Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2015

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Page 14 of 41 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 15 • The Orange County Department of Health hired Sandy McKelvey's Hudson Valley Farm to School to fl ush out a how-to manual for schools and teachers who wanted to implement a similar nutrition program in their schools, with lesson plans, contacts and ideas for fundraising. Since working with the depart- ment, Orange County has obtained a $100,000 grant from the USDA to implement a "Healthy Orange" program. It aims to connect schools with local farmers, train school food service personnel and im- plement educational programs in schools throughout the county. • In Ulster County, a new Farm to School Fund was the brainchild of mother of three and Rondout Valley Central School District Board of Education president Breanna Costello. The Farm to School Fund, sup- ported by donations from communi- ty members, purchases food directly from Rondout Valley farmers, elimi- nating purchasing barriers. Farmers have set up visits with classes and are helping students build out and plant greenhouses through the Rondout Valley Growers Assocation. • In Dutchess County, the City of Poughkeepsie's school district was awarded a $100,000 grant in 2012 from the USDA to develop ways to bring local food to lunch in city schools and engage students about food systems. With the grant, and additional funding from the Dyson Founda- tion and the Local Economies Proj- ect, the schools brought in trained chefs from the Culinary Institute of America to develop recipes and train food service staff members. Poughkeepsie schools serve about 5,000 students an estimated 916,000 meals per year (all students receive free breakfast and lunch). Experiential education — meaning fi eld trips to farms, taste tests with local greens, nutritional basics and cooking demonstrations in school cafeterias — were a back- bone of the project, with hundreds of students and staff members engaging in training sessions, fi eld trips and cooking projects. More farm-to-school education programs in our region

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