New Sea to School Resources
The Maine Farm to School Network teamed up with Massachusetts Farm to School and New Hampshire Farm to School to create two new Sea to School resources for classrooms and cafeterias. The Sea to School Guide and accompanying video Sea to School: A Lunch Voyage support use of local seafood in school meals and marine education. These resources will help schools procure, serve, and promote sustainably harvested Gulf of Maine seafood products. Accompanying classroom resources will help teach students about the seafood industry in the region and build enthusiasm for seafood items in the cafeteria. The video traces the seafood on a cafeteria tray all the way back to the fisherman who caught it. Great for upper elementary audiences, it addresses many important themes from the history of the fishing industry in New England to the environmental issues behind fishing regulations. The guide will help seafood buyers develop effective solicitations for local seafood and provides many promotional ideas and tested recipes to make sure students enjoy the new dishes. This project was made possible with generous support from Newman's Own Foundation and Farm Credit through the National Farm to School Network Innovation Fund.
Maine Farm to School Network & Farm to Institution
Maine's Farm to School Network offers resources and technical assistance for schools interested in integrating agricultural-based nutrition education into the classroom, building and tending school gardens, and sourcing local foods for school meals. The Network hosts an annual statewide conference and has representatives who offer technical assistance and support in each of Maine's 8 public health districts. HCCA's Renee Page coordinates the Maine Farm to School Network, is the Maine State Lead to the National Farm to School Network, and HCCA provides a fiscal home for the Maine Network. In 2015, with generous support from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, the Maine Farm to School Network began working on cross-sector Farm to Institution efforts with representatives from K-12 schools, higher education, and health care. Contact Renee at email@example.com or 207-588-5020. Explore Farm to School resources by going to the Data & Resources page.
FoodCorps is a nationwide effort to connect kids to healthy food in schools and HCCA hosts a FoodCorps Service Member each year. HCCA's FoodCorps Service Member teaches kids about what healthy food is, its origins, builds and tends school gardens along with students, and works to bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias. You can find contact information for the current FoodCorps Servicer Member on the Staff webpage and learn more about FoodCorps on the FoodCorps webapge of this site.
USDA Farm to School Grant
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area is the only 2013 recipient in Maine of a two-year $100,000 USDA Farm to School grant to increase access to local foods in school meals. HCCA worked with MSAD 11 Gardiner Area Schools and RSU 38 Maranacook Area Schools to link them with local food sources, support student engagement and staff training, and provide kitchen equipment. These partnerships streamline the ordering, delivery, and processing aspects of sourcing fresh, local foods for school meals. As part of this project, new connections with the Kennebec Restorative Community Harvest led to HCCA's current project Reducing Wasted Food and Increasing Access to Fresh, Local Foods in Southern Kennebec County. Learn more here.