Education & Community
Farm-to-School and Education
When children understand how healthy food is grown and delivered to their tables, they develop a meaningful connection to their food and appreciate the importance of a resilient food system. Discussions about resilient farming practices and healthy eating can then spread to dinner tables and community organizations.
The real cost of food is also critical to understand. The public needs to realize that the “cheap food” most developed countries have enjoyed has been heavily subsidized by tax dollars. Reorienting the food system based on a clear expression of values is essential. Knowledge is the most powerful tool we have in developing a food system that reflects what we value the most, and for this reason we support educational programming as a critical investment in the future.
We’re supporting model programming at community organizations and school districts in the Hudson Valley…
Poughkeepsie City School District: Thanks to funding from LEP and others, the Poughkeepsie City School District is implementing educational programming and efforts to get more local food into its school cafeterias. This grant was made in conjunction with a highly competitive USDA grant with only 68 recipients nationally. Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation’s (HVADC) final report outlines the successful two-year grant project.
Rondout Valley School District: In April of 2014 we were pleased to announce the award of grant funding to the Rondout Valley Central School District for an expanded agriculture and food science initiative. The $726,000 award that will be applied to curriculum development as well as the construction of greenhouse and laboratory facilities on the District’s campus in Accord, New York. Read more
Kingston City School District: In advance of the 2014-15 school year, LEP awarded $150,000 to the Kingston City School District to help address food insecurity for area students. The three-year grant is enabling the school district to provide dinners for students and families in need through Caring Hands Soup Kitchen, a food pantry based in Kingston’s Clinton Avenue Methodist Church. For information about the program, see the Kingston City School District’s website, and/or call Kimmer Gifford at (845) 943-3519.
Addressing Food Insecurity
LEP is working to ensure that fresh local food is an accessible option – not just for a privileged few, but for everyone across the Hudson Valley. Through a multi-year grant to Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, partnerships are being forged to address food insecurity in the region by providing rural and urban neighborhoods with local farm products. Read more…