Local school district receives federal grant to promote access to healthy food
Graham Local School District in Saint Paris built raised beds, a greenhouse and a chicken coop for a dozen chickens and ducks. During the school year, the children help in the garden and learn to eat.
The district is one of eight schools and nonprofit organizations in Ohio to receive USDA Farm to School Grant. The grant is part of a national effort to improve access to locally sourced food and food education.
In 2021, USDA awarded $ 12 million in grants to more than 170 national, state and local organizations involved in farm-to-school programs, $ 600,000 of which went to Ohio, according to a USDA Press release.
Chad Lensman is the Director of Teaching and Learning at Graham. He has been working on landscaping the garden for about five years. He said that the garden is used to teach children all the work of agriculture.
“They really need to know where their food comes from, how they can grow their food. And maybe we can inspire some kids to take different paths and change their path in life. Said Lensman.
The $ 100,000 grant will help local schools in Graham expand its outdoor gardens by adding fruit trees, a new irrigation system, and partnering with local organizations with the primary goal of promoting nutrition education and health. healthy food choices, according to Lensman.
Food journalist Alejandro Figueroa is a member of the corps for Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms.