On September 14th, 2016 Farm to School Manitoba kicked off their seventh year of providing Manitoba schools and daycare centres with a Healthy Choice Fundraiser. It was an especially exciting time as in the previous days the Honorable Ralph Eichler (Minister of Agriculture) and the Honorable Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Health, Seniors, and Active Living) officially declared this day “Local Veggie Day” in an official capacity to support the Farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser, Manitoba farmers and home economics education.
Throughout the year, Home Economists educate students and adults on a variety of food related topics including nutrition, the importance of local food products, sustainability and family meal preparation. Promotion of “Local Veggie Day” in the classroom, homes, kitchens and Manitoba communities helps reinforce these messages.
The Farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser is a partnership program with The Manitoba Provincial Government, Peak of the Market, and the Manitoba Association of Home Economists. For the 2016–17 year this event has focused on recognizing community partnerships and giving back to the community.
The Farm to School Fundraiser also partners with Winnipeg Harvest to foster a unique opportunity for communities to give back. The farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser provides an option for participants to donate veggies to a food bank on all fundraising forms. Manitoba schools continue to be generous in choosing this option, year after year!
The fundraising year is from September to December of the following year. Each year schools and daycares sell bundles of locally grown vegetables to their community to raise funds for various projects and programs.
We also celebrated throughout the year with events such as World Food Day with the students of East Selkirk Middle School and young children of Hanover Daycare Center. Human Ecology students prepared veggie fries with locally grown Peak of the Market vegetables for the daycare students to try. Farm to School program coordinator, Chinweoke Asagwara talked to the students about the large role they each play in reducing hunger locally and globally.
Farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser is proud to continue to offer Manitobans a healthy fundraising alternative. We look forward to many future successful years, and many more Manitoba vegetables enjoyed by so many.
Submitted by: Chinweoke Asagwara
Farm to School Healthy Choice Fundraiser Program Coordinator