<![CDATA[FRESHFARM - FoodPrints Blog]]>Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:00:31 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The new FRESHFARM + sweetgreen Farm Share in Ward 7 is a great success!]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:33:54 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/the-new-freshfarm-sweetgreen-farm-share-in-ward-7-is-a-great-successPicture
sweetgreen makes possible accessible and affordable produce in Ward 7 for 20 weeks.
​Because of support from the local fast-casual restaurant sweetgreen, the Anne Beers Elementary community and surrounding neighborhood in Ward 7 will have access to 20 weeks of seasonal, fresh, and affordable produce, 10 weeks this past fall and 10 weeks in spring 2018. sweetgreen support allows us to discount the price of the produce so that it is affordable to all families who participate. 

The shares are in high demand!
From the first week on, all the shares sold out. In some weeks, most or all shares sold in advance. To help meet the demand, we increased the number of shares available from 30 to 35 shares. 

We are reaching out into the broader community.
About 90 people participated this fall; one-third  Beers parents; one-third Beers staff; and one-third community members. Araina Ford, a Beers parent, helps manage the Farm Share and is amazing at connecting with families and the wider community. 

The community is engaged and excited.
Customers have been excited for the produce and the community-building benefits of the program. One customer said, “The experience was great and Araina Ford is excellent in serving the community!” The weekly pick-up on Thursday afternoons in the school courtyard has provided a positive time for families, staff and community members to come together around fresh, nutritious food.

We demonstrate how to prepare the produce.
At every farm share pick up, Shana Donahue, the Beers FoodPrints Teacher, prepared simple, low-cost FoodPrints recipes using some of the produce from the week’s share. Among the items Shana demonstrated and made available for tasting were Butternut Squash Soup, Tuscan Kale Salad, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili, and Colorful Kale Salad. The cooking demonstrations were a big draw for customers, and they brought lots of students out after school to sample what was cooking.

The Farm Share makes greater connections with where food comes from.
Gale Livingstone, owner of Rainbow Hill farm, grows the produce and brings the shares each week from her farm 60 miles away in West Virginia. She has stayed for the Farm Share pick up a few times, giving patrons a chance to meet the farmer that grew their food! 

Customers love the Farm Share!
Customers say:
It is “great and convenient”
It “keeps me honest with my health and eating habits.”
It is a “great asset for this neighborhood.”
“Excellent program; I like supporting the local business.”
“Thank you! Keep up the good work.”
“I loved each week of veggies.”
“Wonderful program. I appreciated the opportunity to get fresh produce.”
“Looking forward to participating in the spring.”
“The produce was very, very good and the staff were very knowledgeable and friendly. My family and I are extremely pleased with the program!”
“I loved the variety of produce.”
“Thank you Rain, Shana and Gale for providing our community with this tremendous service!!!”

<![CDATA[Parents testify in support of FoodPrints' innovative cafeteria partnership with DCPS]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:11:01 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/parents-testify-in-support-of-foodprints-innovative-cafeteria-partnership-with-dcpsToday, parents at FoodPrints partner schools, along with the FoodPrints team, testified at the Council of Education Committee hearing on the State of School Food Services. We testified about the successful and growing partnership between FoodPrints and DCPS Office of Food and Nutrition Services to train cafeteria staff to prepare FoodPrints recipes and offer these FoodPrints recipes in school cafeterias at lunch once a week. 

Here are testimony highlights:
“SWS is among a small group of schools that participate in FreshFarm Market’s FoodPrints program.  Under this program, each class spends one day a month engaged in hands on food and nutrition lessons.  Yesterday in the FoodPrints classroom, the third grade made broccoli slaw, baked beans, sweet potato gratin, apple-beet-carrot salad, and corn bread.  There were almost no leftovers.  I overhead my own daughter arguing with a classmate over which dish would be the most delicious.  And the class let out a collective roar of excitement when they heard they would be making apple-beet-carrot salad (ABC salad).  Once a week, SWS serves these same freshly-prepared FoodPrints recipes in the cafeteria. These are the only days I let my kids eat school lunch. I trust that the food is healthy and nutritious.”
- Genevieve Sapir, parent at School Within School​
​“Ludlow Taylor was one of the few pilot schools last year which offered FoodPrints recipes once a week for lunch in the cafeteria. This was such an important connection because not only do students help in growing the same produce used in the cafeteria in our garden, they also  prep the same recipes during their monthly Food Prints classes. On the days that kale salad, three bean chili, or rainbow slaw are served, my boys share their excitement about the foods that they had made, and how tasty they are. They even asked if we could make the kale smoothies and veggie chili at home, and it has become another way for us to connect and create things together. We have even built on this by getting cookbooks and making different healthy foods at home, building on the foundation they have learned at FoodPrints.

