Last year, I spent six months as the co-chair of the fundraising committee for the Parent Council at Ben’s high school. I thought it was a good opportunity to get to know other parents, teachers, and the principal, something that’s harder to accomplish once kids leave elementary school.
Despite being actively involved in the boys’ school since they were kindergarteners, it was the first time I took a) a leading role and b) got involved in fundraising, and I have to say it truly took a village to make some of the initiatives a success, especially when trying to ignite enthusiasm for said causes in apathetic teenagers. I’ve passed my position on to someone else this school year (Hi Karen!), because quite frankly I don’t have the time with a baby at home, and now that Jackson is in Grade 8, I want to devote more time to being involved in his school since it’s his last year there. #balancingact
Regardless of my back-seat involvement in the schools’ fundraising efforts right now, I’m pretty passionate about a new-ish initiative that Jackson’s school introduced me to last year, and I’m hoping it becomes one that many more embrace. Fresh from the Farm is a program that raises funds for schools by selling bundles of local produce (onions, apples, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes) to families instead of traditional items like magazines, chocolate, and gift-wrap. Mutually beneficial to the school, local farmers, and our own families, I’m a fan of anything that helps kids embrace healthy eating.
Fresh from the Farm is committed to delivering:
- Healthy food choices
- Opportunities for learning about agriculture and food in the classroom
- Support for Ontario’s farmers and the local economy
- Great profit for schools - 40% of all sales go directly to the school!
Here’s the thing: I find it so much easier to gain support for a fundraising program when the product you’re asking someone to purchase is something they’re already likely to have on their shopping list. Ben’s hockey team previously partnered with a meat wholesaler, selling various cuts of beef, pork, chicken, fish, and sausages. Most families – especially those with teenage boys – buy a lot of meat, so this particular program allowed them to support the team financially, while spending money on something they had already planned on purchasing. Fresh from the Farm does exactly the same thing, which is a win-win for all involved.
To date, the program has:
- Over 150 schools involved
- Distributed 165,000 lbs. of Ontario produce to school communities
- Returned $150,000 to Ontario farmers
So, how does it work? It's simple, really. Schools enrol and then begin fundraising by sending order forms home with students. Orders are placed online and volunteers receive, sort and pack up the bundles for delivery day. Your school will likely arrange for a set pick-up time and location, and if your children have sold fresh produce to family, friends and neighbours they can drop off the packages upon pick up.
Are you familiar with the program? Does your school support it? If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, mention it to your own school’s Parent Council, or visit the website yourself in order to learn more. Schools need to be enrolled by October 9th in order to participate. Wouldn’t it be great to make this school year’s fundraising efforts a nutritious and delicious success?
The post was published in partnership with Food Bloggers of Canada and Fresh from the Farm. Thank you for supporting the companies that support Family Bites. Photos courtesy of Fresh From the Farm.