BETHLEHEM The Bethlehem School District’s Squash Hunger food drive resulted in the donation of hundreds of pounds of fresh, locally-produced foods for distribution to area soup kitchens and food pantries.
Part of the district’s weeklong Farm to You Fest, coordinated by the Healthy Kids Committee, donations were collected from the district’s five elementary schools and mustered at McCarroll’s Delmar Marketplace every afternoon. The Capital District Community Gardens, which runs the Squash Hunger program, then handled distribution of the food.
“The point of this whole thing is to teach kids the need for fresh, local food in addition to the pantry things they often donate,” said Karen Shaw, of the Healthy Kids Committee.
Harvests from gardens at some of the schools also were also able to add to the donations.
Other highlights of the week included farmers making visits to elementary schools, a cooking class put on by the Honest Weight Food Co-op, the screening of the film “What’s on Your Plate?” at the middle school and a district-wide recipe contest. Middle schoolers also enjoyed a salad day, when they had salads prepared from the harvest from the school’s own garden.
The committee also coordinated a fundraiser to help Schoharie County farmers impacted by Tropical Storm Irene.
This is the third year running that Farm to You Fest has been celebrated at BC schools.