The Schools Take Root project provides establishments (schools, childcare centres and organizations) with an original way to raise funds through selling baskets of organic, local vegetables grown by a local farm belonging to the Family Farmers Network.
In addition to helping your establishment raise funds, the campaign is an opportunity for you to encourage local farmers by purchasing produce grown close to home. Schools Take Root also provides a unique opportunity to teach youth and their families about the benefits of eating healthy, local and organic food!I would like to start a Schools Take Root fundraising campaign at my establishment. Where do I start?
The first thing to do, before registering for the project, is to obtain the support of your establishment’s administrators. The key to a successful Schools Take Root fundraising campaign is to rally your establishment’s community around the project. It’s also important to identify a contact person who can coordinate the campaign within your establishment. This person will play a key role, with four main responsibilities:
- Oversee campaign logistics thanks to the new order management platform;
- Ensure communication between Équiterre, the establishment and families;
- Mobilize the establishment’s community around the project
- Participate in the evaluation of the campaign
Once you have the support of administrators and a campaign coordinator, you can register for the Schools Take Root campaign on Équiterre’s website.When can I register my establishment?
Registration are open until June 30, 2021. You will be able to register on our website.Are the organic vegetable baskets delivered every week or just one time?
Unlike a seasonal subscription to the Family Farmer Network, there is only one delivery of the organic baskets sold as part of the Schools Take Root campaign. The baskets are normally delivered in fall (October or November).
If you would like to get organic vegetable baskets every week, you can register with the Family Farmers Network.How much does a basket of organic vegetables cost?
Each basket costs $32 and has a value of $25.What are the proceeds for my establishment?
Online payment is offered to all establishments to facilitate their management of the campaign. This service is offered for a fixed, minimum fee.* For each basket sold, the farm receives $23, the establishment receives either $7 or $5.77 (if it uses the online payment service), and Équiterre receives $2 for the administration of the program.
*This fixed fee is established by the banking system (2.9% + C$0.30 per transaction, or $1.22 per basket).Is there a minimum number of baskets that must be sold?
A minimum of 50 baskets must be sold in each establishment to ensure the activity is feasible for the farmer. Below this number, the farm may decide to cancel the campaign, in which case you will have to reimburse the people who bought baskets, or it may decide to simply do a basket drop-off..How to predict in advance how many baskets will be sold?
When you register, you will need to estimate the approximate number of baskets you think you will be able to sell during the campaign. You can give an estimate of the number of baskets sold based on the size of your establishment, the number of children participating in the campaign and the motivation of your team. This number will help us match your establishment with a farm having suitable production capacity. Please note that it is usually possible for your farmer to provide a few extra baskets in the fall, although this will depend on weather and harvesting conditions. However, we encourage you to set a realistic goal, as if you aim too high it could result in losses to the farm.What vegetables are in the baskets?
The quantity and variety of vegetables may differ depending on the farm and the harvest. Because it’s important for us to make sure the Schools Take Root project is a win-win partnership for both the farmer and the establishment, we allow the farmers flexibility in terms of the content of the baskets. You can expect to receive between 7 and 9 varieties of vegetables, including beets, onions, carrots, garlic, celeriac, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, squash, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, parsnips, rutabagas, rabiole, winter radishes, kale, leeks, sweet potatoes, radicchio, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. An opportunity to discover the season’s harvests and some lesser known vegetables! Consult our recipe cards for information on each vegetable and great ideas on how to prepare them.When is the profit per basket sold paid to the establishment, who makes the payment?
People purchasing baskets must make their payment (in the amount of $32) to your establishment. The invoice from your farm is available directly on the online platform. Your establishment will then write a cheque to the farm (for a total of $25 x the number of baskets sold). The cheque must be given to the farmer at the time of delivery. Of the amount paid to the farm ($25), $2 is remitted to Équiterre by the farmer for the coordination of the project.When does the sale of the baskets take place?
The promotion of the campaign (sale of baskets) takes place in the fall. Once the delivery date has been set, we recommend that you plan for a period of at least three weeks to promote the fundraising campaign and organize the sale of baskets to parents and family members. Ideally, you should allow for an extension of one week, for a campaign that will last a total of approximately one month.How do parents order and pay for their basket?
