As another school year begins, I am so pleased to share exciting news about FRESHFARM Market?s FoodPrints program. FoodPrints is FRESHFARM Market?s food education program that aims to make positive changes in what children and their families eat through highly engaging, hands-on experiences with growing, harvesting, cooking and preparing nutritious, local and in season foods. This is the beginning of our 10th year of partnering with D.C. Public Schools and we have so many exciting projects and opportunities on the horizon!
FRESHFARM Markets works in partnership with administrators and teachers to ensure that FoodPrints offers a relevant, enriching educational opportunity that teaches Common Core, Next Generation Science and DCPS/OSSE Health standards, and that adapts to the unique curricular goals of each school we partner with. The Program was started by FRESHFARM Markets co-founder, Bernadine Prince in 2005, and by 2009 landed at Watkins Elementary where we developed an extensive school garden and converted a classroom into a Teaching Kitchen. FoodPrints continued to grow and by the 2014-15 academic year, FRESHFARM Markets had partnered with five DCPS elementary schools, serving 1,800 students in 77 classrooms ranging from preschool through 5th grade.
The 2015-16 academic year is marked by exciting partnerships and developments, including:
- Debuting FoodPrints at School without Walls at Francis Stevens (2425 N Street NW). This is our first school outside of Capitol Hill, and will bring our current program reach to 2,200 students in 110 classrooms. Through collaboration with The George Washington University and Jose Andres? ThinkFoodGroup, D.C. Public Schools is constructing a demonstration teaching kitchen classroom inside the school cafeteria that will provide a state-of-the-art space for FoodPrints classes.
- An intimate Harvest dinner on September 29 at Urbana to celebrate and support FoodPrints at School without Walls at Francis Stevens. Stay tuned for details about tickets! .
- Whole Foods Markets has come on board as our Food Prints program partner and will provide dry goods and pantry items that aren?t available at FRESHFARM Markets to all six Food Prints schools. FoodPrints recipes (so popular that some students have insisted these dishes be served at their birthday parties) will be prepared and featured at the Whole Foods Markets-Tenlytown in its deli.
- A partnership with DCPS Food and Nutrition Services to serve and highlight FoodPrints recipes as part of the school lunch program at our partner schools.
- The removal a large area of asphalt from the playground at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary and replacement of it with a storm water retention basin, native plants, and an extensive FoodPrints vegetable garden with over 30 raised beds. This is a joint project with the District Department of the Environment?s RiverSmart Schools program, the University of Maryland and The Neilom Foundation.
- At Tyler Elementary, the construction of a free-standing FoodPrints Teaching Kitchen Classroom in the courtyard next to the vegetable garden. This project has received funding for architectural plans and project management from The Share Fund, and drawings have been completed. We hope to raise the funds for construction this year and see the project complete and ready for students as they return to school in the fall of 2016.
- A pilot of our new Farmer-In-Residence program at one school that will provide a substantial stipend to a farmer or producer in exchange for developing a year-long relationship with students and families through FoodPrints. The aim is to roll this out at all FoodPrints schools in the 2016-17 academic year.
As FRESHFARM Market?s education program, FoodPrints is also looking forward to developing programming at our markets and in the larger community. Click here for more information about FoodPrints and please reach out with ideas, comments and your support.
FoodPrints Program Director