Food Prints has helped to create the collaborative, creative environment that fosters growth, curiosity, and learning and it is part of the reason that we continue to be such happy members of the Ludlow Taylor family.”
- Rikki Schmiddle, parent at Ludlow Taylor Elementary 
“One of the great things about FoodPrints [recipes] in the cafeteria is that my two daughters connect with the food because they've made the recipes before. So at six years old they can connect with the food being served them -- they recognize it, understand its component ingredients and have a basic understanding of how it is made because they've made and eaten it themselves in FoodPrints classes. FoodPrints introduces positive food and diet choices and offering them in the cafeteria provides weekly reinforcement of this life-changing education. Ultimately, this expands children's palate beyond 'pizza, pasta and hot dogs', and makes it more likely for them to try new foods in the future.”
- Jonathan Beeton, Parent, School Within School
“I am here to tell you about this innovative partnership because it is an exciting example of how the Office of Food and Nutrition Services is incorporating scratch-cooked, seasonal recipes that are familiar to students -- as well as offering a new level of training for food services staff.

Children DO like to eat fresh, simple, nutritious food that meets the new national standards for school meals, but they must be familiar with the new recipes before they choose and prefer them. That’s the power of this partnership: FoodPrints provides hands-on, academically enriching experiences that lead to familiarity and comfort with these foods, and the school lunch partnership provides more opportunities to eat these nutritious recipes. “

- Jennifer Mampara, Director of Education, FRESHFARM
<![CDATA[October is "Farm to School Month," but every month is farm to school month at FoodPrints schools!]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:07:01 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/every-month-is-farm-to-school-month-at-foodprints-schools
Every month, FoodPrints students garden, cook, and eat nutritious foods together, and participate in hands-on lessons that help them master science, math, english/language arts, and health standards.

Two months into the new school year, we have:

  • Partnered with new schools, including Marie Reed in Ward 1, Lafayette in Ward 4, Langley and Burroughs in Ward 5, and Anne Beers in Ward 7.

  • Added several new FoodPrints teachers to our amazing staff: Shana Donahue, Selma White, Hannah Schiff, and Rebeca Gore.

  • Opened two new fully renovated FoodPrints teaching kitchens, one at Watkins and another at Marie Reed.

  • Expanded our cafeteria partnership with DCPS -- in which FoodPrints recipes are offered in school lunchrooms on Wednesdays -- by adding new recipes, new schools, and new training for cafeteria staff.

  • Started a community farm share at Anne Beers Elementary that provides weekly bags of produce from Rainbow Hill Farm for a reduced-price with support from sweetgreen.

  • Placed 15 interns and volunteers to support FoodPrints classrooms and expand horizons in food and garden education to university students, career changers, and retired community members. 
  • Awarded new grants from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for school gardens and environmental literacy.

  • Been honored to be nominated for EdibleDC magazine’s “Best Food Education Program” in DC!
<![CDATA[“Kale, Yeah!” ... The  Anne Beers Community is Thrilled about its New Farm Share]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:36:42 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/kale-yeah-anne-beers-farm-share​The Anne Beers Elementary community in Ward 7 is cooking with fresh vegetables this fall with a new farm share program offering weekly bags of fresh produce. The first share delivered last week included cauliflower, kale, peppers, eggplant, tomato, potato, onion, rosemary, and sage.           
The farm share is open to the school community and neighbors. Each Thursday afternoon, the bags of produce are available for pick up in the school courtyard. Many parents and staff members are participating as well as a few neighbors who live near the school. 
Anne Beers parent Ariana Ford and Principal Gwendolyn Payton stand in front of the second's week's shares -- bags full of kale, broccoli, butternut squash, cucumber, onions, eggplant, tomato, and peppers.
The reaction was so positive that all of the shares sold before the first pick-up and again all shares sold in advance of the second week.

