The 4th edition of Équiterre’s Schools Take Root project is officially being kicked off today, inviting schools (primary and secondary), daycares and community organizations from across Quebec to get involved in the sustainable food movement by providing their youth with a fundraising campaign that puts local organic vegetables on a pedestal.
WHY SCHOOLS TAKE ROOT?
Instead of selling chocolate or oranges as a fundraiser, the youth at participating Schools Take Root establishments will sell baskets of organic vegetables grown by local farmers this fall. The initiative not only raises funds for the establishment but is an incredible opportunity for kids to learn about the health and environmental benefits of choosing local organic produce. In order to sell, they must understand how choosing local food reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and why that’s important; how choosing food that has been grown without synthetic pesticides or GMOs is better for your health; how choosing to buy produce from a local farmer is beneficial for our society and our local economies.
THE WONDER OF LOCAL ORGANIC VEGETABLES
On delivery day, which takes place in October or November (depending on the availabilities of the farmer and the establishment), the youth welcome their local farmer to their school/daycare/organization and help him/her distribute the organic vegetables to all those who have supported the fundraiser.
“It’s incredible to see how proud the youth are to have their farmer and all of his or her produce at their establishment,” states Murielle Vrins, Schools Take Root Project Manager. “All of a sudden, vegetables become a lot more exciting and they can’t wait to show them off to their parents and to bring them home to make dinner with their families.”
PREPARATION STARTS NOW
But right now, with the advent of spring, our local family farmers are preparing the organic seedlings that they will plant and tend to all summer long in order to grow beautiful organic produce for participating Schools Take Root establishments in the fall.
We saw an explosion of interest in the Schools Take Root project last year, with 75 participating establishments from almost all regions of Quebec. There is an incredible appetite to educate youth about the importance of health and sustainable food, as promoted in the new Canada’s Food Guide. Schools Take Root is a fantastic opportunity to do just that, and to raise funds for your establishment at the same time.
So go ahead, encourage your school, daycare or community organization to join the Schools Take Root movement! Feel free to send them this informational video and one-pager.