Here are ways you can get involved if this is a project that speaks to you:
- Become allies with your school cafeteria manager or school nutrition director
- Volunteer your time to help with food tastings
- Work with your PTA to encourage fundraisers toward school gardens or salad bars
- Encourage PTAs to choose healthy fundraisers that support real food (i.e., selling cases of winter squash, sweet potatoes, garden seeds, or bulbs instead of doughnuts or toys.)
- Join your school division’s SHAB (School Health Advisory Board) or wellness committee which develops division-wide Local School Wellness Policy. Find out more from school nurses or your local school board office. Encourage Local School Wellness Policies to include objectives toward healthy eating and tying wellness and nutrition education into education and nutrition services
- Support the organizations doing great work already: Greater Richmond Fit for Kids, Backyard Farmer, Shalom Farms, Tricycle Urban Ag
- Offer to volunteer in school gardens
- Join your local Farm to School network – Flyer with information below, link to register here.
- Chefs can volunteer to help train café staff (seasoning without additional sodium, using equipment to increase efficiency, etc.)
- Become corporate sponsors of school garden projects (or encourage your place of work to adopt a school garden)
- Call your school board representative and express your interest in Farm to School activities
Announcements from members:
- The Birdhouse Farmer’s Market is currently accepting applications for the 2018 season. Birdhouse Farmers Market is a friendly, open-air, all-weather, food-focused farmers market on Tuesday afternoons in the Randolph neighborhood. Entering into their 12th season, they are committed to helping local farmers and food providers connect directly to their local customers. Click here for more info.
- The Farmer’s Market @ St. Stephens is also accepting applications for the 2018 season. The market seeks to connect the choices about the foods we buy and eat to their call to be stewards of God’s creation, as they build community and support local farmers. The market is open on Saturdays YEAR ROUND. Click here for more info.
- Natural Awakenings magazine’s March/April issue will be an annual food issue with features and supporting articles about local food. Submit news briefs about any new business/service/location/
product/event as well as calendar listings for upcoming events. The magazine hopes to include a Foodie Guide in the March/April issue to serve as a reference tool for readers to know the farms, farmers markets, restaurants, markets and businesses offering locally-sourced, organic, vegetarian and vegan food/products. Please contact Jessica Coffey with any questions. [email protected] or 804-405-6724.
- The Gardens at Maggie Walker are hoping to start a school garden at Maggie Walker Governor’s School located at the corner of Leigh and Lombardy in the city. They have admin support, a teacher advisor and a small plot of land that has been partially cleared and two raised beds have been built. However, while they have the interest and a lot of heart, they do not know much about gardening and are in need of support and guidance from someone with experience in gardening/farming as well as some community partners. Contact Jessica Coffey, [email protected] if interested.
- The RVA Environmental Film Festival kicks off this week with lots of wonderful films. More info here.
- Retail Merchant’s Association is hosting a Lunch and Learn event on February 19th. This is a free event and open to any merchant, you do not have to be a RMA member to attend. The event will feature a new organization, HUSL. HUSL is an on-demand platform that instantly connects workers with open shifts in restaurants and retail storefronts. More info here.