In a year of challenges, the 2020 edition of the Schools Take Root project was a resounding success. Despite the pandemic, the climate of uncertainty in schools and families, and the drought that affected last summer’s harvests, numerous schools, families and farmers once again stepped up and answered the call! Thousands of children, supported by their communities, encouraged our local farms by implementing fundraising campaigns selling baskets of local, organic vegetables, with a portion of the sales going to finance their projects
To celebrate Nutrition Month and the start of March break, Équiterre is kicking off the 6th edition of its Schools Take Root project by inviting primary and secondary schools, childcare centres and community organizations across Quebec to get involved in the sustainable food movement by offering kids a fundraising campaign promoting local, organic vegetables.
The formula has been adapted to the COVID context and a solidarity option is once again being offered in the event that basket deliveries are cancelled for health reasons. This option adds flexibility to the project by offering an opportunity to strengthen food security in the regions by donating undelivered baskets to food banks.
WHAT IS SCHOOLS TAKE ROOT?
Next fall, baskets of fresh, organic vegetables grown by our own local farmers will be sold by children in participating establishments. In addition to being a great way for participants to raise funds for their projects, this initiative also offers a unique opportunity to teach kids about the benefits of local and organic food for our health and the health of the planet.
A campaign in two parts:
- Basket sales: This step usually takes place in the fall. To sell the baskets, children need to understand how buying locally helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and why that’s important; why consuming food that’s free of pesticides and GMOs is good for our health; and how choosing to buy from a local farmer benefits our society and our regional economy;
- Delivery: On delivery days, which are usually in October or November (depending on the availability of the farmer and the establishment), the children welcome their local farmer to their school/childcare centre/community organization and help them distribute the organic vegetables to all those who have supported the project by purchasing a basket.
PREPARATION STARTS NOW!
With spring just around the corner, family farmers will soon begin preparing the organic seeds that they’ll be planting and cultivating throughout the summer in order to provide Schools Take Root participants with baskets of delicious organic vegetables next fall.
Every year since 2016, we have observed renewed enthusiasm for the Schools Take Root project on the part of establishments, farms and families. This enthusiasm is clearly reflected in the statistics! There is a huge appetite for creating awareness among children about the importance of healthy eating, in keeping with the recommendations of the new Canada Food Guide. The Schools Take Root project offers you a fantastic opportunity to do just that, while at the same time helping you raise funds for your establishment.
So, don’t delay! Encourage your school, childcare centre or community organization to join the Schools Take Root movement today! To help you promote the project, feel free to use our video, fact sheet and social media post.
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