Garden Stakeholders Meet on South Whidbey

We’re growing stronger food networks on South Whidbey.

Representatives from the Whidbey Institute, Whidbey Island Nourishes, Good Cheer, and Goosefoot met recently with the South Whidbey School District (SWSD) Superintendent and all four of our Community Garden Leadership Apprentices to discuss how to collaborate, with the strength of our shared missions, to bolster the school garden programs on South Whidbey. Summit discussion included how to fund a school garden program for the entire district and how to bring garden curriculum to the classrooms plus fresh, garden-grown produce to the cafeterias.

SWSD cafeteria food service is provided by Chartwells, a national food service company providing 2.5 million school lunches across the nation each day. Our district is the first in the nation to provide school-garden grown produce to a Chartwells cafeteria on a regular basis, setting a precedent with the potential to impact millions of lives!

Stakeholders have come away with the goal of raising funds and fostering programs to meet the challenge of getting garden-based curriculum integrated into core learning at every grade level, K through 12, within three years, and to continue improving access to garden learning and organic produce for every student. Community garden coordinator Cary Peterson said, “five organizations getting together to raise money for a program that furthers a common vision is a very cool thing. Through collaboration and cooperation, we’re all helping each other achieve our goals.”

To learn more or to get involved in our community gardens, email [email protected]. And remember: your donation to local non-profits like the Whidbey Institute supports this work in our community.

September 5, 2014