PROVINCE ANNOUNCES RECORD NUMBER OF SCHOOLS, DAYCARES REGISTERED IN HEALTHY FOODS FUNDRAISER
A record number of schools and daycares will participate in this year’s Farm to School Healthy Choice Fundraiser, Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau and Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.
“We know that when children develop healthy eating habits early, they are more likely to stay healthy and active throughout their lives,” said Rondeau. “Our Farm to School fundraiser helps teach children those valuable lessons, while encouraging them to raise money for their schools and child‑care centres.”
Participating schools and daycares sell bags of Peak of the Market vegetables in two sizes, $10 and $20 bags, with half the proceeds remaining with the school or daycare and the other half going back to Manitoba farmers.
“This program is an excellent opportunity that benefits Manitoba children, their daycares and schools, and the vegetable growers in our province,” said Kostyshyn. “Through this program, selling locally produced vegetables puts healthy, Manitoba food on family tables, raises funds for the participating schools and supports our farmers.”
The ministers praised the efforts of the program partners, including Peak of the Market, which provides the vegetables at cost and delivers the vegetables free of charge to participating schools and daycares, as well as the Manitoba Association of Home Economists, which co-ordinates the fundraiser.
“The Farm to School veggie fundraiser has exceeded all of our expectations, growing from 66 schools during the first year of the program to our current record number of 298 schools and 96 daycares,” said Larry McIntosh, president and CEO of Peak of the Market. “The program has been an outstanding success, promoting good nutrition and the fight against childhood obesity, providing schools and daycares with a popular and healthy fundraising option, and supporting our Manitoba farmers.”
“We are proud to be a part of the Farm to School program, which is making fresh, local produce available to thousands of Manitoba families,” said Getty Stewart, past president of the Manitoba Association of Home Economists. “Schools and daycares are the ideal setting to influence eating habits, and this initiative is helping to educate children about nutrition and healthy food choices in a positive way.”
In the first month of the program, 220,000 pounds of vegetables have been sold, raising more than $100,000 for participating schools and daycares.
The ministers also recognized Oct. 16 as World Food Day, a global movement devoted to raising awareness and understanding of how world hunger can be ended.