Wood County Farm to School Funding, Staffing and Programming
2010 – 2012
Wood County F2S began as part of a Community Putting Prevention to Work grant from the CDC. Three half time AmeriCorps volunteers were hired to begin work in three initiative areas:
1. Procurement – found farmers to sell local product to the schools, ran the Harvest of the month program in 6 public school districts, held quarterly meetings for food service directors, helped create monthly Harvest of the Month family newsletters
2. Classroom Education – created and delivered monthly agriculture and nutrition lessons to over 500 students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade in four school districts. Monthly F2S education letters sent home to parents.
3. School Gardens – helped to organize and construct 12 school gardens and revamp 4 school greenhouses.
At the end of year 1, two of the AmeriCorp staff remained with the program as contractors to the WCHD to continue the F2S work in Wood County with a new batch of AmeriCorp staff to assist.
2012 – 2014
The Wood County F2S program continued to provide county level support with a quarter time media and promotional staff and a half time Farm to School Coordinator through a 2 year Transform Wisconsin Grant. During this phase, the focus at the county level included:
1. Procurement – found more local food aggregators and farmers for schools to purchase from, ran food service directors meetings, switched from one Harvest of Month product each month to multiple products each month, conducted fresh cut processing trials with local business for school use, created monthly then quarterly Harvest of the Month family newsletters.
2. Classroom Education – occasional classroom education, all school assemblies, special event education. Partnered with UW Stevens Point interns to provide nutrition and agriculture lessons.
3. School Gardens – helped school gardens connect with free resources, websites, grant opportunities.
4. Special Projects – worked with individual districts to pursue projects such as recycling cafeteria waste to local farms or using high school classes to help process foods grown in school gardens.