina LEAs were awarded $4,000 each in Farm-to-School Rapid Response funding: Alexander County Schools, Avery County Schools, Brunswick County Schools, Buncombe County Schools, Caldwell County Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Durham Public Schools, Franklin County Schools, Halifax County Schools, Jackson County Schools, Lenoir County Public Schools, Orange County Schools, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Pender County Schools, Richmond County Schools, Rockingham County Schools, Transylvania County Schools, and Yancey County Schools.

The school nutrition department has established a partnership with Deal Orchards to provide produce needed to continue feeding students throughout the summer.  The orchard will have white nectarines ready in a couple of weeks and peaches later in the season.

“We are so excited to have this opportunity to team up with our local farmers,” stated Kathy Caudle, school nutrition director.

“We have been so blessed to be able to continue providing meals to children in our county. We know many of our families depend on the schools to feed their children, especially during this time. This funding will allow us to include locally sourced produce in the summer meals,” stated Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hefner.

The Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina is providing the funding to assist schools and school nutrition programs in meeting the nutrition and educational needs of children during school closures and in building farm to school capacity, believing that farm to school is a valuable contribution to the health and well-being of our kids and our communities. The funding is provided with support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina.

The Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina brings together a dedicated group of farm-to-school stakeholders in collaboration to expand and strengthen farm-to-school initiatives across the state. The Coalition is led by partner agencies and organizations including N.C. Department of Public Instruction, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C.

Cooperative Extension, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, FoodCorps North Carolina, and the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina.

More information on the Coalition and the Farm-to-School Rapid Response Funding may be found on the Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina website and on the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Farm to School webpage.