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Promoting healthy, local and sustainable food in your local school, daycare and community groups - It’s easy with Schools Take Root

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Is your local school, daycare centre or community organization looking for a new fundraising idea? How would you like to get your community’s youth interested in healthy, local and organic food, while raising their awareness about the environment, the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the transportation sector, over-packaging and the use of pesticides? And what if you could get beautiful fresh produce and support a local farm at the same time?

Here’s a simple solution: Schools Take Root!

Schools Take Root, Équiterre’s turnkey fundraising campaign project, helps you do all of these things, and more! The concept is simple: a school, daycare centre or community organization is linked with a local organic farmer, who will grow and deliver organic vegetables to your establishment for everyone to whom the youth sell an organic basket.

A fun, innovative and healthy way to raise funds and awareness in your community about the benefits of local organic farming!

What’s new in 2019

For this 4th edition of Schools Take Root, Équiterre will be supporting participating establishments to make delivery day not only a fun and educational event, but also zero waste.

Participating establishments will receive a number of tools to help them provide advice about reducing food waste, storage tips to extend the shelf life of seasonal foods and recipes featuring stem and root vegetables. These tools are in addition to other resources that participating establishments will be encouraged to consult, such as websites featuring practical tips like Sauve ta bouffe and LoveFoodHateWaste.

An educational community project

The Schools Take Root project gives youth the chance to be involved from start to finish, from basket sale to delivery day. Whether it’s organizing an information booth during the fundraising stage, designing decorations made from recycled materials to liven up the delivery area, preparing and serving snacks made from local organic food or presenting a waste re-use project, Schools Take Root allows youth to tap into their creativity and sense of commitment. For example, they’ll definitely have a lot of fun making these reusable handmade bags from old t-shirts, that can be used for bringing their vegetables home on delivery day.

These photos from the 2018 campaign show how engaged the youth are during these educational activities, with the teachers, administration, parents and farmers all doing their part as well!

So how does it work?

Are you a parent, a neighbour or a volunteer with a school, daycare centre or non-profit youth organization such as Scouts or a youth drop-in centre? Invite the administration, teachers, educators or employees of these establishments to learn about the project by sharing this video, this fact sheet or these examples of previous campaigns with them.

Each basket sells for $30. $6 goes to the school, daycare centre or organization, which amounts to a 25% profit margin (which is equivalent to a benefit event, such as a spaghetti dinner).

How to sign up (deadline: June 30)

  • Read the detailed instructions.
  • Get the green light from management and identify a campaign coordinator within the establishment.
  • Register the establishment with Schools Take Root before the end of the school year (no later than June 30, 2019).

A province-wide success!

Over 75 establishments from across the province participated in Schools Take Root last year. In all, nearly 8,000 baskets of organic vegetables grown and delivered by a local producer from the Family Farmers Network were sold in the fall of 2018 to fund such initiatives as educational gardens, cooking workshops, schoolyard development projects, educational activities and teaching materials. Let’s get the number of establishments raising funds through local organic produce to 100 this year!

The Schools Take Root project, for healthy, local and sustainable food, is coordinated and implemented by Équiterre, in partnership with the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) and the Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal. It was created within the Système alimentaire montréalais (SAM) and has been made possible by the support of the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as part of the programme Proximité (Local Program), funded under the Canada-Quebec Growing Forward 2 Agreement.

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