Haywood farmers produce coming soon to a school near you

A $22,200 grant will fund a Farm to School program at five Haywood County Schools designed to address concerns about nutrition and health and the disappearance of small farms.

The money comes from funding from The Community Foundation and its affiliate Fund for Haywood County.

The Farm-to-School program will support farmers by increasing sales and expanding markets, while providing better nutrition and food awareness for students, teachers and staff at Bethel Elementary, Jonathan Valley Elementary, North Canton Elementary, Riverbend Elementary and Waynesville Middle School. In addition to local healthy food served in cafeterias, the program includes farm field trips, cooking demonstrations, nutrition education and school gardens.

Collaborators are the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness at UNC Asheville, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Haywood County Schools, Buy Haywood, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the UNC Asheville Foundation. Other funders include the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Farm-to-School project will serve approximately 3,000 students and staff at the five school sites, comprising nearly 40 percent of Haywood County Schools’ enrollment. There are more than 700 farms in the county that could potentially participate. www.cfwnc.org.

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