“The Farm Share program is awesome for our community," says Ariana Ford, an Anne Beers parent who is running the farm share along with Shana Donahue, the Anne Beers FoodPrints Lead Teacher. "I love it and am I so fortunate to be a part of it! Everyone from parents to staff to community members are so excited and thankful for this. It feel great to be a part of the movement in feeding our community nutritious food! I love what we're doing to heal, uplift and strengthen our community through food!"

Farm share customers remarked: 
"I can't wait for my bag next week!"
"The cauliflower was so good it tasted like butter!"
"Thank you for giving your heart and energy to Anne Beers!"

Anne Beers parent Ariana Ford with farm share customers.
​The farm share is supported by sweetgreen, the DC-based fast-casual salad restaurant. The project provides fresh vegetables from a Rainbow Hill Farm for 10 weeks in the fall and 10 weeks in the spring; sweetgreen funding makes it possible to subsidize the weekly shares of organic, local produce. 

Shana Donahue, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Anne Beers, demonstrates preparing butternut squash soup at the second farm share pick up. Everyone who came by got a taste!
​FoodPrints programming is also starting this fall at Anne Beers. Students will begin participating in regular FoodPrints classes and growing more produce in their already active school garden. Anne Beers Principal Gwendolyn Payton is excited about the program. “The hands-on FoodPrints experiences will help our school community gain familiarity with fresh produce and the natural world -- and bring real-world learning to help students master science and health standards.” says Principal Payton.

<![CDATA[FoodPrints nominated for "Best Food Education Program"]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/foodprints-nominated-for-best-food-education-program
We have been nominated for the "Best Food Education Program" Award from Edible magazine. Awards are partly based on support from online voting, so please help show your support for FoodPrints by voting for us.

Vote for FoodPrints at "Best Food Education Program" by October 1. 

Thank you! We are honored to be recognized among other local food education programs. 
<![CDATA[FoodPrints in the 2016-17 School Year: Real-World Learning and Positive Changes]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/foodprints-in-the-2016-17-school-year-real-world-learning-and-positive-changesBecause of FoodPrints, more than 2,600 students in DC Public Schools had opportunities throughout the school year to garden; chop, mix, and prepare nutritious recipes; and learn academic content through these hands-on experiences.

In the 2016-17 school year, FoodPrints:
  • Taught students PreK-3 through 5th grade with more than 1,200 instructional hours in our 7 partner schools.
  • Served predominantly low-income or disadvantaged students (70% of the students we serve are eligible for free or reduced meals) in Wards 2, 6, 7, and 8.
  • Reached more than 150 classroom teachers who participated in FoodPrints lessons.
  • Hosted about 800 volunteers in FoodPrints sessions and school gardens. Many volunteers are parents who learn and try new foods alongside their children.
  • Made a positive impact on students’ knowledge of and willingness to eat fresh, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables and nutritious recipes.
In FoodPrints classes, students experience real-world learning:

Nutrition: Learning how to choose nutrient-dense foods over energy-dense foods. Students compare packaged foods made primarily from white flour and sugar to homemade, nutrient-rich foods such as kale salad, basil pesto, and butternut squash soup.
Environmental Literacy: Studying the intricacies of composting. Students explore worms and their anatomy and role in our environment, compare decomposition rates of different materials buried in the garden, and manage on-site compost piles.
Math: Calculating perimeter and area of garden beds to determine how many bags of mulch are needed to cover the paths between beds in the school garden. Students also halve, double and triple recipes to prepare the correct amount for a class.
Where food comes from: Observing, studying, drawing, and reflecting on different kinds of plants and parts of plants. Students plant dry beans at the end of the school year and observe them through the fall as they turn from green leafy vines to dry plants with mature pods. They harvest the pods, shell the beans, soak them in class, and use them to prepare Three Sisters Tacos.
FoodPrints also extended our reach this school year by:

  • Partnering with DCPS to serve FoodPrints recipes in school cafeterias 
  • Being a part of the DC Edible Schoolyard team to bring new strategies for farm-to-school initiatives to DC
  • Contributing to the first STEAM certification of a DCPS elementary school -- at Kimball Elementary 
  • Hosting three full-time FoodCorps service members who worked to support FoodPrints programming and create healthier food environments at Tyler, Ludlow-Taylor, and Kimball elementary schools
  • Engaging with evaluation partners at George Mason University to evaluate FoodPrints programming and the DCPS/FoodPrints Cafeteria partnership

