Hello, Chicopee community! My name is Rachel Harb, and I just started as Chicopee Public School's new Farm to School Coordinator. I couldn't be more excited! My role here is to connect local farmers to the school food program so we can incorporate local, nutritious ingredients into the school meals. I also support with food and nutrition education, promotion, menu planning, recipe development, event planning, and just about any other fun food-related thing you can think of!
In my short time since starting with Chicopee, I've been pretty busy! I designed the September school lunch menus, helped a 3rd grade class harvest and clean lettuce from the school garden for lunch, and helped Greta (our awesome FoodCorps Service Member) make "dessert nachos" with local strawberry salsa for a taste test with kids in the school cafeteria. The kids loved the nachos.
I previously worked as a Sustainability Director for UMass Dining at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and I concurrently consult and write grants part-time to help schools and nonprofits fund food systems and hunger-relief projects. I graduated from UMass Amherst in 2011 with a BA in Environmental Science and Policy, and there I discovered my passion for food and sustainable agriculture.
Thanks to grant funding from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, I'll be on board to support Chicopee's farm to school initiatives for the next two years. Parents will have a chance to come meet me / talk with me at this coming year's open house nights at the schools. And otherwise, just drop me a line and say hi! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.