KC Healthy Kids recognized Splitlog Farm with the 2018 Champions for Health Award at the Champions for Healthy Youth Summit yesterday.
The award was established to recognize an individual or organization that has worked closely with KC Healthy Kids to make Kansas City a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.
Since 2014, Splitlog Farm has been a source of produce and a place to gather for the people in its neighborhood. Community organizer Steve Curtis, who kids know as Farmer Steve made the farm what it is today.
The farm is an excellent example of how a small space can be used to grow a substantial amount of food, and kids are a big part of that. Students as young as preschoolers come to the farm for outdoor, age appropriate plant science courses. They plant vegetables, care for plants and harvest produce.
Video: A Visit to Splitlog Farm
The farm distributed more than 600 pounds of produce in its first year, 1000 pounds in its second and almost 1500 in its third. Splitlog expanded to include an orchard in 2016 and a small green-space/natural playground in early 2017.
As a partner of KC Healthy Kids, Splitlog Farm has hosted policy maker tours and a free meals food truck for kids.
The staff at Community Housing Wyandotte County and the students who work the farm field-tested our Farm to School Academy’s Garden to Cafeteria Safe Sourcing Protocol. The kids, along with teachers and school cafeteria staff helped us figure out how to make each step—harvesting, weighing, washing and packaging—quick and easy so more locally grown food could be used in schools.
Community Housing Wyandotte County established the farm in 2014 to support their community building and engagement goals. The organization recognizes that lifting neighborhoods out of poverty requires a holistic approach that considers the health and social well-being of residents as well as the physical environment.
Rachael McGinnis Millsap, director of KC Healthy Kids Farm to School Academy and Steven Curtis, former farm manager at Splitlog Farm, have collaborated on several projects that helped both organizations meet their goals.