​We are grateful for the students, teachers, and administrators who partner with us, and all our generous funders that make this program possible. See you in the fall!
<![CDATA[Tried it, Liked it, Loved it: Increasing exposure to fresh produce through "taste tests"]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/tried-it-liked-it-loved-it-increasing-exposure-to-fresh-produce-through-taste-testsA primary aim of FoodPrints is for students and families who participate to know more about and prefer a wider array of fresh fruits and vegetables. Through the FoodPrints program, communities at our partner schools gain hands-on experience with fresh, seasonal produce in their edible school gardens and teaching kitchens as they plant, harvest, cook and eat nutritious, cost-effective, produce-based recipes together.

In order to increase exposure to fresh produce -- and the variety of tasty recipes that use seasonal produce -- at FoodPrints schools, our team provides periodic “taste tests” at our partner schools. These are opportunities for students to try a variety of simple seasonal FoodPrints recipes: kale salad, applesauce, purple carrots and hummus, beet hummus, butternut squash soup, spring radish salad, and more.

Usually we set up a table in the lunchroom or near gathering places at school drop off or pick up, display the ingredients, make copies of the recipe available, and have “test” portions in small cups or on small plates for students to take and try.

We ask the students to think about their reactions to the new foods. We often ask students to mark on poster paper with tallies or stickers one of three responses: Tried it, Liked it, or Loved it. These produce-based recipes are tasty, and, when we introduce them to students, they like often “like it” or “love it,” even if they’ve never eaten a purple carrot or beet hummus or butternut squash soup before!

We’d like to thank the Chef Ann Foundation, especially, for funding produce purchases for both FoodPrints classes and taste tests at four of our partner schools -- Kimball, Ludlow-Taylor, Tyler, and Simon -- in the 2016-17 school year.
<![CDATA[Kimball Elementary’s STEAM program features FoodPrints gardening, cooking, and science instruction]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/kimball-elementarys-steam-program-features-foodprints-gardening-cooking-and-science-instructionKimball Elementary School, under the direction of Principal Johann Lee, is focused on providing comprehensive and integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) experiences for its students.

FoodPrints classes are one of the main vehicles for delivering STEAM programming for the younger children at the school. All PK3 through 3rd grade students at Kimball this school year have participated in FoodPrints classes -- which include gardening and cooking, along with earth science, math, and environmental literacy content instruction. The PK3 and PK4 students have participated twice-monthly and kindergarten through 3rd grade once a month.

Rosa Ramirez-Lopez, the FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Kimball, is part of the school’s STEAM Team and helps plan the STEAM programming. “Sitting on the STEAM Team has allowed me to integrate FoodPrints with the STEAM efforts at the school -- and it’s allowed us to broaden the impact of FoodPrints as a model for providing science and math content,” says Ms. Lopez.

learning about worms in FoodPrints class

​Principal Lee speaks to the importance of FoodPrints past the STEAM connections in the school’s effort to educate the whole child. “Many of our families live in a food desert, and FoodPrints connects them in a sincere way to fresh, nutritious foods. The program helps our students access what other parts of the city already have access to.”

FoodPrints was also a key part of the school’s recent World Cultures Day. As the students took a “trip around the world,” they visited 6 different countries -- by rotating to tables with information about each country and a native, nutritious dish from that country, as prepared by Ms. Lopez and Kimball’s FoodCorps service member, Kaamillah Mitchell. The students tried Fresh Tomato Salsa from Mexico, Orange Turkey Tofu Meatballs from China, Bom Bom Beans from South Africa and other recipes that used mostly fresh, local produce.

Student harvests lettuce for class with FoodCorps service member Kaamilah

​Mr. Lee notes the results he sees of the younger students’ participation in FoodPrints. The PK3 and PK4 students who’ve had FoodPrints classes all year are eager and excited to eat beets and kale and other produce from the garden. Meanwhile, older students who have not participated in FoodPrints are wary of the beets and kale and not as willing to try them.

“FoodPrints integrates seamlessly into our school and helps us meets the goals of our STEAM programming. And kids enjoy it!” says Mr. Lee.

