ChicopeeFRESH team members Joanne Lennon and Rachel Harb presented a session "Designing the Local, Affordable School Menu" at the first annual Mass. Farm to School Institute Fall Retreat on Friday November 3, 2017 at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA.
Joanne and Rachel presented a case study on the Chicopee Public Schools' farm to school program (also known as ChicopeeFRESH) and how Chicopee Food Service increased spending on local produce from just $10,000 in 2014 to almost $300,000 local foods in 2017 and how we now source a variety of local foods besides just produce, such as meats, cheeses, homemade applesauce, and protein-packed seed granola bars. (Factoring in regionally-sourced Hood fluid milk, Chicopee schools spends closer to $600,000 total on local foods and beverages!) They then gave pointers on how schools can define local, set goals on purchasing local food, and track progress along the way.
The Mass. Farm to School Institute is a year-long professional learning opportunity for school teams across the state. This year, participating schools included Essex Tech, Webster Public Schools, and Ipswich Public Schools.
The MA FTS Institute is presented in partnership with the Northeast Farm to School Collaborative, which has hosted the Northeast FTS Institute since 2015 with Vermont FEED. The FTS Institute model was developed and refined by Vermont FEED using evidence-based best practices in professional learning.
If you might be interested in attending the 2018-19 Mass. Farm to School Institute, sign up for the Mass. Farm to School newsletter and keep an eye out for the announcement to apply Spring/Summer of 2018.
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.