Slow Food in Schools Update

On Thursday, October 12, we held our first “Slow Food in Schools” meeting.  We had 7 people attending who brought a variety of strengths and interest from permaculture gardening, mothers concerned about school nutrition, and a very enthusiastic employee from Rockingham County Schools.

This meeting provided an opportunity to find out who is interested and how to precede with making the “Slow Foods in School” program a reality here in the Triad.

Our next meeting will be held

Thursday November 2,  2006
at The Green Bean
341 South Elm Street
7pm-9pm. 

We will be reviewing the handout “How to start a Slow Food in Schools Program” (PDF located at the bottom of the page.) This handout has a wealth of information and will serve as a great guide.  If you can, please print out a copy to bring to the meeting and print one for a friend.

Now I would like to tell you a little more about Nichole Henigin who works for Rockingham County Schools who attended the meeting.  Nichole is the School Nutrition Health and Wellness Program Supervisor, which was specifically created in the RCS and the first to do so in the state.  Orange County Schools is only the second district to create such position. Under this role, Nicole serves as Co-chair to the School Health Advisory Council, writes grants and develops/implements programs relating to the nutrition office.  Nicole is working with the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grant at Draper Elementary School, where students receive FREE fruits and vegetables year round. Families and school staff also benefit from this grant. The American Cancer Society awarded Nicole with a grant to improve middle school nutrition and exercise habits.  The Annie Penn Charitable Trust grant is another grant initiative Nicole helps coordinate with Reidsville City Schools to make more nutritious options available to students.

Wow!  Nichole came to our “Slow Food in Schools” meeting to find out how Slow Foods could benefit her students in Rockingham County.  As a parent and Slow Food participant, Nichole gave me inspiration for school nutrition and the future of our children.

As we continue to progress with the “Slow Food in Schools” program I feel that it is important to become as involved with our schools as possible, especially when they are asking for our help.

Here is a way we can help the children of Rockingham County:

Nichole will be hosting a “Harvest Dinner” at Draper Elementary School in Eden on Tuesday November 14th starting at 6pm.  This “Harvest Dinner” will serve approximately 250 parents and children at a minimal cost of $1 to $2.  They will be pre-selling tickets and Nichole will have a definite head count soon.  There is grant money to buy fresh fruits and vegetables which Nichole would like to purchase from local farmers. 

Nichole is also looking to our Slow Food community for the following help:

Menu suggestions (fruit and produce based to expose parents and children to local and seasonal foods)
Donation of turkey or ham
Local Chef to prepare food
Servers (this will give children an opportunity to experience a nice dining experience)
Centerpieces for the tables
Paper goods
Beverages(possibly hot cider)
Slow Food display and banner

If you would like to help make this “Harvest Dinner” a success for the children and parents of Draper Elementary, please contact Nichole directly at (336) 627-2657 or by email at nmayernik@rock.k12.nc.us.

I would like to take this time to thank everyone who attended the meeting and for the numerous calls and emails expressing concern.  I would also like to thank Nichole Henigin for her enthusiasm and energy that she is sharing with the children and parents in Rockingham County.  It is very exciting to see public schools embrace the importance of eating locally and seasonally and sharing this experience with families.

Sincerely,
Donna Myers
(336) 273-4371
www.epicourier.com

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