<![CDATA[Thank you to Washington’s Green Grocer for Supporting the FoodPrints Program!]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 18:08:45 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/thank-you-to-washingtons-green-grocer-for-supporting-the-foodprints-program​Washington’s Green Grocer is generously providing transport and storage services that allow us to get fresh produce from the farmers market to our partner schools each week. ​They've made it possible for more than 3,000 DC Public School children to have beautiful, local vegetables to supplement the produce they harvest from their school gardens to cook during FoodPrints classes.
​Each Sunday morning, FoodPrints teaching assistant, Danielle Tutrone, shops at the Dupont FRESHFARM market for produce students will chop, mix, and cook in their FoodPrints classes the coming week. 

Danielle is assisted  by a wonderful volunteer, Becca Blake, who spends 3 hours each Sunday sorting and packing the produce into coolers for each school. 
Keith Ross with Washington’s Green Grocer, picks up the coolers and takes them to the WGG refrigerated storage facility. 
This school year, Washington's Green Grocer has provided:
  • Pick up, storage and delivery of 4,536 pounds groceries 
  • 756 pick ups and drop offs 
  • 378 coolers delivered to 8 FoodPrints partner schools

Thank you Washington's Green Grocer!

> Learn more about Washington's Green Grocer, a delivery service of carefully curated goods.
<![CDATA[Connecting FoodPrints with School Cafeterias to Offer A Wider Variety of Fresh Recipes Familiar to Students]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/connecting-foodprints-with-school-cafeterias-to-offer-a-wider-variety-of-fresh-recipes-familiar-to-studentsDC Public Schools and FRESHFARM are partnering to offer, nutritious, seasonal recipes in school lunches. These are some of the same recipes students are preparing in their monthly FoodPrints classes.

In February, the Ludlow-Taylor and School Within School school cafeterias began serving two FoodPrints recipes every Wednesday.

In February and March, the FoodPrints entrees included Sweet Potato Quesadillas & Tuscan Kale Salad; Bean and Veggie Chili & Sauteed Kale with Lemon and Garlic; and Shepherd's Pie & Collards with Browned Onions.

After spring break, a new menu began that will run through the end of the school year. The spring recipes are Fried Rice & Spinach Salad; Crunchy Rosemary Lemon Chickpeas & Warm Potato Salad; Prosperity Peas with Collard Greens & French Carrot Salad. 

We hear praise from students and staff at the schools for the taste and variety of the FoodPrints meals. On a recent FoodPrints Day, a kindergartener at Ludlow-Taylor gave her friend across the table a “thumbs up” and a smile for the Crunchy Rosemary Lemon Chickpeas.  

​"We would gladly buy lunch at school every day if FoodPrints recipes were always on the menu," says Genevieve Sapir, mother of two at School Within School.

“It’s something tangible I can ask my child about his day. ‘Did you have chili for lunch?’ And he often asks me ‘Can we make this at home?’ about the FoodPrints recipes,” says Rikki Schmidle, parent at Ludlow-Taylor. The connection between FoodPrints and lunch has been one of the biggest wins this school year. It is such a good way to introduce nutritious foods starting young in a challenging urban environment.”

Rob Jaber, Food Service Director for DCPS and staunch supporter of the FoodPrints program and farm-to-school initiatives, is immersed in the connections made between the classroom and in the cafeteria. “This partnership captures the national trend of scratch cooking in school cafeterias: recipes made from scratch, on-site, that are fresher, appealing, and nutritious. All the partners have been key to the success of this initiative, and we’re excited about expansion possibilities next year and beyond in the future,” Jaber says.

FRESHFARM and DCPS Food and Nutrition Services are working alongside SodexoMagic, the school meals vendor, to ensure the recipes are prepared accurately and consistently, to be tasty and as close as possible to what the students are preparing in their FoodPrints classes.

At both schools, large photographs of students working in their school gardens and preparing the nutritious foods in teaching kitchens hang in the lunchrooms -- making further connections between school meals and FoodPrints

Behind this project is the theory that FoodPrints lessons -- academically enriching opportunities in which students to gain familiarity and comfort with these fresh, seasonal recipes and hands-on food and nutrition education -- combined with changes to the school cafeteria menu and environment will result in increased participation in the school meals program, more nutritious fresh options, and less waste. To meet these goals, DC Public Schools Division of Food and Nutrition Services and FRESHFARM have been building build greater connections between school gardens, the school meals program, and what is prepared in FoodPrints kitchen classrooms.