Wednesday, July 9, 2014

School garden in East Hartford provides healthy salads for summer lunches

Students and staff plant the garden this spring
East Hartford's Goodwin School has a new vegetable garden, which was the brainchild of Ann Kostopoulos, a Special Education Teacher who attended a Healthy East Hartford meeting in March to request support in starting a school garden.  She was awarded a small grant to purchase the lumber and in 4 short months, the garden is up and running.   Ann joined the East Hartford Hunger Action Team in April and has been an active member.  Her vision is to use the garden as a teaching garden, as well as supplying healthy food for the children of East Hartford.

Melanie Champion from Goodwin School
harvest lettuce from the school garden.

Last week, fresh picked lettuce from the Goodwin ElementarySchool Garden in East Hartford was taken to the East Hartford High School where the Food Service Director, Shari Staeb, cleaned and dressed the lettuce, adding fresh tomato and cucumber, and measured the 3/4 cup individual portions. 
Over 40 fresh salads were then delivered to an East Hartford Summer Meal site on Tuesday, July 1st.  The new garden at Goodwin School is a collaborative effort involving Healthy East Hartford, the East Hartford HungerAction Team, as well as EH Public Schools, the PTO and phenomenal efforts by Ann Kostopoulos and Melanie P. Champion from Goodwin School.

How can you help make sure kids get healthy meals in the summer?
  • If you are in the East Hartford, lend your support to the school system's healthy food work, including the gardens and summer food!
  • A different town? Check to see if your town has a summer food program for kids. If not, ask your town offiicals why not!
  • Interested in gardening and think your town's schools should do this?  Go here for some more background and information and then start talking to your school staff and PTO about it!
  • Want to join a Hunger Action Team and work on issues like this in your community? Get in touch with Jim or Bea to find out if there is already a Team in your town and if not, what steps we can help you take to start one!

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