Luwillis Canada — she goes by Ms. Lu — is an early education director who believes that along with their ABCs and 123s, kids need to know their carrots, tomatoes and cantaloupes too! That’s why Canada’s Child Care Center in Kansas City, Missouri has a garden where kids can plant, tend, harvest and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Families and teachers are invited to visit the garden and harvest food to take home, but during the pandemic, job losses and food supply problems meant Ms. Lu’s families needed more than the garden could provide.
When she heard about KC Healthy Kids’ free farm box delivery, she signed up right away. Every other week, families received bundles of fresh produce, eggs, dairy and meat from local farmers.
“You know, I was born in Arkansas and my parents had a big farm and they also raised a big garden. I was raised on fruits and vegetables, and so I knew how it would benefit a child to have that too,” Ms. Lu said.
Across the metro, about 200 families at partnering early care centers signed up for farm shares. Not only was the bountiful box full of healthy, delicious foods, it was also delivered to their early care center, so busy parents didn’t have to make another stop on the way home.
KC Healthy Kids purchased the food and partnered with the Kansas City Food Hub to have the farm shares assembled and delivered. So by signing up for farm shares, families helped local farmers by providing them with income and way to keep their crops from dying in the field.
You can help Ms. Lu feed her kids healthy, locally-grown produce and keep area farmers in business when you support KC Healthy Kids’ Local Food programs like this one.
Changing lifelong eating habits can be a daunting and expensive task. Whether its for environmental, health, economic, or moral reasons, or if you just want you food to taste better, Local food is the way to go! But where do you start? remain calm, we are here for you! Here are our favorite ways to help people just like you start eating more local, organic, and free-range food.
A walk through the produce section of a supermarket might leave you thinking we can have all kinds of delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables year-round, at least until you actually bite into that January strawberry from South America. These days, most produce in supermarkets comes from California, Florida, and other states with longer growing seasons. Often it is shipped from other countries thousands of miles away. This is true even in the spring, summer, and fall, when local fruits and vegetables are available.
Does it seem like there is a whole new language around food? If you are new to the idea of eating this way, it can easily be overwhelming. Free-range? Animal welfare? What DOES it all mean? Here is a handy little vocabulary list to help you decipher these terms. Don't worry, there won't be a quiz later.
KC Farm School at Gibbs Road is an educational incubator for burgeoning farmers and young students alike. Led by Alicia Ellingsworth, the farm school was established in 2018 to educate and connect the community to land, food, themselves and each other. They are one of the newest members of KC Food Circle™, but the farm itself, formerly Gibbs Road Farm managed by Cultivate KC, has been a well-established anchor and educational resource to the farming community for many years.
Rachael McGinnis Millsap, director of KC Healthy Kids’ Farm to Institution initiatives, shares big news about the future of KC Food Circle™.
At Splitlog Farm and Orchard in KCK, we’re partnering with Community Housing of Wyandotte County to grow fresh produce for the community. This summer, that little farm fed a lot of people!
Citizens of the World, a Kansas City, Missouri charter school, has partnered with our Farm to School Academy and Urbavore Urban Farm to hold two Local Tasting events a year for the past 4 years.
Help us spread the word about these events geared specifically for people who live near Splitlog Farm (1045 Splitlog Ave) and kids in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools!
Another summer has sailed by and children across the metro have all settled into their new classrooms. Yes, it is hard to believe it’s October, and for those of us at KC Healthy Kids and for area schools that participate in our Farm to School Program, October, is also Farm to School month.