ASAP Local Food Strong Farms Healthy Communities

Comment. Share. Connect. Join ASAP in an ongoing conversation about local food FROM HERE in the Southern Appalachians.


Program Post: Growing Minds by the Numbers

Each Thursday, ASAP’s programs take you behind the scenes of their work. This month, our programs share an insider’s look back at 2013 and ahead to the new year: Growing Minds talks Farm to School by the numbers!

From ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program

The Growing Minds team has been busy in 2013, providing trainings, local food taste tests, seeds, mini-grants, presentations, and more to our community. In other words, we’ve worked with and impacted a great deal of educators, school food professionals, and children this year! Here are the numbers:

Big picture: Growing Minds provided Farm to School resources and training in 20 counties in the Appalachian Grown region, reaching a grand total of 15,032 individual children at 110 different schools. Much of our emphasis was with schools in Asheville City and Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, and Rutherford counties.

Details:

  • 413 packets of seeds distributed for school gardens
  • $3,400 in farm field trip grants awarded, reaching 888 students in 9 counties
  • 1,063 students provided cafeteria taste tests with local food and/or classroom cooking classes
  • 34,169 “I tried local” stickers and recipe cards distributed
  • 33 trainings/workshops/presentations provided to 1,519 individuals (teachers, farmers, parents, child nutrition staff, etc.)
  • 69% increase in website visits to growing-minds.org

We’re thrilled that we could have such a reach, and these numbers don’t even reflect our work as a Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network and the role we play in six states in the Southeast.

Not only did we collect these numbers this year, we also surveyed parents and teachers to find out what was working and what wasn’t. In a survey conducted at Cullowhee Valley School, parents told us that, as a result of the school’s Farm to School program:

  • 80.3 % of their children now show interest in starting or helping with a garden
  • 70.4% are now more likely to try new vegetables
  • 66.2% want to help cook more often

Seventy-four percent of parents also reported that the Farm to School program had an impact on how their families eat or think about food. From them, we heard: “My son has learned two recipes this year that we MUST make at least weekly. He loves the apple-carrot salad; it’s his favorite dessert ever! He also loves to make smoothies now. He and his brother love them for breakfast.” “My daughter does help in the garden more often and asks to help make dinner as well. We also discuss—at EVERY meal—where our food comes from, who grew it and where they grew it.” And, “We’re now growing a garden in our backyard.”

We can’t wait to hear more quotes just like this in 2014. And, we hope to increase these numbers, spreading Farm to School far and wide!

Tags:, , , , , ,