Brattleboro Farm to School Committee History
Brattleboro Town elementary schools received a State Farm to School grant in 2007, and since then the Brattleboro Farm to School Committee has been working hard to continue and expand the program, It has funded farm field trips, purchased a commercial food processor to enable the inclusion of more fresh produce in school meals, worked with food service to organize taste tests of local produce and the inclusion of more local produce in the school menu, and begun to develop a K-6 cooking curriculum for the district with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The scope and impact of Brattleboro’s Farm to School Program, however, has been significantly limited by the amount of time the volunteer coordinator and other committee members have had to devote to its projects. There are already several models for full-time farm to school coordinators in the state of Vermont. Burlington Food Service (an in-house food service) established a full-time paid position several years ago (get date) and has become a nation-wide model for effective Farm-to-School programs. In the Northeast Kingdom, a non-profit organization was formed, Green Mountain Farm to School, which employs a number of individuals to run farm to school programs in participating schools. This program is funded through school contributions and grants. In the Upper Valley, a variety of grants have been able to fund a individual to support local Farm to School Programs. It is clear that the initiatives Farm to School programs establish and support require a significant amount of time and organization.