You can either print out a paper copy of the order forms or share the link to the online form available on the order management platform with families. In either case, the person ordering a basket must provide their email address (so that they can receive a delivery reminder message) as well as their telephone number (so they can be reached on delivery day in case they forget to pick up their basket). Be sure that all the paper orders received are entered into the order management platform by the deadline, if applicable. If you only use the online form, the status of the order is updated automatically. The farm will receive the final order via the order management platform. Please note that you are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of your orders and for ensuring that you have received payment for all orders.When will the baskets be delivered?
The baskets will be delivered by your farmer in October or November, on the date you will have determined with Équiterre, based on the availability of the farmer. Deliveries will generally take place between 3 and 6 pm, preferably in either the school gymnasium, an assembly hall or outside the school. If your delivery date is in October, the delivery could take place outdoors, if you wish. In November, evenings are usually too cold and dark to take place outdoors. In any event, please arrange for an indoor space to be available in case of rain. Ideally, the delivery point should be easily accessible (to limit the distance traveled from the truck with crates of vegetables) and large enough to allow families to move around freely.What happens on delivery day?
The farmer will call you a few days before your delivery day to arrange the last details. He/she will arrive at your establishment at the predetermined time. The vegetables are distributed through a mini-market format, meaning that people who have ordered a basket bring their own bags and put their basket together by choosing vegetables from among the farmer’s different bins, based on a predetermined formula. The farmer will require the assistance of several volunteers to make sure the delivery day runs smoothly (unloading the truck and carrying crates of vegetables, welcoming parents, following up on orders, etc.). You can also get the children to help. In fact, that’s the best way to ensure a successful delivery! We encourage you to build your team of volunteers in advance to avoid being caught short-handed.Number of baskets sold Minimum number of volunteers required Presence of the farmer 50 - 75 3 1.5 hr 75 - 125 4 2 hrs Over 125 5 3 hrs
It is important to have more adult volunteers (able to carry crates of vegetables) for about 20 minutes when the producer arrives to help unload the truck.
Delivery day provides a unique opportunity to educate children, their families and the members of your establishment about the benefits of healthy, local and sustainable food*. That’s why we ask your farmer to be present during delivery and to answer any questions participants may have about the contents of theirs baskets. We encourage you to organize fun activities for delivery day to take advantage of the high level of interest in local and organic produce!
- Create a lively atmosphere: music, vegetable costumes, photo booth, etc.
- Organize activities related to the sustainable food theme: educational activities, fun games, role playing, storytelling, etc.
- Prepare a healthy snack for participants
- Make decorations with the children: posters, drawings, arts and crafts related to fruits and vegetables, etc.
* Delivery of the baskets must be carried out in accordance with the public health rules in force. As a result, it may not be possible to adapt some of the suggested activities.And in the COVID-19 context?
Please note that, given the exceptional circumstances we are currently facing, all public health rules in force will be put in place at the time of delivery of the vegetables. Your establishment as well as the farms will be informed of the procedures to follow.
If the situation is such that we are unable to respect your planned delivery date due to public health rules, the delivery could be postponed or even cancelled.
In the event of the cancellation of an order paid for online, a fee of $2 will be automatically deducted by the platform, of which $1.22 represents the transaction fee charged by Stripe and $0.78 is returned to your establishment. You can make the refund directly on the platform by changing the status of the order.
It is important to note that, legally, you cannot offer different refunds depending on the method of payment. For example, you will have to refund $30, not $32, to people who paid by cheque and cash. In this case, your establishment keeps the cancellation fee.What is the solidarity option?
As part of the School's take Roots 2021 edition, Équiterre is strengthening food security through a new basket donation initiative. Families will now be able to contribute to the purchase of solidarity baskets of local vegetables for vulnerable families in their region, in addition to a basket for their own family use.
To participate, families who purchase vegetable baskets from a participating establishment will simply have to check a box on the order form. It will then be up to the establishments to decide if they wish to donate the baskets to a food bank or organization or to use them as part of the food assistance measure*.
*The new food assistance measure 15012 allows all schools to fund the purchase of food for students, whether for breakfast, lunch or snacks.What if I have additional questions?
To help you organize this fundraising campaign in your establishment, we have prepared the following step-by-step guide. You can refer to it throughout the campaign. Équiterre is always available if you have any questions or require additional information. Please contact Équiterre with any questions or requests for your farmer as well, in order to avoid adding to the workload of your farmer (who in many cases is paired up with more than one establishment).