We in the Rondout Valley are so fortunate to live in one of the most fertile and productive agriculture centers in the world – yet many of our families with young children will never eat farm fresh produce, shop at a farmer’s market, or visit a working farm. They simply do not have the extra income to buy more expensive, locally-grown, nutritious foods. Others don’t have reliable transportation to get their families to the markets. Still more families, because of the structure of our food system, aren’t aware that choices exist outside of grocery stores – choices that would improve the health of their family members and build a lifelong connection to the land we call home.
There is one place where ALL of these obstacles can be overcome…school!
During COVID-19, the Rondout Valley Growers Association partnered with Ellenville Rural Health Network, the Ellenville School District, ARC of Ulster-Greene, and Cornell Cooperative of Ulster County to bring “Just-a-Bite” to Ellenville school children.
The Just-a-Bite program purchases local produce from Rondout Valley Farmers, processes it into bite-sized portions, and delivers it to school children. Education is a vital component of healthy eating, so the produce is accompanied by information about the local farm, how the produce was grown, cooking instructions, and the health benefits of eating fresh foods.
Your partnership is vital to bringing locally-grown food to our school children.
Our goals are simple, direct, and ambitious:
- Expand Just-a-Bite to more Community Eligible Program (CEP) schools, where all children are eligible for 100% free-lunch
- Bridge the financial gap for school cafeterias so they can purchase locally-grown foods to serve in school meals
- Fund trips for school children to visit working farms in the Rondout Valley
- Launch a pilot program to supply FREE Rondout Valley-sourced fresh food boxes for families in CEP schools, with multilingual and multimedia cooking classes
100% of your donations will go toward funding these programs. Our goal of $10,000 reflects our shared commitment to ensuring equal access to healthy, locally-grown food and education for all of our families with young children.
Please GIVE TODAY.
Matt Igoe, RVGA Executive Director
P.S. Our track record of success shows that money you give will be spent on high-impact, successful programming that can change the way people eat, think, and live.